If your pup ignores you unless he sees/smells food, then he hasn’t been properly trained.
Here are some suggestions to stop that from happening!
1.STOP using the food as a bribe. We use a yummy treat when we introduce a new behavior so the pup associates something good happening (a treat) when I do what my human asks. It’s very important to stop showing him the treat as soon as he is easily doing what you ask…i.e. sit, down, wait, etc. You can start using your other hand to hold the treat and reward immediately. It keeps him guessing, not knowing where and if the reward is coming!
2. Start keeping food treats hidden in various locations in your house. Be sure to keep treating him each time, but now is the time to start keeping him guessing where the treat is coming from. Walk over, and treat as soon as he does what you ask.
3. Try delaying the time it takes to reward. Once your pup is readily doing what you’re asking, start counting a few seconds before rewarding. Work up to 20 seconds before you reward.
4. Add a chain of commands before rewarding. We call this puppy pushups! Ask for a sit, down, stand, and then treat. You’re making him work for his treat and he’ll enjoy the challenge! If you ask for too many commands and he starts looking confused, try again and set him up for success by asking for less before treating.
5. Start “fading the food” lure now by mixing up when you use a food treat. Use praise and petting as a treat instead. Dogs quickly develop associations so keep mixing the pattern up.
6. Start using other rewards in place of food – we call these life rewards- like playing ball, tug, going for a walk, praise, petting…whatever your pup likes! Ask for a sit before playing ball and the ball becomes the reward.
The biggest mistake you can make is to show your pup the treats to entice him to do what you ask. You will create a dog that will hold out for treats instead of one who wants to do what you ask. Dogs do what works for them so ask them to say “please” first and then reward!