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Thread: do you believe in treat training?

  1. #1
    Member jared_brown's Avatar
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    do you believe in treat training?

    i know training using treats makes the training so much smoother and faster, but a very wise man once told me that if you train your dog using treats, what are you gonna do when you tell him to do something, he ignores you or doesn't comply and you don't have any treats on you?! that rang a bell in my head, so what is your opinion on teaching your rottie the basic commands? use lots of praise as the treat, or actual treats?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member RottiMomCT's Avatar
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    I use treats when teaching something - and as the dog shows that he understands what I'm asking of him, I start to phase out the reward - if the dog gets a treat 100% of the time, why should the dog do anything?!

    So, I make the dog wonder when the treat is going to come...

    My instructor once put it to the class like this - if I gave you $100 every time I called your name and you turned and looked at me, you'd better believe that every time heard your name your head would whip around looking for me. But then I started NOT giving you the $100 but told you that you never know WHEN I would give it to you - so you'd keep looking at me when you heard your name...just in case THAT was the time when the $100 was coming!

    I vary the treats I use - string cheese, Natural Balance roll, chicken, liver, hot dogs, meatballs (turkey meatballs, cooked and then frozen) - I also use very small pieces - about the size of a penny, or smaller. If I'm working on something new or something that is very hard, I will up the value and size of the treat.

    My dogs are ALMOST competition ready - so I don't even enter the training ring with food on my person, or if I do have food, they don't get it until they've done a few exercises. I can make two 1 ounce meatballs last for an hour of training - I use little pieces!

    Once the dog fully understands what is asked, you phase out the treats - the COMMAND comes first, the PRAISE is the reward for doing what is asked, the TREAT is a bonus - your praise should be as valuable as the food reward.

    I always PRAISE FIRST, then give the treat - otherwise you are praising the dog for eating the treat!
    Anne
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    Senior Member Fierro's Avatar
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    I work with Praise/Treats and Playtug from day 1, when we come to a good level, I slowly build of the treats..and at the day from a exam..no treats only praise, did workout fine with my Boy, and with Amy its going great. In protectionwork the sleave is the treat...Preydrive..just a big playtug, no agression against people.
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    Senior Member Allygirl's Avatar
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    I trained my girl using treats also from day 1. I've never had any trouble with having no treats available as I slowly treat less and less, until they are no longer required. It really does work. My girl works especially well with home made beef jerky treats. She even overcame her intense fear of the car, using the exact same method.

  7. #5
    Senior Member RottiMomCT's Avatar
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    Fierro - I also use toys - but one of my girls loses complete focus on me and almost obsesses over the toy - I find that mixing up the rewards keeps my dogs on their toes - they want whatever is coming and will work for that reward, and at this point, the reward is often praise from me, with treats or a play session coming at the end of the training session.

    At this point, since I'm getting ready to compete in obedience, I rarely have treats in the ring unless using them as part of the proofing where the dog must ignore the treats, and my sessions are short - no longer than 10 minutes.
    Anne
    Forever mom to:
    Phoenix's Cabaret Lady RN, CGC (Neelah)
    A Little Xtra Jolt O'Java RA, CGC (Jayda)

    At the Bridge -
    my heart dog, the one who started it all:
    North East's Oxford Scholar CD, RN,CGC, TT (Ben) 4/16/99 - 6/20/11
    and his nemesis -
    Ace Fighter Pilot (Baron) ~9/4/2001 - 11/23/11

  8. #6
    Senior Member huntinghawk's Avatar
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    I agree with the comments previously made. Treats a bunch when teaching. Then a combination of treats or praise.
    Most males become praise oriented while the females prefer that treat.

    Another item is having a mix o treats in the bait bag when training.

    Ross

  9. #7
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    I believe in reward-based training, be it treats or play or praise. The alternatives aren't conducive to a well-rounded happy dog, IMO.

  10. #8
    Senior Member PAGreatDog's Avatar
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    You have received excellent answers. I follow the same protocol. Heavy treating when teaching something new, and like Anne explained, praise and then treat. Then you can gradually decrease how often you treat - BUT ALWAYS PRAISE! I also use the game of fetch.....JJ is the most attentive dog when he knows there is a ball in my pocket! LOL! Dogs want to know 'what's in it for me', just as much as most people do. And dogs live in the moment. We understand waiting a week or two for a paycheck. Dogs don't understand that. The treat is immediate reward for what the dog just did, and that is what imprints on the dogs brain. Don't be afraid of rewarding your dog. Your dog will see you as a wonderful leader who rewards when the dog obeys.
    Sylvia
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  11. #9
    Senior Member Kitty's Avatar
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    Great info guys!........I do the same thing with all of mine, they never know if they will get a treat or a ( that's a good boy/girl. )



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  12. #10
    Senior Member MarthaGier's Avatar
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    We have 3 kongs. One is red, one is black and a small one that is red. The small red one is what we use with a treat to make him chase it and bring it back to us. If the treat breaks up and falls out he loses interest. If he doesn't want to come in from the yard I tap a treat on the side of the house and he comes running. He does do things we ask without a treat but sometimes a treat in a kong helps us out.

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