Handing out the treats.
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Thread: Handing out the treats.

  1. #1
    bprevost is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultHanding out the treats.

    I've heard that you should never just give your dog a treat but make them do something to earn it. Just a simple sit, stay or come command will do. The theory is that if you just hand your dog a treat without earning it first, you undermine your "position in the pack" or your authority. Any thoughts on this?

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  3. #2
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    I think it is hooey. You control the dog's access to resources all the time. Your dog is not going to assume that a treat for no "trick" means he has gained status.

    Honestly - dominance theory is a dated concept in canine behavior.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  4. #3
    Dio's mama is offline Senior Member
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    I used to make Dio do stuff for his treats, but I also think it's hooey. He gets treats because I deem him worthy of them. If he's a bit hungry, if he did awesome on a walk, I'll give him one, but later. I never take treats with me on a walk, since he better walk nicely because it's expected. Might seem harsh, but his listening has gotten a lot better.
    Gabrielle
    Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
    Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)

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  6. #4
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    The people who have problems with their dogs are usually the ones who treat them like people. They are not people and are not our peers - they need leadership and management. If you don't provide structure and rules most dogs will take advantage of that. It's not about giving treats or who goes out a door first.

    NILIF (nothing in life is free) is a completely different concept and is useful for many things (like dealing with food aggression and developing a leadership relationship with your dog).
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  7. #5
    bprevost is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the good advice. Makes perfect sense!

  8. #6
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    as with all theories, take some and leave some. it isn't a bad thing to ask your dog to do something to get something (NILF) but you don't have to be anal about it and be open about what "doing something" is (remember that just coming to you is something!). and the reward isn't always ment to be food, it can be praise, release to do something fun, sending them back to play, access to couch...etc...

    you also have to be careful as this can lead to a dog wanting to only work for food. once a dog knows a command they need to be able to do it for you and be happy with just praise.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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