doesnt listen unless I have treats - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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doesnt listen unless I have treats

I have a 4 1/2 month old german shepherd. When I have treats he is the best dog. He will do anything under the sun, but when I dont have treats he could care less what i say. We go to obedience class that uses treats and positive reinforcement. is this normal at this age or is there something I am doing wrong?
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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 03:19 PM
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That is the chance you take using treats to train a dog. I don't know what to tell you to get her to respond. I don't use treats for basic commands.

The only time I ever use treats is for recall and heel training. For recall, they can't tell if you have a treat or not so they come anyway. For heel training it's just easier because both of you are in motion and they will follow you.

I wish I had some good advice for you.

Bear, Anna, Molly, Ossie, and The Countess Lisl von Schlaf

An Unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!
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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 03:39 PM
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Once your pup knows the command you need to treat at random intervals -not after every single command. So ask for a sit then a down then treat then ask for a stand then treat ask for a sit down stand down treat ect ect keep them guessing and make it fun!

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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 03:40 PM
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That is the chance you take using treats to train a dog.
???

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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 03:42 PM
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Very simplified version:

You need to wean off of the treats. (But still give food rewards intermittently).

I generally start this by luring with food in hand, then next time lure with no food in hand (food in pocket)... "fake it." Immediately reward when dog performs the thing you have asked. Keep rewarding!
If the dog does not perform.... do not just reach and get out that treat.... break off, change positions and then try again.

Once the dog regularly does what is asked with no food in hand, then get the food out of your pocket and directly beside you. Repeat. Then move farther away from food.... but as soon as dog earns reward.... you and the dog run to the reward and dog gets it.
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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 04:27 PM
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Yep, wean off the treats.

Start by hiding them, then by keeping them within easy reach but not on your person (for example, in a jar on a shelf where you can run over and grab one to reward your dog for a performance well done). Markers, like clicks or verbal markers, indicate to your dog when a treat is coming, which buys you a little time to run over and grab the treat without confusing your dog about what exactly is earning the reward.

At the same time, build up alternate rewards: tug, ball tosses, a cued "jump for joy," tag with your hands, or whatever else your puppy enjoys. Some dogs take to this right away (and even prefer toys or play over food treats), while others need some practice and encouragement to think of play as fun. It's okay if your puppy doesn't go nuts for tug or tag right away -- just play and practice in short, lighthearted little sessions to build up your puppy's enjoyment. Then, when your dog is clearly enjoying them, use those as occasional reinforcers instead of treats.

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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 04:31 PM
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its worse when your dog doesnt like treats. lol, mine wont do anything outside even for steak, so I have to use general stuff like sniffing around, getting 3 more feet of leash, etc as reward. Try that. If you are in the yard, dont let him play til he does a trick, then release with a phrase (we say "go play") and then after a minute or two reel him back in, make him do something, re-release. That way everything is a reward


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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.P View Post
???
Having the dog ignore you if you don't have a treat. I didn't realize it was that cryptic.

Bear, Anna, Molly, Ossie, and The Countess Lisl von Schlaf

An Unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!
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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 05:31 PM
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I never use treats, at all. I tried using treats very early on, and I didn't like how nippy it made Abby (my GSD), so I stopped. She does her obedience for praise and affection (which I never run out of).

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul." John Muir
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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 05:39 PM
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I agree. Why make it tougher than it has to be.

Training with treats is great. Then you get to train them again without treats which isn't so great.

Just cut out the middleman from the beginning and use praise. I give Lisl a treat just because. I still tell her to sit because NILIF, but she doesn't mind, and she didn't learn to sit by me dangling a treat over her head while pushing her butt down.

Bear, Anna, Molly, Ossie, and The Countess Lisl von Schlaf

An Unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!
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