Kunga was never treat-motivated, which posed a problem for us in the ring. I could bring primo steak as bait to get him to pop those ears and lift his head, but he would ignore it completely in favor of looking around at all those pretty girls outside the baby gates. I was always a little jealous of people like my friend Liam, who told me that his boy Gus would eat a piece of paper if he Liam waved it in front of him!
Friends suggested a squeeky toy for bait, but that didn’t much help either. I tried everything: cheese, liver, hot dogs, but nothing caught Kunga’s attention. Not until he won a blue stuffed animal at a sweepstakes did I finally find something that he would really take an interest in.
So we began to practice with his stuffy and the command, “ears!” until he began to give me the look I wanted. Then I began to tuck a treat into the tummy of the stuffed toy, and he associated the treat with the command.
This training eventually got him to bait. The only bad thing is that when I want to give him a treat, I have to say “ears!” My dogs now think that means “cookie.”
What tricks have you used to get your dog to take an interest in bait?