puppy training problems


New Member
Hi All, I have had my dobermann puppy for 2 weeks now, he is now 11 weeks and 4 days. I have been trying to introduce and use clicker training but I have had no real success :( He appears to have no real motivation or interest in any rewards given to provoke the interest in trying to obtain the reward again, I have tried yoghurt, chicken, beef, lamb, pork, ham, bacon, pet treats, kibble, dinner, bones, cheese, fish, bread, milk and all of his toys and general attention. The furthest we have gotten is he no longer whines in the crate, sits when I open the door to be greeted, waits until we say its ok to eat/enter the house/exit his crate and sits for a pat (he still jumps up at times). None of these have commands and he does not know his name or any commands. I am beginning to lose my mind, I was confident that I would be able to have taught him so much by now, but he still does not register the clicker as anything good and will actually ignore it if he is distracted. His siblings all appear to be learning things with flying colours, which makes me feel like I have gotten the wrong puppy or he is broken lol. Do some dogs just have a harder time learning? he does appear to have any interest at all :( I need help. I have charged the clicker countless times but he is really not food motivated or anything :(


New Member
Does he eat his dinner? You could try only feeding him by hand (after clicking) to increase his interest in food.

Does he like toys? You can click and reward with a toy!


New Member
that's the problem, I also have to tell him twice to eat his dinner and while he enjoys a game of tug he can only focus for so long before he loses interest. He also appears to lose any will to go for the toy the second it leaves his mouth. I have been using his dinner as a training tool (sit and wait for dinner) but he seems to be only eating because he is told to, not because he really wants to. His food is also minced chicken frames mixed with yoghurt, veggies and oil so its a bit messy and sticky to be handling D:


New Member
Your puppy is only young, and puppies have a hard time focussing on things for very long.

Firstly, I would be trying to teach my dog to want to eat. Sue Ailsby has this nice instruction guide if you'd like to look:

Your dogs diet does not sound very balanced. Chicken frames are almost entirely bone, while yoghurt and veggies are not very benefical for dogs. (Veggies are okay if they're pulped.) Your dog needs MEAT. I would consider using chicken hearts or giblets, or diced beef, etc, as food and ditch your odd combination. Was this combination suggested by his breeder?

I think you also need to try keeping your sessions nice and short - you want to leave your puppy WANTING more. If you do 2-3 repetitions then stop, and he still wants more, that's great! Short sessions leaving him wanting more is just what you want.


New Member
his diet is a little more complex, sorry maybe I should have given more info, it is chicken frame mince with meat and yoghurt, vets all natural veggie mix is also blended in with it along with an oil supplement and small amount of kibble is added depending on how he looks on the day, some nights it changes to fish or mince and he is also fed meaty bones in the morning along with tripe, ox tail and whole chicken frames with alot of meat left on them. The chicken frame mince is 40% meat and 60% bone. It is a diet the breeder was feeding him and I have followed on feeding it. thanks for the tips and the link. I will try this, I have been trying to keep it short but my problem is also finding something he wants to work for.


New Member
What you described sounds a lot better, and probably good to keep him on what the breeder suggested to make sure his belly is settled for the next few weeks.

The only thing is, what you described is pretty tasty sounding - so perhaps your training treats are just not worth it in comparison. Perhaps you can try giving him the most boring bits as his staple, and the more interesting bits (e.g. the fish!) as training treats.

Good luck :)


Honored Member
Staff member
Some dogs just really don't like anything. My BC/ACD boy literally liked nothing except praise until he was about a year old. To this day he doesn't take treats, with the exception of rolled dog food once in a blue moon. He didn't like toys. Just lovin'! Lol. When I got my BC girl, who looooooves toys, he developed an obsession for tennis balls and realized how fun toys are. Lol.
Silvia Trkman has a BC who was the same way. What she did was tie her pup while she played really excitedly with her other, very playful dogs. Basically, a party was going on and she was being left out! Eventually, all the excitement got her riled up and built her play drive. You could try something like this with your pup to get him excited about toys so that you have some form of motivation for him.


Experienced Member
I had this problem with Oka when we switched her over to full time raw....what could be better than all that lovely raw meat?!:doglaugh:

You didn't say over what time you gave the different treats but maybe giving him so many different things gave him tummy ache? Now he's thinking that click thing ain't so great? The other thing i thought was; how many meals a day does he have? Did you try his training just after a meal or before? (A mistake i made several times :dogtongue2:)

I would pick a treat - (a smelly) cheese works well for Oka, and try loading the clicker before dinner - when he should be hungry - even delay dinner for a little bit and try loading the clicker then. If he will eat the treats then i would suggest there is another issue. I was worried that Oka wasn't enthused enough about training - you see collies practically throw themselves in to a 'down' or round a course and i though "She should be like that" :msnblushing: reality is she just isn't - she is interested in it just isn't "obsessed" - she hasn't got that working drive like they do.

If he's really not interested then i would buy a toy that lends itself to your puppys natural traits - again for Oka she has a good prey drive and also some affinity for balls...so i got a squeaky ball; it is only used for training and is taken away at all other times... i go silly with her and that makes it more exciting - high pitched voices, running,...though with the age of your pup be careful not to get him over excited.

Last idea was; (no offence) are you clicking at the right time? is he confused? does he wander off or lay down and 'sulk'?
Oka is has a strong mind; she is good at letting me know that i'm expecting too much or failing to make it easy enough for her. If she's confused she will lay down and stare up at me, if she gets it but doesn't want to work then she will do it once then run through a bunch of easier tricks trying to 'con' a treat out of me:dogrolleyes:....if she wanders off she just isn't interested or i'm not fun enough or not treating enough. Or if she's bored with this trick practice!!

hope this helps some