How to Train a Dog That is not Food Motivated?
How to Train a Dog That is not Food Motivated?
While teaching your pet can bring great joy, it is not always easy, especially when your companion is not interested in treats. Many dogs are over the moon for the snack, ready to perform tricks for a tasty bite. Yet, for some of our canine pals, the snack incentive just doesn't light their fire. However, do not worry!
It is possible to train a dog that is not food-motivated. It is all about finding those underlying emotions that make them wag with delight. Throughout this article, you will learn how to connect with your dog and teach him, even when he cannot be lured by treats or snacks.
Factors Causing Lack of Food Motivation in Dogs
Stress & Anxiety
The first issue leading to less feed intake and food motivation is stress in dogs. Stress can come in a variety of ways such as from disease, changing diet plans, and change of environment. A distressed dog is not willing to eat his regular food and may avoid treats altogether.
The stress not only decreases food motivation but your dog is also prone to other health issues. For instance, a dog shifted to a new place might not take an interest in training or the regular food or treats.
Illness & Obesity
Any sort of disease and obesity condition ultimately causes less food and treatment intake. Although the body of such a dog requires ample nutrition, the dog stays unmotivated when you provide him with treats during training.
Illness can be simply a mild gastric upset or hormonal imbalance that will not let your dog stay food-motivated. Diabetic dogs don’t feel the urge to get regular treats and rely on the kibble diet to fulfill their nutrition.
You’re very well aware of how treats can help in training through positive reinforcement. On the contrary, giving treats and making your dog do something he doesn’t like is kind of a negative reinforcement.
For instance, if you make a habit of tricking your dog to take a bath by providing treats, your dog feels less motivated. This is because he will keep associating the treat with the grooming trap. The next time you provide a treat in a training session, your dog will hesitate to accept it.
Constant Food Access
A dog will refuse to take the treats when he is already full and has eaten recently. Such a problem arises in the case of free-feeding dogs who have constant access to food bowls. If your dog is eating all the time, treats during training will not motivate him.
If your dog has constant food access, try removing the food and stick to restricted or timely feeding. This way, your dog has ample room in his gut for tasty treats during a training session.
How to Train a Dog That is Not Food Motivated?
No matter what training your dog will take, treats play a huge role in perfecting it. A dog who doesn’t like treats will keep making errors and prolong the training sessions. Below are some ways you can help your dog that is not food-motivated positively.
Change the Usual Food
A good way to assess reduced food motivation is to have a look at the food you’re offering your dog. This method works most of the time because the inclusion of a new treat can make your furry friend motivated to try it.
Sometimes, the dogs are reluctant to eat the treats during training because they get bored with the usual taste. Changing the food or treat to a new one will bring curiosity and enable your dog to try something new and delicious.
Lower the Distraction Levels During Training
A training session can only be fruitful if your dog stays focused on doing rewarding practices correctly. Most of the dog training services use large training grounds with several dogs. There is a possibility that your pooch will be distracted by sounds, toys, and other dogs.
If a dog is continuously facing distractions, the treats will not help in correcting his training sessions. It is important to train your dog in a quiet place so that he can properly engage himself in training as well as love to get treats.
Don’t Forget the Hydration Status
Most of the dog owners often forget to look for their pooch’s hydration during training. A hyperactive dog will play, run, and exhaustively do the training. It is best to keep a check on the water intake of your dog so he may not feel thirsty and ignore the treats.
Hydration is also important to keep your dog motivated about getting treats. For instance, a dog will often develop a dry mouth during exhaustive training sessions. A dry mouth will increase your dog’s urge to drink more water than focusing on getting treats.
Focus on the Dog’s Comfort and mindset
The temperament and state of mind of a dog play a huge role in perfecting his training sessions. You don’t want your dog to feel unmotivated and exhausted by regular training sessions. Therefore, it is crucial to assess his mindset and energy before taking him to the next training session.
If your dog appears to show reluctance or no motivation for training, keep him calm and provide ample rest. A stress-free dog, and relaxed is more likely to train with enthusiasm and enjoy whatever treat you give him.
To train a dog that is not food motivated, strategies such as changing the food and keeping a health check can help. In case your dog is suffering from any underlying illness, get him checked by your concerned veterinarian before the training session.
Keeping a check on your dog’s physical and mental health can give you some clues if your dog doesn’t accept food as motivation. By carefully assessing the reason behind the lack of motivation, you can start over and make your dog love those delicious treats.