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A few months ago I started training our puppy. She's about a year now. The methods I used were with a chain collar, correcting her if she did it wrong. I did this in a class. We are going back Monday. She is unmotivated to learn and just really quiets down and doesn't obey. She's bored and doesn't like it. Today I used her flat collar and used meat to train. She did a little better but I feel like she's still not very motivated to learn. She is an outside dog. I'd like to use positive reinforcement instead of corrective/treat training. She is an Austrailian Shepherd and has lots of energy and is super smart. Is it too late to get her motivated to learn?
Thanks so much!

Answer
Thanks for getting in touch.

It sounds like you are having some success with the flat collar and training treats, that might be a good path to continue on.

Most dogs are able to be motivated, the trick is finding out what their motivator is. I always like to start with food because dogs like to eat -- not necessarily all the time, but you can adjust some of your training to fit your dog's feeding schedule and that should help. You'll want to get REALLY excited about giving your dog the treats so she gets interested in the entire process. Use treats that are of high value to her and are easy to swallow, something soft like hot dog slices, cheese sticks sliced into bite sized pieces or even mini-marshmallows if it isn't too hot outside.

Find what makes your dog happy, it could be food, toys, affection or something else, the trick is finding things (and hopefully multiple things) to encourage your dog to participate with you in training. It's your job to help your dog like to be trained and to work with you.

I've got some training information on my web site that might be helpful for you too. http://outlawchinooks.com/

Good luck and let me know how you do.  

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Kathleen A. Riley-Daniels

Expertise

I am known for my originality, creativity and flexibility in dog training, and I specialize in everything from training and handling skills to behavior challenges. All breeds, personalities and skill levels are welcomed including handlers and/or dogs with physical limitations. I encourages students to work outside their comfort zone for enhanced learning and utilizing skills that best fit the needs of each team. Keeping the focus on fun, play and praise. My enthusiasm for training is contagious and all efforts of both dog and handler are rewarded. If you are looking for assistance in house training or other training areas, please visit my web site or blog first and see if the information there is helpful to you: http://www.outlawchinooks.com/ or http://RileyTrainingCenter.blogspot.com or YouTube Channel http://bit.ly/bhTHTb

Experience

I have trained and participated in many canine performance events including obedience, rally obedience, field, herding, tracking, conformation, weight pull, training and judging 4-H, assistance dog training and wrangling for movies. I teach private and group lessons, workshops, seminars, camps, lecture internationally and have written award winning articles for numerous publications. I was voted one of the Twin Cities Top Dog Trainers by the readers of Twin City Tails Magazine, I am a certified in Animal Nutrition, Animal Training and Behavior and am an evaluator for the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program.

Organizations
Various local, regional and national breed clubs.

Publications
Have worked as an editor, on staff and as a volunteer on a variety of community, local, regional, national and international publications.

Education/Credentials
College degree and life-long learning with multiple certifications in training, behavior, nutrition and education. I am a life-long learner and I accentuate the positive for both dogs and handlers and my training methods are specifically designed to bring teams to their full potential by customizing training plans and focusing on training exercises that best benefit each individual team.

Awards and Honors
Voted one of the top trainers in the Twin Cities.

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