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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. My dog is motivated in training but when I get to a trial she sniffs and looks away. It looks like she has no motivation in the ring. Do you have any pointers?
Hello,

I do obedience training with my 3 year old springer. When I practice with her she is very motivated and does what I ask. I am in open A CKC. When I go to a trial, she is in her own world and does not cooperate and sniffs and looks away.

I have just purchased the Michael Ellis DVD Focused Heeling. I have practiced this a week and I do see an improvement. How long does this take, I practice a little every day?

It almost looks that she is not motivated when I go in the ring? Do you have any pointers?

A. If your dog is lacking motivation, then you need to back up your training even more.

I'd find whatever primary reinforcer holds the most value for her and work simply on getting her engaged with you.

This is covered in The Power of Training Dogs with Food and Advanced Concepts in Motivation. If she likes to play tug, The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog.

I can't tell you how long this will take, because it's different for every dog and handler.

If you go to our free streaming videos and search on engagement you will see examples of what I am referring to.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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