Please help with training a non-food-motivated dog?

A few months ago, my husband and I rescued a dog from the pound. She was skin-and-bones and losing her fur from malnourishment. We have spent a lot of time helping her to get healthy again, and now she is beautiful. Her name is Gypsy, and she is a German Shepherd mix.

Now that she is healthy, I would really like to train her with basic commands, especially “Sit”, “Wait”, and “Heel”. But my dog-training book is for food-motivated dogs, and Gypsy is NOT food-motivated. I have tried 5 different kinds of dog treats, vienna sausages, canned chicken, ground beef (cooked), and boiled chicken. She is just not interested in food rewards. At all.

I have also tried the “say ‘sit’ and press gently on her rump” technique. She locks up, and she is too strong for me to force her to sit.

She doesn’t have any -bad- behavior that I want to correct. She is friendly and gentle – wonderful with my 20-month-old son. But my husband and I have both owned German Shepherds in the past, and our experience is that German Sherpherds need guidance and training for their active minds.

Does anyone know of any websites, books, or advice that I could use to train a non-food-motivated dog? I am really at a loss as to where to begin.

Thank you!

Categories: Dog Behavior Training

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