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Training With Treats


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#1 Heartfield

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:18 PM

We have been to our first puppy class and I have been training with treats for 3 weeks now. The problem I have is that Caroline knows when I don't have a treat and totally ignores me until I rustle a bag and produce one!

I have never trained a dog with treats before, always with praise and although it produces instant results, how does one make the transition from treats to praise or will I have to have pockets of sausages everywhere I go for the next umpteen years?

#2 Zoe A Daly

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

Hiya. I have always trained with treats and always will. I also use a dog whistle which for me is very effective. With every recall from the whistle or my voice they get a dog biscuit or sometimes cheese or cocktail sausages (a favourite) and although they don't need treats for the basic sit, down, stay I do need the treats for recall!!!!!!

Frieda is a lot easier on recall she comes running instantly but sometimes Vinnie is very arrogant and just looks up from across the field and you can read his mind "I'll come when I'm good and ready" and turns the other way! Sometimes a real bloody ignorant teenager - but I love him :wub:

#3 sharon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:56 PM

I train with a clicker and treats. I start by clicking and treating every time and gradually reduce the number of times they get treated.

#4 Guest_Barbara Sutton_*

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

I use treats as well, I don't always give them one but they don't know that. They do the command and then I either treat or praise. The treat is always in my pocket so they're not sure if they'll get it or not. Hope that makes sense :)

#5 Beckyy

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:02 PM

I think you need to start variable reinforcement - using other rewards like vocal praise, a toy etc. The main idea being that you use the high value food rewards to teach the command, then you gradually switch to variable reinforcement to maintain it.

It's easier said than done in a busy environment, but start at home and use praise/make a fuss when she does what you ask once you know she can.

I won't go out without treats though!

#6 Hazel

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

I use treats very heavily in initial training. After Caroline has learnt the basics you need to start using a variable schedule of reinforcement so she can't predict when she is getting her treat, and also only reinforce when you get exactly what you want. With a variable schedule you might give a treat, then skip a couple of goes, then treat again, then skip five, treat again, skip one, etc. I'd also change so that you don't use a rustly bag :) - use your pockets, or a treat bag. I use a clicker as well.

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#7 smj

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:28 PM

I use click and treat with both my 2 . With Harley I use it for recall and distraction, because the basics he does without .
With Star I use it for all commands while she's young , then gradually I will drop off treats with basics as I did with Harley when she's 100%
Think it's important though to carry treats for recall all the time :)

Sandra Harley & Star xxx

#8 buddy

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

You will be able to phase out the treats eventually once she has learnt the command consistently
I still use treats but dont treat every command so he never knows which time he will get one but he always gets praise. .

#9 Heartfield

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:06 PM

Thank you all. I am now re-assured that all my coat pockets will not be smelling of dog bait for the next 12 years. :)

#10 Hazel

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

I always carry food when I am out with Marble, and I always - that is 100% of the time - use it for successful recalls when we are away from home territory. Recall is the one thing we practise every day.

The pockets of all my coats contain poo bags as well :rolleyes: .

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#11 Heartfield

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

Well, just to update on the puppy classes. Week five tonight and the improvement is amazing. Still rely on treats heavily in the classes, way too many distractions but at home I am phasing them out now and Caroline is being very good.

She had a playmate this morning, the biggest black Lab I have ever seen, belonging to the vet. We let them out on the drive, which is all fenced and gated and they had free play. It was great for Caroline as for the first time she was free, with a dog bigger than herself. She was brilliant and really enjoyed herself. The difference with her and the puppies tonight was great, she was much calmer and less pushy and they were friendly and more confident with her. I will be seeing a lot of the vet for a while :( but it is great for Caroline to have a pal :)

#12 barry

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:05 PM

Great news and I am glad it is going well, just don't phase them out completely though, remove the lure but still treat at random intervals. Occasionally give a jackpot of a load of treats.

Would you work for free forever?

Think of it like banking behaviour. Something like fetching a ball might be free, a down stay on the bed while loads of things are happening is like emptying the savings account.

#13 john h

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:43 PM

Dogs love treats and so do the rest of us

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#14 marksdorcel

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:19 PM

On the begining phase it is very necessary to follow the training with treats. When you love them too much and make some fun with them then they always treat of you. So it is the first basic concet which every one have to follow.