We recently brought home our 10 week old puppy, Henry. He's settling in nicely, being playful and vocal at times, instead of only napping and cuddling. We're working diligently on housetraining and teaching him his name and to come when called, etc. This is being made a bit harder by the fact that he doesn't seem to be very food motivated. He'll eat his kibble casually if we leave it out for him for fifteen minutes or half an hour, but he definitely doesn't pounce on it or have any immediate interest or get excited by it.
He generally won't turn a treat down if we give him one, but they don't really grab his attention in a way that would facilitate training. His attitude is very "whatever" about it. *Sniff, sniff, lick, nibble*. We've tried several kinds of treats already, including soft and smelly liver treats, etc. He is most interested in bits of cooked turkey breast meat or cheese, but he really doesn't get excited by them. He won't turn them down, he just does the puppy equivalent of a shrug and nibbles at them.
So my question is... is this a new puppy behavior, and will his food-motivation increase? Should we keep looking for the magical treat that will knock his socks off? Do you have any suggestions for such magical treats? Should we assume that this is one weirdly not-food-motivated Corgi, and try to find a different method of motivating him? If so, what do you recommend?
Thanks in advance! You guys are really preserving our sanity during this first-time puppy-raising process. I don't know what we'd do without you!
Give him a LOT more time to settle in. It can vary on the pup, but Ace for instance took upwards of two weeks to start showing any real interest in food. I remember posting to this very forum almost a year ago about the same issue! I was thinking to myself, Did I end up with the only corgi who isn't a stomach on four stubby legs? :-)
Right now your priority should be socialization above any and all else. Housetraining and recall are great, of course, and can be worked on at home but the number 1 thing to do is to get him out there and meeting new people!
Once Henry has had some more time to call this new place home, he'll be more comfortable and start turning his attention towards treats and play.
Don't worry about it, this is a time for both of you to learn about the pleasure of being with each other. You can offer a treat, or pet him, or use a toy, or call him and put the leash on and take him out. Although treats work well with puppies, anything the pup likes can become a reward and there are advantages in not having it all be about the food...
Your puppy is an infant still so it is too soon to worry about what he does or doesn't like. He still doesn't know yet. Just stay very up beat with him and use a fun puppy voice to motivate right now. Really until he finishes teething food will be kind of an iffy motivator. Some times a little warm water to soften the food is helpful for sensitive gums.
I would say give him some more time. 10 weeks is still young and overwhelming for a puppy with being in a new environment etc. Eventually once he feels secure enough where he's at everything else will fall into place :)