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I was talking to a new trainer today about basic ob classes for Muggs and she said that her trainers positive reinforcement with praise only to train the dogs and no treats. I may not get out much.....but has anyone done this, and sucessfully? Both my other dogs were trained with treats and it worked very well, and treats are helping Muggs with housebreaking. I'm going to watch a class on Sat. I want to see how the dogs respond.
 

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You'll get far better results with treats. They're more motivating than praise. Eventually, you replace the treats with praise, but after your dog knows the command very well. I don't think it's impossible to train without treats, but there's no reason not to, especially since they are so effective. You just need to be careful not to overfeed them treats, and use very tiny treats for obedience training since you'll be feeding them so many. Chopped up carrots or other harmless foods like that usually work well with bully breeds since most will eat anything.
 

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Treats? How about their every meal????

After obtaining the female pictured in my banner I would never do things any other way. She never ate from a bowl until she was about 6 months old. ALL her meals were fed from my hand. In the beginning she was fed by simply looking at me. This started at the airport when I picked her up at 10 weeks old! After she had that figured out I started working on sits and down. Then I moved to short recalls and flip finishes. She was healing next to me my the time she was about 4 months old. I did all this with no leash in the beginning. It was very fun for her. She learned quickly I was her food source (and also source of all fun). It's amazing the focus you will get from a dog using this method and when you have the attention of your dog the sky is the limit with your training. Sure its a pain in the butt to do it I would have to get up early every day to hand feed her during these little ob lessons etc but I had very good control over her at a very young age. She learned that obedience is fun and when she gets fed! I use treats now, usually hot dogs since I started feeding her from a bowl but in the beginning every bit of kibble she recieved came from my hand and she had to work for it. Of course you eventually wean them off so you aren't relying on so much food to get them to work but as far as foundation lying goes its tough to beat the use of food! Another good thing is if you notice your dog losing focus on you later on and being a little jerk you can revert back to that foundation and make them work for all their meals again.

I know some people have had success in training dogs with no motivation other than praise but its tough to get a dog to enjoy doing obedience when they get nothing out of it and you can spot those types of dogs a mile away. You can tell they aren't having fun at all!
 

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Lisa said:
Treats? How about their every meal????

After obtaining the female pictured in my banner I would never do things any other way. She never ate from a bowl until she was about 6 months old. ALL her meals were fed from my hand. In the beginning she was fed by simply looking at me. This started at the airport when I picked her up at 10 weeks old! After she had that figured out I started working on sits and down. Then I moved to short recalls and flip finishes. She was healing next to me my the time she was about 4 months old. I did all this with no leash in the beginning. It was very fun for her. She learned quickly I was her food source (and also source of all fun). It's amazing the focus you will get from a dog using this method and when you have the attention of your dog the sky is the limit with your training. Sure its a pain in the butt to do it I would have to get up early every day to hand feed her during these little ob lessons etc but I had very good control over her at a very young age. She learned that obedience is fun and when she gets fed! I use treats now, usually hot dogs since I started feeding her from a bowl but in the beginning every bit of kibble she recieved came from my hand and she had to work for it. Of course you eventually wean them off so you aren't relying on so much food to get them to work but as far as foundation lying goes its tough to beat the use of food! Another good thing is if you notice your dog losing focus on you later on and being a little jerk you can revert back to that foundation and make them work for all their meals again.

I know some people have had success in training dogs with no motivation other than praise but its tough to get a dog to enjoy doing obedience when they get nothing out of it and you can spot those types of dogs a mile away. You can tell they aren't having fun at all!




WOW, Very good advice.Makes so much sense.I have a question for you Lisa.Buster has learned to sit and give paw and I have been trying like heck to get him to lay down but it's not working.I use treats and get him to sit then hold the treat in front on him and say down as I am placing the treat close tot he floor but he isn't getting it or I am doing something wrong,what can I do to get him to do this? Also how do I go about working on the Sit/stay? This one is very important to me as I have kids who are always opening and closing the door and this will also come in handy on walks so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Yea, I don't know why you wouldn't want to train with treats. I know when we first started training, Buddha my male could give a rats behind about affection. All he cared about was the treat. You'd try to pet him and he'd walk away. He's gotten much better about accepting praise as reward through time, but initially treats and stern correction were the way to go.
 

