TIP #1: MY DOG'S NOT FOOD MOTIVATED
First of all, she has to be or she wouldn't be alive. But seriously, if your dog blows off your treats, try these things:
1. Significantly increase the value of the treats you offer. Don’t try dry foods, especially in high-distraction outdoor settings. Work to find a food (usually something meaty and greasy) that makes your dog go cross-eyed with glee.
2. Limit your dog’s access to his food. If your dog is constantly full, he will be less interested in what you have to offer. Avoid free feeding, and schedule feeding times for after training sessions and walks, instead of before.
3. Try something else altogether. For example, if you have a ball-obsessed dog, you may have an easier time getting his attention with his favorite ball than with the leftover chicken from last night’s dinner.
TIP #2: SIZE MATTERS
Your best option for finding compatible playmates for your dog is to identify your dog's play style and select dogs of similar size, energy level, and play style preference.
No doubt there are dogs of significant size disparity who can play well together, but as a general rule, it's wise to keep the difference in the realm of 25 pounds or less. A playful dog can easily injure a little dog, even without intent to do harm, simply by running over or jumping on the smaller dog. Of even greater concern is a phenomenon known as predatory drift in which something from a dog's evolutionary past triggers the larger dog's brain to perceive the smaller dog as a prey object - a bunny or squirrel - instead of the canine pal he's played happily with for months or years. Often the trigger is the smaller dog running, yelping, or squealing. The bigger dog gives chase, and tragedy ensues.
- excerpted from Play With Your Dog
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI