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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My puppy is incredibly lazy. I have had him checked by two vets (just in case) and has a clear bill of health. I am having a hard time engaging him during training, as he will simply lay down with the "oh look how nice this spot in the sun is" look on his face!

Now being only 16 w/o, I don't expect the world from him, but to not want to play?! I have purchased every toy, chew, tug, you name it! He has no interest in anything! I am at a loss here, and am wondering if this is just a sleepy, growing pup or perhaps I should still be concerned.

I have a very active life. I thought that a puppy would enjoy being outside and running around most of the day, but I guess I was wrong.

My main concern is that he has no interest in seemingly fun things. What in the world is going to happen when he is a year old and simply doesn't listen?
 

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Where did he come from? Did his lines have a lot of drive? Did he ever have drive? He might be a lower drive puppy. I would personally teach this puppy to work for his meals myself and use meals for training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He is not from a working line. Everyone in his pedigree have confirmation titles. (He's from Beth Wilhite of Royal Tudor)

Even if he isn't "high drive" so to speak, I expected that puppy energy. I'm not used to such a relaxed puppy I guess...

I will try your idea, and boy I hope it works!
 

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My boy will occasionally decide that the long downs in schutzhund are great moments to stretch out and sun bathe, sniff grass, you name it. There are also plenty of times where he has been out to 'potty' in the yard and when I tell him to come here (informally), he'll stare at me, and just lay down and begin sunbathing again. Needless to say, he is an extremely lazy dog with low drive.

However, he is also hypothyroid, oversized and around 5 years old, so I'm not sure I would feel completely normal if he acted like this as a puppy. Despite his natural tendencies, he does now absolutely love work, and when I do not have the chance to take him to the field and work, he will drive me nuts for the next few days. Its all about finding what motivates your dog. For Zeus, it is food and excessive positive reinforcement. To maximize his food drive, he does not get breakfast before we go work, or dinner depending on the time. He also never gets food for the sake of getting it. He works for everything, even as much as a table scrap.

For instance, our best heeling is always right before feeding time. I'll do tons of small serpertines, practice fast sits, about turns, slow, etc. Because he knows he's about to get a ton of food, the amount of engagement he gives me during this time far surpasses anything else. You obviously have to build up to this though. Start with making the puppy do one thing before feeding, then two, then maybe something more difficult etc. The dog needs to understand that it is not going to be handed things for the sake of living.

If you are trying to increase toy drive, I also would not get a million toys to have lying around. I have special toys for my dog that he only gets when I want to play with him/work him. This week I have let him have more 'free toys' due to studying for finals, and because of the way I usually handle toys, this week Zeus has been constantly 'bringing me' his toys so that I will engage with him and play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@sam&macksmom: Do you recommend group or private sessions? I have heard good things about both...
 

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Personally I love group lessons. It helps you and your dog to work/learn under distractions. I would only use private lessons if my dog had issues that needed addressed one on one.

Puppy kindergarten was so much fun for us. After PK, we moved on to the various OB classes.

@sam&macksmom: Do you recommend group or private sessions? I have heard good things about both...
 

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Shy pup, lazy pup, lacking drive, lacking bond recall, eye focus, etc...this is what i start with:
- check out a few of my posts, and the embedded video links (specifically post #7):
- plus the Leersburg ones, has some great training/play videos - http://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/66669-shy-pup.html

Hi Diesel's parent...I'm from South of London, ON.

Check out my writeup, for a little more detail (http://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/66669-shy-pup.html - which I am not suggesting)...I concentrate on the basics more, in the earliest puppy period:
- COME & SIT (first)
- FETCH & COME with tennis ball & frisbee (rotate them).......on my "A" List
- TUG-OF WAR......fun way to curb boredom.........................on my "A" List
- STAY
- DOWN
- Soft Bite Control............................................................on my "A" List
I do these initially, as a foundation for eye & ear focus & bonding...then other dog commands, are easier to master.
 

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Cpittman, he sounds like heaven to me, after what I've dealt with! :D Send him over!!!:p

He might "wake up" a little later, or he might just be very calm, and low-drive. It's a little early to say for sure, so I wouldn't get too discouraged. What did you have planned for him? You're absolutely sure he has no health issues? Parasites? Protozoa? I have had quiet pups that turned out to have coccidia or giardia and woke up dramatically once they felt better. A fecal is NOT reliable for finding those all the time. If I even suspected giardia, I would treat.

Does he seem healthy otherwise? Does he have solid temperament, just laid-back, or does he seem very unsure and/or timid?
 

