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I Don't Want To Use Treats

Updated: 3 days ago

Image Credit: Mod-Dog Training

A dog trainer tells a client to not use treats when training her dog. The client tells the trainer they are such a great trainer and then walks away with her dog.. The trainer yells after her, "hang on you need to pay me." The client replies, "verbal praise is enough."
Image Credit: LotsDogs.com

Thank you, Mod-Dog Training, for this perspective-giving story! Some dog parents view animals, such as dogs, as their property and expect them to do, as they say, the end. When you set yourself up like this, what happens when your dog doesn’t listen? Do you let it go, or do you turn to force? Both are problematic.

Ideally, you do neither and set your dog up for success! Your dog is a blank slate, especially if you get one as a puppy! Reward what you like, and your dog/puppy will offer you more of that! It’s like putting money in the bank! The more you put in, the stronger that behavior grows!

Getting the Dog Behavior You Want

Try to put yourself in an offensive position when you are training your dog as much as possible instead of on the defensive! When you are in the defensive position yelling, glaring, or pushing the dog off of you- you are offering your dog attention via talking, touching, and eye contact. Whatever behavior they were doing to get your attention is AWESOME in their eyes, and they will do it again - depending, of course, on the dog’s disposition.

To be on the offensive, teach your dog what you DO WANT him to do and how to offer it without you constantly having to ask for it! Otherwise, you will always have to tell him what not to do!

Ask yourself: “What do I want my dog to be able to do when he’s grown up/trained?”

If any of your sentences start with “I don’t want,” “Not to,” or anything similar, see if you can think of it in terms of what you DO WANT him to do!

Don’t wait until you are tired and frustrated to get help training your dog! Be proactive! Set yourself and your dog up for success!

Giving Your Dog What He Needs - Beyond Training

This is a great article by Sarah Streaming on the 4 steps to behavioral health. It is insightful, and even if you don't agree with everything there is still a wealth of knowledge and thought provoking information here!

Training me is not an option. It is not something to be done once I start causing problems, it is how to prevent problems from starting. Teach me how to be the dog  you want me to be!  Set me up for success!
Image Credit: Stephanie Meeks

Remember setting your dog up for success requires thought and caring on your part!

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Image Credit: Stephanie Meeks

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