Spoiled or Well Trained? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Spoiled or Well Trained?

I practice NILF. I'd say I'm pretty good at it. It reminds me to reward good behavior. But lately I've had several people (including hubby) claim that my dogs are spoiled.

I'm curious if there is a fine line between the two.

I'll provide an example. Every morning when I go to work, the last 10 minutes or so I'm rushing around to get out of the house. I don't have time to mess with dogs who refuse to kennel. Therefore, every single time I ask my dogs to kennel I give them a treat. In the morning when I'm turning off lights etc., the dogs rush to their kennels. It's magic.

I feel I'm rewarding good behavior. Others state I'm spoiling my dogs.

It works for me, so I wouldn't change what I practice. But I am curious if my dogs appear to be spoiled, or well trained.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:47 AM
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Based on that example alone, I don't see an issue with what you're doing. They're going to be sitting in a crate all day while you're at work, why not give them a treat to reward them for running to the crate when they know they'll be in there all day?

In my old house, we had 3 dogs at the time and the neighbors had 5. The dogs all got to fence fighting and running back and forth, blowing off our calls to them. I started giving mine a small treat each time they would come in the house from outside, and before long mine were flying to me and the neighbors dogs still blew him off.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:51 AM
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I don't know... I think it depends on interpretations of the word 'spoiled'. I personally don't think they are, as I interpret 'spoiled' as being rewarded while having done little remarkable to deserve it.

I've been told my dogs are spoiled because I buy them Fromm dog food and take them places with me. These comments come from people who buy their dogs little outfits and let them sleep on the couch and feed them scraps of food from the table because 'they didn't seem to want their dog food.'

And so I interpret these dogs as spoiled.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:51 AM
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I think it's entirely possible to be both.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:53 AM
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Looks like they have YOU well trained.

Nothing wrong with what you are doing, we toss a treat into puppies crates to teach them that going in is a wonderful thing!

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 09:55 AM
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There are certain things that my dogs always get treated for... going to their crates or recalling are two of those. These are behaviors that I want to have positive associations with always so I don't care that every time I touch the treat jar, they run to their crates. I want that. I don't think it's spoiled at all.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 10:01 AM
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My dogs run to the garage pen when we leave too. I ALWAYS give them a biscuit - we have a container on top of a cabinet right next to the door. The go in, sit, and wait for their treat. No muss, no fuss. I don't think that's spoiled at all, it's behavior that I think is worth rewarding, so I do. Never had any issues with separation anxiety or having to chase a dog around the house to corral them so we can leave.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 10:23 AM
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Dh practice NILF, I don't. The funny thing is Koda knows he can get away with stuff with me. But I don't care, I DO spoil him.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
Therefore, every single time I ask my dogs to kennel I give them a treat. In the morning when I'm turning off lights etc., the dogs rush to their kennels. It's magic.

No, I don't think you're spoiling your dogs. This is classic conditioning, might be operant...I get them confused. Magic would be if the dogs went to work, and you got to stay home.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 10:41 AM
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According to my in laws, Wolfie is very spoiled. The reason? He has toys!! Oh the horrors! Christmas Day, my mother in law said " Dogs are dogs, they aren't supposed to have toys! You are spoiling him! He thinks he's human!" Do I think that your dogs are spoiled for getting a treat for going in their crates? Absolutely not, but you shouldn't take my word for it. I am the supreme dog spoiler.

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Waiting for us at the bridge is Chases Chieftain aka Chiefy Left this earth and left a hole in our hearts July 2000
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