Training with treats or without?
I'll be getting a new puppy in a few weeks and am starting to think about how I'll train the dog.
With my first lab, I used treats, which worked pretty well. Early on there'd be a treat and praise for almost every good job, then later a mix of treats or praise, then moving to almost all praise. It worked pretty well, but I'm always reluctant to draw conclusions from a single "experiment". Also, I've read that "real" trainers don't rely on treats.
Has anyone had success training a lab without using treats? The idea of not having to always have a few treats in every pair of pants sounds nice, but I'm not sure it's realistic. Labs are well know for being food-centric.
Also, anyone have a good idea of guidelines for when a puppy is ready to start learning commands. I don't want to be forcing the issue if the dog's just not ready physically or mentally.