My dog doesn’t search for a treat after I throw it
- Be sure that the treat you’re using has a strong smell, so perhaps avoid any dry biscuit-type treats. Soft treats usually hold a stronger smell.
- Try just tossing it right on the floor in front of your dog where they can see it. This way it’s easy for them to win at first. Then toss the treat more to the side of them. If they retrieve it successfully then toss it further behind them the next time. Let it get progressively further and further as long as your dog is following it well!
The dog wouldn’t come back after getting the treat on the floor
- Be sure that the treat you are using is a high-value treat and not just their everyday kibble! They should WANT more from you. You can also try working with them just before their meal times when they’re more hungry and more likely to turn back to you for food.
- You can also try initially tossing the treat just on the floor basically between you two. When they look up after finishing their treat, immediately toss another on the floor. Keep like this for a few more treats, tossing it to them just as they finish the previous one. They should be suddenly getting used to having food just tossed to them on the floor before they even fully finish the previous one. Then start to pause for a moment and toss the treat more to the side, but still where they can see it. If they look up at you or turn their heads toward you, toss another treat.
The dog was struggling to look back at me. Too distracted.
Change out the reward that you’re using. The food you are using should naturally be more stimulating than their environment so if they are getting easily distracted it may be best to either work with them just before their meal times or change the treat to a high-value, strong-smelling treat such as cheese, hot dog or bacon bits.