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the first book I read about training supported the idea of training with out food. The rationalization was: when a dog smells food, he is unable to concentrate on anything but the food. Yes the can be taught to perform "tricks" for the food, but your training will never reach the same level tis way as it will if you teach the dog they MUST obey you each and every time for no other reason than b/c you area alfa. The long down was recommended as a way to reinforce this.

This was the authors opinion. I thought the entire book made sense, cover to cover, and read it three times before I brought Harley home.

Do I give Harley treats during training? Yeah :oops: Do I have to? No way. She does exactly what I tell her, everytime, the first time. No wonder I love my dog so much :wink:
 

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Maybe I'm just different, but I'd rather have my dog obey me because she genuinely likes to and because she sees me as being a source of fun for her (because I reward her with treats, toys, etc.), not because she feels like she HAS to obey me. Of course I don't want her to think that obeying is optional, but I want to give her tons of motivation to obey me, even if it's just the prospect of maybe hitting the jackpot with a great treat or playtime. I think some people have such huge power trips when it comes to their dogs... They need to be the boss of someone or something, so they use their dogs. I dunno...
 

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Well, I think the rationale appealled to me b/c the hardest part of training (I think) is getting a dog to obey when the'd really, really rather be doing something else (chasing a squirrel across the street, meeting a new dog). Harley is on-leash where I live only b/c it's the law. I have a feeling I may catch a lot of grief over this, but if it we not the law, I'd rather have her off leash. Not all the time. Certainly not at the park. But sometimes. And I want her to know she MUST obey. I don't think of it as a power trip in my case, more like a safety measure. Like I said, I do treat her, because I would rather have her enjoy the (training) experience than dread it. But much of the other advice I take straight to heart.
Where did that book go anyway????
 

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I definitely use treats. In the beginning I 'pay' for every correct behavior and later I 'pay' irregularly. Except for recally I ALWAYS treat a recally - sighthounds have to be convinced that you are better than that rabbit they saw over yonder. To this day I carry treats.

Paula
 

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Kelly said:

WOW, Very good advice.Makes so much sense.I have a question for you Lisa.Buster has learned to sit and give paw and I have been trying like heck to get him to lay down but it's not working.I use treats and get him to sit then hold the treat in front on him and say down as I am placing the treat close tot he floor but he isn't getting it or I am doing something wrong,what can I do to get him to do this? Also how do I go about working on the Sit/stay? This one is very important to me as I have kids who are always opening and closing the door and this will also come in handy on walks so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Try putting him in a sit, holding the treat firmly in your hand on the ground directly in front of him and say "down" while slowly moving the treat away from him as he follows it. if he keeps getting up to get the treat, try it again, only while moving the treat away from him, use your free hand to apply pressure on his shoulders so he gets the idea. when he does finally submit...praise like a lunatic!
 

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WOW, Very good advice.Makes so much sense.I have a question for you Lisa.Buster has learned to sit and give paw and I have been trying like heck to get him to lay down but it's not working.I use treats and get him to sit then hold the treat in front on him and say down as I am placing the treat close tot he floor but he isn't getting it or I am doing something wrong,what can I do to get him to do this? Also how do I go about working on the Sit/stay? This one is very important to me as I have kids who are always opening and closing the door and this will also come in handy on walks so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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I do clicker training (I have ridgebacks at the moment). In clicker the behavioris rewarded before it is named. For instance, with down; any time Yoshi laid down I'd click and treat. After a while he began to offer the behavior for the treat. After this point where he would volunteer the behavior I named it. By asking for it he would go through his repertoire of tricks and when he gave me the one I wanted (now that I'd asked for it) I would click and treat.

Voila; hands off training.

Paula
 

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Clicker training.

Instead of a click..........why not just say OK and then reward.

A click is just a release command. What if you don't have the clicker? Why make it complicated?

Clicker is just a marketing gimmick.

Just say, "ok" and then reward. Isn't that simpler?

You can also do "good" to direct the dog towards a reward. Saying you are getting them.

This is basically the Balabanov method. Same thing different wrapper.
 

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Re: Clicker training.

PeterC said:
Instead of a click..........why not just say OK and then reward.

A click is just a release command. What if you don't have the clicker? Why make it complicated?

Clicker is just a marketing gimmick.

Just say, "ok" and then reward. Isn't that simpler?

You can also do "good" to direct the dog towards a reward. Saying you are getting them.

This is basically the Balabanov method. Same thing different wrapper.
I use "good" when training. I agree, the clicker just makes things complicated but it works for some! At least people are training their dogs!
 
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