In positive practice training, dogs are taught to produce various behaviors using treats, such as Wilder Harrier's cricket powder treats. Treats are used not only to teach new behaviors to dogs, but also to praise good manners or correct problems effectively rather than with tools that may increase challenges, such as anti-barking collars.
While the majority of people agree that encouraging and rewarding dogs for good behavior is a good idea, many are afraid to be stuck with a dog that listens only if they have treats in their hands. This is understandable! Who would want a dog that obeys only with cookies!
Personally, my dogs listen to me at all times, whether or not I have cookies on me. I will show you exactly how to get this type of obedience from your dog!
Following is a series of two articles with easy and fun exercises to show your dog how to listen to you without any treats! We have already seen a first one in the previous article. Without further ado, here is the second one!
Before getting to the point of how to teach your dog to obey without any reward, let me remind you that rewarding generously is not harmful to obedience and good manners. On the contrary, for every little kibble you give him in training, you show him that listening to you is worth it! Each bite of food teaches your dog what you expect of him. The more information your dog has, the more he can do what you want him to do! Do not be stingy with your dog.
Surprise Surprise! - Dog Training Exercise # 2
Train your dog without rewards - Step A
- Put a treat in your pocket.
- Allow time for your dog to forget that you have food on you.
- When he loses interest in you and forgets about the kibble in your pocket, ask him for a simple order.
- When he does, congratulate him and give him the treat!
Train your dog without rewards - Step B
Repeat in several different rooms, even outdoors and with different commands!
Train your dog without rewards - Step C
If your dog likes toys, hide a toy in your pockets, or wherever, and repeat the same steps.
Congratulations! Your dog can now obey without thinking that he will receive any reward! Now, even if you have nothing on you, he will think he still has a small chance to get something!
One last tip to teach your dog that even without a treat, he has to listen: use your dog’s meals to train him, and hide surprises in them.
My dogs receive most of their food while we walk or do activities. So, they eat and learn at the same time.
In addition, I always hide some Wilder Harrier cookies in their meal. So, for each treat, they don’t know if they’ll receive their regular food, or a delicious surprise! Their joy of receiving a treat is always at its highest!
Article written by Eve Laforest, dog training specialist at De Main De Maître - Education and Canine Behavior