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Training--Treats or No Treats?

1115 Views 12 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  phoenixphyre
I acturally picked up on this on another post. Do you give treats for training? How often? What kind? When do you quit or do you not quit?
I use string cheese, hot dogs, some biscuits and sometimes lunch meat. Carrots are good too--if you are needing a fair amount (it does not fill them up)
I was really curious about this and was wondering what other dog people do.
With Spring coming ( I know-hope it is) training goes in full force.

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I use treats if I need to reinforce a command or Java is learning a new command. I will use bits of roast beef, bits of chicken, cooked carrot disks are good. Am trying to watch which treats I buy so I'm just giving her corn meal doctored w/ chemical flavoring and dyes. Shje LOVES freeze-dried lamb lung but that gets a bit pricey, keep that on hand for a special treat after hubby gives Java her mani/pedi (or is it just a pedi?).
I use nutro lg breed puppy treats when I'm teaching him a new command and a tennis ball after that.
I mostly use hot dog cut up very small and then microwaved till it is crispy. Depending on where they are in their training decides how often they are treated. Both of my girls are VERY food motivated.

If we have leftover chicken or steak, I will use that too. For shows, I use either beef liver or chicken...... extra special stuff on show days!! In AKC obedience/agility/rally, you can't take treats in the ring with you so I warm them up with treats and give them one before we go in the ring........ but I make DARN sure that there are NONE left in my pocket before we go in the ring.

In conformation, (on the few occasions that I go into the ring) I make sure that I have more than is awful to run out of bait before the end of the class.
I use the good old British banger(sausages)we cook them then split them lenghtways in to 4 (works for me) but i also have a recipe for liver cake which i have found very effective for ringcraft with Mischa SDD(Satans Devil Dog)
I use cooked chicken, liver, ham, and sometimes Wellness WellBites or homemade dog cookies. If we go to training I do not feed her dinner, she is not super food motivated so I find this helps.
I use small bits of hotdogs cut up and microwaved to a crisp also. I also us NB food rolls for a very picky treat eater. It is the only treat that he loves and works his heart out for.

I start them on treats for new commands and gradually wean off of the treats. They get alittle spoiled here and there when I feel giving and give them one for doing an excellent job on something that they know and have been trying really hard to perfect. Keeps them working and surprised with the results.
I use chopped up sausage or chicken, but try not to use food all the time. Diesel gets a bit too excited if we use food too often and he actually works better if he knows that his tennis ball is in a pocket!!
I use just about anything from his actual food, to HM biscuits, hotdogs, bologna, makes no difference to him. He is way worse than any human male as far as getting to his heart through his tummy!

As far as stopping the treats, we are not there yet. He is 10 months now, and I do NOT treat for every command, but he isn't sure when will be the treat time so he tries to listen to every order. I do still take a biscuit when it's potty time (#2 only) and when he goes I give the treat. I don't treat for pee times any more.
We still use traing treats depending on what we are doing. If its a new training thing, treats are a must, but if its something we already know, that its is minimal or not at all. When ever we are out in public places, I still have the treat bag with me just in case we run into a situation where a distraction is more interesting than me and I need to get the focus back. Its better to have it ready incase you need it.

I always follow this theory with treats. I'm a vending machine when working on new training things. It helps with keeping attention and rewarding the behavior I want. Then later on, I'm a slot machine. They don't get it every time, but they continue to do the correct behavior just hoping to get a reward. It might be get a reward for every third time they do it. Then it goes to every 5th time and so on. They still know they will get a treat if they do the right behavior so they keep doing it with the anticipation of the reward.
For me it depends on the dog.... Mocha actually doesn't concentrate and looses her mind when the treats are out, where as for Zoe they do help and are a motivator. So for me it all depends on how the dog learns best, praise can be anything, verbal, a pat, a treat. Mocha does best with a calm pat and voice.
I don't see anything wrong with using them, as long as they are not a bribe. mine are food motivated and I use treats alot when teaching new things.

We have four treat containers in this house, mostly b/c I liked the way the treat containers look. We keep all four fully stocked.

I use string cheese, hot dog -cooked until hard, homemade treats, Natural Balance food rolls, and small edible healthy treats for training and bait.
Mine gets lots of leftover meats from the grill and when we cook or go out to eat, but I have not used them for training.

I am not HUGE on treats, my dog's don't need them, they like to obey and are quick learners, but I find I like giving treats for a job well done, plus I like making and buying treats anyway. They don't do it for the treat, they like praise a lot too.

I think it is way more interesting for dogs, like Kratty said, to be a slot machine. You never know what you might get, sometimes you may get nothing for awhile and then sometimes you might get something really great. I like jack pot rewards too, they are an unexpected suprise.

Same theory in humans, it is interesting for us to keep guessing, that is why so many people like gambling. Personally, I don't enjoy gambling, but I know many people that really do.
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We give him the Mother Hubbard Puppy biscuits. He's pretty much picked up on what he's supposed to do and he'll perform now with or without his treats.
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