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My rat terrier will do nothing for treats of any kind. I am simply trying to teach her basic obedience skills, like sit and down, she can stay pretty well and she always heels nicely even off leash like I normally walk her. She will take treats from me and eat them from my hand but If I ask her to do something for them she cowers and runs off if I don’t have a leash on her or she simply avoids me and the treats. I think part of the problem is that at the puppy mill where she was rescued from used food and things to get the dogs close enough and she’s associating that with me using food to get her to do things. I’ve tried working with her with my other dog Gizmo who I trained the same way she’ll watch him but seems nervous to copy him in getting a treat. Any ideas why she does this or what I can do to help her and possibly work on her basic obedience skills?
 

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how long have you had her? does she seem food motivated? is there anything else she likes that you can use as a reward? some dogs really respond to a ball. if you want to use food, i think you should try some short sessions of just giving her a few treats and some quiet petting as reinforcment for that but don't ask her to do anything, maybe don't even talk. maybe handfeed her some of her regular diet as well, it may help her to re-associate the treat thing. i also would recommend using something irresistable smelling and possibly clicker training once she seems comfortable taking food from your hand.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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I have had her for almost four months now. She does not seem food motivated or really motivated by anything at all. She doesn’t play with toys though she has some. I do the thing with the treats that’s how I got her to take them from my hand because before she wouldn’t even do that. I have also hand fed her some of her food but I really try not to do that I am trying to get her comfortable with eating out of her bowl when a human is there or when I am out of the room. I’ve used things like chicken and hamburger right out of the pan and she does not like to work for them at all. As well as her favorite treats. I’ve started to clicker train her but the noise scares her most of the time and she still has the same reaction. She is perfectly comfortable eating from my hand.
 

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My rat terrier will do nothing for treats of any kind. I am simply trying to teach her basic obedience skills, like sit and down, she can stay pretty well and she always heels nicely even off leash like I normally walk her. She will take treats from me and eat them from my hand but If I ask her to do something for them she cowers and runs off if I don’t have a leash on her or she simply avoids me and the treats. I think part of the problem is that at the puppy mill where she was rescued from used food and things to get the dogs close enough and she’s associating that with me using food to get her to do things. I’ve tried working with her with my other dog Gizmo who I trained the same way she’ll watch him but seems nervous to copy him in getting a treat. Any ideas why she does this or what I can do to help her and possibly work on her basic obedience skills?

You dog is shutting down.

Fight or flight is engaged.

Dogs do not eat when shutdown because their body is preparing to run for their lives or fight for their lives.

Not blaming you, this is a mill dog...but you must understand that when she does this she is absolutely certain that she is about to be attacked.


Move much much much slower with her...you may want to try clicker training to help her build confidence...Shaping games allow the dog to "make up" tricks on their own, so the dog feels no pressure...

also if you are using corrections on your dogs (and from your posts I gather you are) stop using them on this dog....I mean 100%.... most dogs will shutdown because they are terrified that they don't know the correct answer to what you asking. They get confused easy, so they quit trying.


Here is a great article...Learned Helplessnessw & burnout

and if you have any other questions please ask...two of my dogs where extremely shutdown when I adopted them.

ETA: just saw you mention shes afraid of a clicker...is it the metal box type? you can wrap those in masking tape to dumb down the sound.... or just you a marker word instead (or even an led flashlight!)

i think you should try some short sessions of just giving her a few treats and some quiet petting as reinforcment for that but don't ask her to do anything, maybe don't even talk. maybe handfeed her some of her regular diet as well, it may help her to re-associate the treat thing. i also would recommend using something irresistable smelling and possibly clicker training once she seems comfortable taking food from your hand.
This is golden advice!



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