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He is not from a working line. Everyone in his pedigree have confirmation titles. (He's from Beth Wilhite of Royal Tudor)

Even if he isn't "high drive" so to speak, I expected that puppy energy. I'm not used to such a relaxed puppy I guess...

I will try your idea, and boy I hope it works!
Flirt is not from working lines but what I'd refer to as conformation/performance lines. I think Sch people might find her a bit soft and boring :roflmao: but for me she has nice energy and an off switch. Because I do agility I specifically went to an active line that succeds in it. She came to us at 10 weeks fetching and tugging her leash.

From what I know Beth breds nice dogs, so maybe he just hasn't figured it out or is a low key boy. Owners can also do a lot to build on drive too.

Also do you know how to play with him? What to do and how to engage? I used to take a tug toy and shove it in my dog's face and he'd stare at me like WHAT WHAT you idiot? If instead you take it on the ground and drag it and make it move, I find you get much more animation. Also playing with the dog should make you tired also or you aren't doing it right.
 

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Not to derail, but I'm interested in what you're calling "soft and boring" to SchH people. PM or email me what would be examples of conformation/performance lines. I am sooo done with SchH for a while. :) Seriously...after my last litter, this dull puppy is right up my alley! ;)
 

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Leontine is like that, also. Granted, she's a GSD of completely unknown background, but still, I've never had a less active puppy (ten minutes of playing with Ilka and Lucky, and she's done). She doesn't seem to be motivated by anything. Not even food. I mean, she was skin and bones when I got her, so you'd think she'd be very food motivated. She'll eat her meals, but doesn't seem to be interested in treats.

I'm going to be getting her back to the vet's for another check either this week or next, to see if she has anything else going on.

OP, if you come up with anything that motivates your pup, I'd like to know, to see if I could apply it to her.
 

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Good call. I honestly have not seen that much change from how a pup was at my house to how they are in their new homes at that age as far as drive and energy. As they mature, and environment plays its role in shaping the dog, that may not hold true, but for now, I know of no one better than the breeder to say if there is something "wrong" with him, or if that's just his inherent temperament.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Eisenherz: I didn't have anything planned for him, just be a part of the family. I have had him tested for everything, BUT the breeder had sent me an email about a month ago saying that one of the pups from the litter had coccidia. I went straight to the vet for a fecal but that came back normal. COULD he have coccidia/giardia and it just didn't show up (he also shows no signs of either)? Oh, now I am really worried...

He has the same temperment as when I brought him home. He's very confident, social, and seemingly "happy", but I wouldn't expect ANY puppy to act the way he does.


@Adara: I have tried simple games like Fetch and Tug all the way to running around like an idiot just to get him going! I have tennis balls to expensive Schutzhund bite tugs. I tried using his dinner last night as a way to get him moving, and he sat where his food bowl goes and stared at me...

Also, I will be sending the breeder an email tonight.

Should I race over to the vet and do another fecal? Should I tell them to give him meds for coccidia/giardia right away? I feel like a total LOSER having this go on so long without even thinking that there was a slight possibility of him being sick.
 

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Yes, he could. A healthy immune system can keep in check to a degree that he may not have horrible symptoms, but not feel 100%. A fecal is very difficult to find giardia in, especially. Coccidia is sooo common that it should just be assumed a puppy has it, especially in the first several weeks after going to a new home, as stress is often the trigger for it.

I don't agree with everything this lady says, but her info on giardia & coccidia is really congruent with my own experience with them and her treatments are also in line with what has worked for me. Giardiasis: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Has he ever had any of the symptoms of either? I have had dogs were just fatigued, and I treated them for giardia because I had another with it (not much point in only treating one) and lo and behold...they perked up. Read up on human giardia- it can be a really elusive thing to catch and treat and can make people feel badly without obvious symptoms, just subtle "not feeling good" stuff. As I said, the treatment (fenbendazole is safe- be careful with metronidazole) is so safe I'd probably just do it and then be absolutely sure to follow up with a good course of strong probiotics. Yogurt is not nearly enough.

He might not be sick, so don't beat yourself up about it. Even if he is sick, not your fault, not anyone's fault, so don't worry about it.

Does his stomach ever make noise? Does he eat grass? Do his stools ever have a slightly lighter color or any mucous or just softer than they should be?
 

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Oh, and btw, I hope he's not sick and I hope he's a terrible dud and you will just give up and ship him to me immediately! :D He sounds PERFECT for my semi-retirement. LOL
 
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