No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
I think the question shouldn't be CAN you train a puppy without using treats, but rather why wouldn't you use food to train? If you have a food motivated puppy (and most are - food is a primary reinforcer since dogs need to eat to live), use food. If you have a play motivated puppy, use toys. Obviously, if your puppy is motivated by food AND play, use both, which is what I do. But that doesn't mean that I don't also use a lot of praise, my puppy is most engaged when I use everything I have - my face, my voice, my body language, and also lots and lots of reinforcing with food and play. The more engaged she is, the more fun both of us are having and the faster our training goes.
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short