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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi (again)! So we have a couple of things going on with Walter (8 week old Goldendoodle) and would love some thoughts/advice/help!

1. Treats have been working very well for training Walter. However, now that's all he wants. He'll come over and just sit there and wait for a treat, whether I have one or not (it's very sad when I don't!) I know that's a good thing, but at the same time, if he KNOWS I don't have a treat, he doesn't listen, and starts biting. Praise and toys don't seem to motivate him whatsoever

2. He's so good at sitting and waiting for a treat when I have one that I can't teach him the "down" command. Any suggestions?

3. I really want to be able to play with him as I know that's great for puppies and they need/want to play, but I literally cannot play with him without him biting. He bites hard and often, and toys (I've tried all types/kinds) don't really interest him. I'll play with a toy with him for a few seconds and he'll immediately start biting me. Doing the "time-out" thing, but finding that I'm simply not able to play with him. Any thoughts on things we CAN play together that won't lead him to bite??

Also, on the biting note -- I'm at a loss with this. Standing still doesn't work at all. It does not deter him and he just clamps down harder when I just stand there. As I said, he's not really interested in chew toys so that doesn't work. It seems "time-out" is the only way, but at this rate, he'll be spending almost the entire day in time-out....

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance!
 

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You're only at eight weeks! Be patient! Rome wasn't built in a day!

About the treats, I'd suggest that you start using your puppy's kibble as a reward if he's getting too many commercial treats. There will be time to start phasing out the food rewards, but your puppy is only eight weeks old. The great thing is that he's learning new skills.
 

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Oh puppies, love them.

1. I think if he's getting the cues and listening fairly quickly, you can start fading the lure. Pretend to put a treat in your hand, and get him to do the behaviour, then give him the treat from the other hand. I also teach a strong "watch" or "look at me". This way the dog is looking at you and not watching your hands for treats. Praise/toys might work eventually as well, he's still very young.

2. Try a next-level out of this world treat. Maybe he just needs a new treat to get him to really follow it down to the ground.

3. I would try "fetch" as a game. Hopefully there will be less biting involved. If he won't redirect to a toy then I think you'll just have to continue with the time-outs. I would also try to not get him so excited, as clearly he's a very mouthy puppy.

Try not to get too frustrated, he's such a little baby :)
 

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One option for dogs who only work when they see food is to move the food away from where you are working. If he understands the clicker / marker, you can leave treats or kibble several steps away, ask for a behavior, click/mark and then race to get the treats (so it's a game for him). Also, Thoughts on training with food

For down, if luring doesn't seem to be working, you can capture it.

For biting, it takes time - weeks to see a significant decrease and months to extinguish completely. If he's only 8 weeks, he hasn't had enough time to fully process what's going on. Plus, as a mix of two retrievers, he's going to be naturally mouthy.

As SusanLynn said, Rome wasn't built in a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One option for dogs who only work when they see food is to move the food away from where you are working. If he understands the clicker / marker, you can leave treats or kibble several steps away, ask for a behavior, click/mark and then race to get the treats (so it's a game for him). Also, Thoughts on training with food

For down, if luring doesn't seem to be working, you can capture it.

For biting, it takes time - weeks to see a significant decrease and months to extinguish completely. If he's only 8 weeks, he hasn't had enough time to fully process what's going on. Plus, as a mix of two retrievers, he's going to be naturally mouthy.

As SusanLynn said, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Thanks everybody for the advice. I know I need to be patient with the little guys, as he's just a baby.

cookieface - when you say capture (for the down) - you mean just wait until he does it on his own at some point, and then reward?
 
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