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I would like to know how many of you have dogs that will comply with commands because they truly want to please you or because they know they will be rewarded afterwards?

Bear will only comply because he knows he will get a treat, I really need to transition away from treats but at this point in time (teenage butthead stage) if I don't have a treat he thinks he can blow me off...we're working on that!

Does the wanting to please you thing happen with maturity? Please tell me it does, I'm really hoping so. :)
 

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I think with mine it happened with age. At first she was very treat driven or ball driven. The only way I could get her to listen as a pup was to have food or a toy in hand. I never have really thought about it before but somehow we just transitioned to not needing them. I still put a few treats in my pocket some days and through out the day just randomly I will give her a treat when she sits or down...etc but I dont really need them anymore because some days I dont have treats and she still listens but it wasnt that way when we started out. Now I am sure she does it more just to make me happy than for food because when she gets told no or sees that she has upset me, the ears go back and she cries. Shes so sensitive. lol
 

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I have the same problem with Sib--It is all about food..She is over 3 now--don't think anything is gonna change with us...
 

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Diesel was never really into treats, and she would do anything because she knew it would please me. She didnt care for an actual reward other than a "Good Girl" or pat on the head, and you can tell she was eager to please. She was like that since I had brought her home at 8 weeks old. Penny on the other hand... well she is like your pup, so long as I have a treat in my hand she will do anything, no treat, she thinks she can blow me off and get away with it... which I am finding difficult to deal with as I am so used what Diesel was like. If anyone could comment on how to help us that would be great lol
 

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Dog are opportunist. Jax complies because there is a reward. I've worked on building that reward from toys (high value) to increase the value on food (medium value) and then to increase the reward of playing with me (that had almost no value).

Sierra will do anything for attention.

But, IMO, neither are going things to "please" me. They are doing something because they are getting a reward. I don't believe that dogs are altruistic in the sense that they just want to please and are happy with that. Any attention given to them is a reward that they are seeking.
 

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Hmmm...when mine please me, they get my positive attention and some affection. That's rewarding for them.

So, the real question is which reward motivates them more...my attention or food?

They all respond to either, but Jack (GSD) is more motivated by having my attention, and Lillian (weimaraner) is more motivated by food.

In fact, Jack will even refuse some treats...Lillian never lets those go to waste, lol! The neighbor keeps trying to give him milk bones. He will accept it and then just let it drop. I'm pleased because it's less junk in and I'm so tired of asking her not to treat my dogs. I think maybe he knows, and so he saves me the trouble ;)
 

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Ranger was being trained for the Seeing Eye until he was about 8 months old. Their training prohibits treats. All i could do was tell him "good boy" etc.. I was having a really tough time. The minute he was dropped from the program I started using food treats and all of a sudden he was much more compliant. He definitely does things for food not to please me. I don't think he is at all concerned with pleasing me. I kind of think it is because he has been in our house since he was 7 weeks old and has never known anything else. He doesn't really "appreciate" us, if that makes any sense. We got Buzz at 5 years old. He had it really rough before he came to our house and he really appreciates us. He loves treats and will do anything for one, but he also just wants to please us. I am not sure Ranger will ever want to please us as much as our Buzz.
 

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All dogs do things because they are reinforced (most people say rewarded). What is reinforcing to the dog varies and many people don't realize what little things (sometimes even just a look) are reinforcing to a dog. If your dog does a behavior, something is reinforcing it whether its the environment, your attention, toys or food.
 

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2 out of 3 of mine comply to please me..the oldest one doesn't comply to please anyone, she is all about the treats:(
 

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We are erratic when it comes to using treats. As a result (it is possible that) our dog responds on the off-chance that a treat is coming. This is a variation on the practice of phasing treats out gradually. If your dog 'requires' treats, try giving them only 90% of the time... then 80%... When response is 100% then reduce to the next level.
 

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But, IMO, neither are going things to "please" me. They are doing something because they are getting a reward. I don't believe that dogs are altruistic in the sense that they just want to please and are happy with that. Any attention given to them is a reward that they are seeking.
I agree with this. The value of the reward is just different with some dogs.
 

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I agree with Jax08 - dogs are absolutely opportunistic. I know that Beckett complies with me in exchange for something that he finds valuable, whether it's food, play, affection, praise, freedom, etc. And it always differs depending on the situation.

The most helpful distinction for me when training Beckett is to aim for him working FOR the reward, and not BECAUSE of it. So that means a longer-term strategy vs. the immediate gratification of say, always using a food treat to lure him into an action and being done with it. I work on a lot of bond-building (i.e. making sure that my rate of reinforcement is high enough in the early stages so that he knows I am fair and trusts that he'll get rewarded), tweaking the value of different rewards I can offer, and trying to be unpredictable (but in a very predictable manner, if that makes sense) to keep him surprised and engaged.

It's all a work in progress but I've found that his attitude has improved greatly since I started making those changes.
 

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when we start something new, it's all for the treat. once that is learned, it's just for the reward in general.

i am working on recall and heel at the moment. the recall is easy with a treat. the heel is being done in stages. we are working on the proper sit position when coming to a stop. all of this is with treats.

on the other hand, when playing we are still working. fetch is the best game in the world to Annie. she will sit, down, look at me, whatever i want if i will just throw that ball again. so it's for the reward, which isn't a treat but lots of praise and a long throw. she loves to run.

sometimes when playing fetch, i still have to use a treat to reinforce "release". but this past week, i have been using the 2 ball method i learned about at this site. i works perfectly for that problem with release.
 

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when he pleases me, he gets rewarded.
when he gets rewarded, he is pleased.
when he is pleased, i am pleased.

hmmmmmmmmmmm
 

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Depends on what I'm asking, on easy things Delgado's more then pleased to comply simply for affection. Harder things he knows he can scam a few treats beforehand ;) I don't mind too much
 

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I think dogs are a lot like people. Offer them food and they'll do anything for ya ;).
That's what we do to get people to sign up for overtime at work. Free pizza and donuts for all, lol.
 

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Food

Fiona does not care about pleasing me. :( She does what she is told with the expectation on getting something in return. :apple:
 

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All dogs do things because they are reinforced (most people say rewarded). What is reinforcing to the dog varies and many people don't realize what little things (sometimes even just a look) are reinforcing to a dog. If your dog does a behavior, something is reinforcing it whether its the environment, your attention, toys or food.
Dog are opportunist. Jax complies because there is a reward. I've worked on building that reward from toys (high value) to increase the value on food (medium value) and then to increase the reward of playing with me (that had almost no value).

Sierra will do anything for attention.

But, IMO, neither are going things to "please" me. They are doing something because they are getting a reward. I don't believe that dogs are altruistic in the sense that they just want to please and are happy with that. Any attention given to them is a reward that they are seeking.
This sums it up.
 

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I don't have any experience, but what you might try slowly fading out the treats, like make them do 2 commands before they get a treat, then after they are comfortable with that, try 3 and so on, until they are comfortable with only sometimes getting treats, has anyone tried this method on a food motivated dog before and had it work?

Edit: I just noticed someone else already said this! sorry about that, but still let us know how it goes!
 

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They either comply to get some sort of a reward or to avoid some sort of punishment. No attention can be punishment and a look from you can be a reward. I don't believe in "will to please". Dogs do whatever works for them.
 
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