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Hello, I have a 12 week old GD. I've had her for 3 weeks so far. She has a bit of separation anxiety but it is definitely getting better every day. We have training sessions multiple times a day with food. I use her food as rewards and feed her through trainings instead of using the food bowl most of the time.

She is pretty well potty trained. She barks toward the door or heads to it when she needs to potty. She can sit, come, stay, lie down, crate, and look at me. I know it is pretty good for a young puppy. The issue is that she listens 100% when I have food. She reacts like a robot. She sits and waits for my next commands focusing on me and the food. However, if I use the commands without holding the food, the chance goes down to ~50% and I can totally tell that her concentration is poor. 

I'm afraid that she will only listen to me when she's hungry and I have food or when she wants to -- Not when I want her to. 

Is it something that I have to really concern or this is learning process? Any similar experiences to share with me please?

Thanks!

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Replies to This Discussion

In my opinion this is normal for a puppy still learning the rules of the house. It may also be personality related, but likely your pup is still learning the ropes. I'll give you advice that our trainer gave us: don't ever give a command if you're not 100% sure your pup will follow. Otherwise, you're inadvertently training your pup that ignoring your commands is okay. We continue to do training using food/treats and our very headstrong doodle is almost 4! Truth is, as you continue training and helping your pup understand the rules of your home and that you're the leader of the house, they'll naturally start to react to your commands with and without food. It's part of the learning process. Stick with it and stay consistent!

She’s a very young PUPPY.  She’s likes food. She can’t distinguish between food you are going to reward her with and your food. It’s all a gradual process. Gradually you wean them from earning a food reward for following a command, to praise. This next suggestion is only my opinion not a judgement, but I’d feed her some of her meal in a bowl so that she also learns to eat that way. You might not want to have to personally hand feed every morsel to her for the next 12-14 years. LOL. 

I would slowly switch to having the treats in your hand so she knows you have them, but not always giving her a treat when she does what you ask.  Sometimes just give her lots of excited lovin!  I have one that is just like this, totally food obsessed.  She would sell her Sister for treats.  So when we got the younger one, I said I'm not going to train with treats.  I just used praise most of the time.  Now, she is so excited around treats that she cant even focus on what I'm saying.  So, I think a happy medium is a good choice.  I'd maybe start by like calling her to COME, and when she does give lots of praise and lovin, then ask her to maybe sit or down and then give a treat.  

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