Training with treats does have its preconceived notions. Thank you, Mod-Dog Training, for this perspective-giving story on using treats in training!
Some dog parents view animals, such as dogs, as their property and therefore expect them to do, as they say, the end – we shouldn’t have to pay them with treats. When you set yourself up like this, what happens when your dog doesn’t do as you say the second you ask? Do you let it go, or do you turn to force? Both are problematic.
Ideally, you do neither and set your dog up for success! Your dog is a blank slate, especially if you get one as a puppy! Reward what you like with treats, and your dog/puppy will offer you more of that! It’s like putting money in the bank! The more you put in, the stronger that behavior grows!
Try to put yourself in an offensive position when you are training your dog as much as possible instead of on the defensive! When you are in the defensive position yelling, glaring, or pushing the dog off of you- you are offering your dog attention via talking, touching, and eye contact. Whatever behavior they were doing to get your attention is AWESOME in their eyes, and they will do it again – depending, of course, on the dog’s disposition. To be on the offensive, teach your dog what you DO WANT him to do and how to offer it without you constantly having to ask for it! Otherwise, you will always have to tell him what not to do!
Ask yourself: “What do I want my dog to be able to do when he’s grown up/trained?”
If any of your sentences start with “I don’t want,” “Not to,” or anything similar, see if you can think of it in terms of what you DO WANT him to do!
Don’t wait until you are tired and frustrated to get help training your dog! Be proactive! Set yourself and your dog up for success!
So you’ve identified what you DO WANT your dog to do and all of a sudden you catch your dog doing it (even if just for a split second… we’ve got start somewhere!) say a very quick and short “YES!” and throw a treat or deliver a treat to the mouth! You just put some $$$$$$ in the bank for that behavior. Now, the dog will likely have to figure out what it is that they did, but the more you find your moment of yes the more your dog will begin to offer you behaviors you want!
Don’t hold treats in your hand or in front of your dog to bribe them to do what you want. That’s you doing the work, make your dog do the thinking!
Check out how to leash train in this blog using treats the right way!
This is a great article by Sarah Streaming on the 4 steps to behavioral health. It is insightful, and even if you don’t agree with everything there is still a wealth of knowledge and thought provoking information here!
Remember setting your dog up for success requires thought and caring on your part!
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