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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to train Max with some of his food kibble. Lately, he'll still work for the treats, but spits them out. So he'll take a kibble- drop it and wait for next trick/treat- its odd. If I put the treats in his food bowl- no problem. I guess he wants something better- lol.
So far at 4 months he knows sit, lay down, paw, speak, quiet, cage, off and come- I'm having a hard time with stay and walking nice on a leash...but we'll get there.
He loves fetch, will bring back a toy, won't give it...if I try the trade for another toy- he tries for both in his mouth- lol. It's fun when he actually gets something.
Oh, I'm also teaching him nice- so my kids or I can actually pet his head without being bit- that's almost there!!
When the weather is nicer I need to work on car rides- it's hard to clean up all the puke when it's cold or rainy out.
 

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My Yorkie does the same thing...she only works for cheese! Lol. He sounds pretty toy motivated, so if it's possible you could try using toys for a reward instead :). If toys would get him too riled up in a calmer obedience training sessions, however, you probably should just try to find a treat he likes more than food, such as dog treat from the petstore, a bit of cheese, or bits of hamburger, hotdog, or chicken.
 

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I'm no longer a fan of training with food. Grim was the first dog I tried that with. Problem was, even a command he knew 100% he'd blow off if I didn't have food. If you're asking for those same behaviors but you have nothing to give him, will he do them right away?
 

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When I was using food rewards in class, but had to have so many treats on hand that my puppy's bowels would suffer, I used to mix hotdog bits with his kibble the night before, so that the kibble would take on the scent.
 

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I train with what the dog will work for. My older male would train with his toys. My new puppy likes treats. The trick is to use the treat to teach the behavior, but once learned don't give them a treat every time. Sometimes he only gets a pet and good boy. So, yes...he will do what I ask without a treat every time.

Sit was the first thing he learned. He will rarely get a treat just for sitting now, but he still does it when the command is given.
 

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The food should be something that is high value to the dog. If Minka is really hungry her kibble will motivate her, however, if I want to train a new behavior I usually start with raw or high quality canned dog food, both of which she loves and really motivates her.

But as with food reward or toy reward, after the behavior is learned/consistent then handlers need to move to a random reinforcement schedule and done in a fashion that the dog is never sure which cue will bring out the reward - meaning the food or toy is not visible until it is pulled out to be used as a reward. One problem with humans is we have a hard time being random.
 

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I was hesitant about the whole food bit, but when I went to puppy class, then obedience, its all about reward, reward, reward. I cannot afford to have dog dependent on rewards to obey commands.

When I take him for a walk, he sits there until I get out the treats, comes running up get the treats and then plants his ass until the next one.

- Quinley's master.
 

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I'm no longer a fan of training with food. Grim was the first dog I tried that with. Problem was, even a command he knew 100% he'd blow off if I didn't have food. If you're asking for those same behaviors but you have nothing to give him, will he do them right away?
You have to wean them off the food as soon as they start to understand what you want them to do and replace it gradually, but in a few days, with play or praise. The problem with many, and some trainers too, is that people use treats too long for the same behavior because it feels safe to have them ready. Then your dogs and you have become dependend on it.
I have three dogs and for regular walks or any situation they are able to handle, no treats for behavior they master. I only use it to teach and change behavior, then you wean them off. This book explains it: "Don't Shoot the Dog" from Karen Pryor. It's about clicker training.
 

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Wolfie has it absolutely right...

...treats until they understand and quickly transition to the most incredible, wonderful, full-throated, high-pitched, roughing-him-up, glorious, ecstatic, satisfying, stroke him anywhere, hit all the spots PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE.

Dogs really WORK for your respect, involvement and praise. They pander for treats...and only as long as they're hungry. They'll work for praise for hours.

LF
 

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I was hesitant about the whole food bit, but when I went to puppy class, then obedience, its all about reward, reward, reward. I cannot afford to have dog dependent on rewards to obey commands.
Well, trained correctly he won't
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Honestly- the tricks Max knows, he doesn't get treats. Only for new tricks. Mostly because I forget to have treats with me when I train him some times- so we just do the "good" command.
Unfortunately training didnt go well today- he's super hyper today. I tried extra to tire him out- but he's in rare form crazy today... I'm forcing him to chill out next to me now- on leash and with his bully stick, but he has to lay down- which is comical with all his complaining.
 

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For older pups/young dogs, treats are great for training a new exercise....but aren't great for keeping the enthusiasm/drive built up. Thats when transitioning to a high value toy comes into play. When teaching, food is good, because the dog gets instant gratification and you move on quickly with the next step.
Toys are great when you are rewarding for more effort. It also can be a stress reliever when you are asking for more.
For a dog that is "super hyper", I'd use a tug/ball on string and get some energy into that toy and use it to my advantage. Of course verbal praise is necessary with any reward/communication is so important(tone of voice too!)
I mix up the rewards during a training session so my dog doesn't get bored when we have longer sessions.

Using target plates with food will help as well, and changing the food reward even during a session will add some enthusiasm. We went with canned squirt cheese when working on a peanut and fit paws disc and that was magic!!
 

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I'm no longer a fan of training with food. Grim was the first dog I tried that with. Problem was, even a command he knew 100% he'd blow off if I didn't have food. If you're asking for those same behaviors but you have nothing to give him, will he do them right away?
The problem isn't the food, it's how the food was used. When he knows a command 100% and "blows you off" if you don't have food, how do you respond??

I find I constantly have to get on students when I see them give a command, and the dog doesn't move until the handler is reaching for a treat. REALLY bad training!! (Well it's really bad training on the part of the handler, the DOG however is doing a great job of training the handler!)
 
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