Great Dane pup lacks motivation

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by docjenjen, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. docjenjen New Member

    Hi Jean,

    I have a 17 wk old Great Dane Pup. I'm having the hardest time keeping his attention. Even inside with no distractions he still is not motivated to do behaviors. He does sit on command but that's about the only behavior that I would call locked at this point. He does shake pretty well. Lay is a little green yet, still having to lure him into position. He worse behavior is "here", which I think is a very important behavior. I want my dog to come to me when called. He responds about 1/2 the time and is rewarded each time with either praise or a treat reinforcement. I find it frustrating to train him because of his lack of attention. I've tried a few different types of treats hoping I would find one that he just couldn't resist, with no luck. I've even tried shredded chicken breast. Is this just his breed or am I doing something wrong?

    I also have a Border collie mix is was very eager to train. She will do about anything for a treat and he's like the complete opposite. Any suggestions?

    Oh, and he is going to obedience classes but again, distracted or would rather lay down. I need something to get and keep his attention on me.

    Thank you,

  2. docjenjen New Member


    Thank you for your quick response. He does play with my other dog all the time. If he's not sleeping, he's playing with her. Is it to late to seperate them, if not how would I do that? If I were to crate my collie while he is out, would she feel left out or get jealous?

    The beef heart recipe sounds great, I will without question give it a shot.

    Thank you again!

  3. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hi Jen,

    Since your older dog, the border collie is older and has been living there for a long time, she has already claimed your house as her territory. Although I don't know the exact details of your living arrangements, your older dog should have more freedom than the pup.

    I don't believe your dog will "get jealous" or feel "left out", these are after-all human traits. She might kick and scream the first few times she is in the crate when you have the puppy out, but that's more because she wants to join in.

    Remember - this is temporary until you develop a strong relationship with your dog. Both my dogs are free all the time now and I rarely crate them.
  4. docjenjen New Member


    Okay, thank you very much. I'm cooking beef heart this evening and I'll let you know how he responds to it. I've been getting more one on one attention with him and it is really working. He comes to me to play now instead of my other dog.

    Thanks for everything!

  5. lonewolf Guest

    great dane

    My two cents. Next time you do any training with the dog please look at the dogs face and body language. How do you reward the dog? do you give him a big hug? Or a pat on the head? Dogs hate that. We dont notice it because as humans we hug, dogs hate hugs. They also hate pats on top of the head. Dogs love to be touched on the shoulder, neck, side, stomach. Next time you train him forget about the traing part ( go through the motions ) but look at his reaction when he is rewarded and how you reward him. Are you screaming GOOD DOG, GOOD DOG ? If so again look at his body language and face expressions, see if he likes it or if he kind of looks a little disgusted. To some dogs touch and sound are so important that it can actually hinder the dog if he is not happy with the reward he is getting. I give my dogs raw meat ( not a tough guy thing ) but because dogs love raw meat most of all. Mine goes crazy over veal liver or kidneys or hamburger with around 20 percent fat in it. again it is all raw and raw meat does not harm dogs. I would start first by observing him or maybe have a friend watch his reactions, this will help give you a big clue as to what he might not like about the training sessions.
    Now take a look at the two pictures of Jeans dogs, see them smiling in the pictures? thats the look you want to see, so try different things until you get that look, once you see that look remember what you did and repeat that as a reward.
  6. Jean Cote Administrator

    That is an excellent point lonewolf!! :)

    Dogs communicate with each other mostly through body movements, and they are sometimes very subtle, especially to us humans. Here is a list of some of them:

    • Turning his head away and looking at you from the side of his head.
    • Looking away
    • Licking their nose
    • Ears back
    • Tail down / between their legs
    • Fur up high on their back
    • Sitting and Lying down
    • Pretending to be sniffing something
    • Showing their teethes
    • Bowing
    • Yawning

    Some of the signals are submissive, others are warnings, some playful, it all depends on the situation! But one thing is for sure, it is usually to avoid a confrontation.

    So no matter where you are, or what breed your dog is, you'll see these signals within your dog! Kind of an universal language ;)

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