New (9 week old) puppy has little interest in food – struggling to train/distract him with other things

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/hqnl1h/new_9_week_old_puppy_has_little_interest_in_food/

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Hi! Our new puppy has very low interest in food and I am looking for alternative methods when training.

He is a tiny little puffball of a pomeranian so, in any case, he doesn't need much food to get by (by which I just mean his stools and pee are coming consistently despite not eating much).

We just returned from his first vet visit and he is looking very healthy, vet ruled out anything like parvo, etc, that could be the cause of his low appetite. Mostly just nervousness and shock from his new surroundings and house rules. He has already been eating more, but comes nowhere close to getting excited by food or eating all of his kibble/treats/kongs.

I love the little goofball but there are moments when either a BIG treat or a BIG distraction feel necessary for establishing good behaviour in the future. E.g. when going potty after waiting at the door, or when caught chewing on something inappropriate . I don't know how to praise my puppy right now except for high-pitched "good boy!" and lots of pets, or continuing play as he wants to. It just feels very…underwhelming…and he doesn't look visibly excited at the praise. And for distractions, when toys don't work, I have to either clap my hands and make a loudish noise, or push him away over and over. Obviously not ideal.

I'm looking for specific "real-life treats" that have worked for you guys and training your puppies. I'm struggling to entice him to be confident in his new surroundings and bond with me, and these earliest days feel so important.

And for those of you who found yourselves in similar situations, did your dog ever develop a bigger interest in food and did training go smoother?

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