|Barked: Thu May 3, '12 11:23am PST |
|It's a Spitz thing. It isn't about learning - if they do it with motivation they know how to do it - but they need to know what's in it for them. When there's food in your hand, it's obvious - although many will judge the food in your hand against what they want to be doing and blow you off anyway. This is why I've done so much agility with my guys. It's fun, but there is a huge obedience component and they must listen to me in order to continue having fun.
I've also had a lot of luck using environmental rewards in combination with a sort of Nothing In Life Is Free program. For instance, you wanna get out of the car? Down/wait while I get out and leash you, release and then you may get out and sniff the curb we've parked on. (I don't hold with many of the things frequently attributed to NILIF like restriction from furniture, eating before your dog does, going through doorways first and so forth.)
Even handler-focused breeds like Border Collies are still getting massive rewards from the work they do: exercise, mental stimulation an outlet for prey drive and a job. Companion breeds gain their owner's approval and attention for a job well done... It's just way more black and white with most of the Spitz breeds.
Breed aside, it's also possible she has difficulty generalizing a behavior from a training session to it's real-life application. This is why I tell my classes to set up real-life situations to practice in. For instance, deliberately leaving a bread crust on the sidewalk in front of your house before you go out for a walk so you can practice "leave it." You both get real-world practice without being caught off-guard.
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