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HOW TO REWARD OUR DOGS INTELLIGENTLY

Making your dog obey without any treats - a dream or a possibility?

 

In positive practice training, we use treats to solve all sorts of problems - problems of obedience, good manners, aggressiveness or anxiety. These rewards, cleverly used, will allow us to avoid the use of tools such as anti-barking collars, which, instead of helping our beloved companions, can worsen the problems. Nobody wants that! Which does not mean that we are forced to lock ourselves into a cycle in which we must always shake a biscuit in front of our dog for them to obey us!

 

On the contrary! There are a multitude of exercises that will help you avoid the need to always have treats on you when you train your dog. I will share a first tip today, and a second one in a subsequent article.

 

Ghost Pouch - Dog Training Exercise # 1

 

The goal of this game is to teach Fido that even if he does not see the rewards, it can still pay off for him!

 

Train your dog without rewards - Step A

  1. In a distraction-free room, carry your treat pouch and ask your dog for an easy trick.
  2. Praise him when he does and reward him.
  1. Remove your pouch and put it out of reach, but also out of sight.
  2. Ask for the same trick.
  3. When your dog obeys, congratulate him by heading to the pouch for a treat and reward him.
  4. Put the pouch in a drawer, close it and come back to your dog to ask for the same trick.
  5. When he does, congratulate him, go to the drawer, give him a treat and put the pocket back in the drawer (without keeping treats in your hands ;)).
  6. Change room, keeping your dog close to you.
  7. Ask him for the same trick.
  8. When he does, congratulate him, go into the room with the drawer, open it, and give him a treat. Continue playing this game by varying the drawer or cabinet in which you are storing the pouch and the rooms where you go to request the tricks.
  9. When he does, congratulate him, go into the room with the drawer, open it, and give him a treat. Continue playing this game by varying the drawer or cabinet in which you are storing the pouch and the rooms where you go to request the tricks.

 

Train your dog without rewards - Step B

  1. Put your pouch in a drawer, go to a room, ask your dog for a very easy command.
  2. When he does, congratulate him and ask him for another super easy command (the kind of command your dog could make both claws in the truffle!).
  3. When he does, congratulate him and run to the drawer to reward him!

 

Train your dog without rewards - Step C

  1. Put your pouch in a drawer, go to a different room, ask for an easy command from your dog, congratulate him and go to the drawer to reward him when he does.
  2. Put the pouch back in the drawer, go outside (or close to the open door if it's too difficult for your dog), ask for the super easy command and run inside to get the pouch when your dog obeys.

 

Train your dog without rewards - Step D

Keep increasing the number of orders before running for the pouch OR the distance between you and the hidden pouch (never both at the same time!). Vary the places where you hide your treats or what you ask your dog (while keeping easy commands that your dog knows by heart!)

 

Congratulations! Your dog can now obey without the need for you to hold a reward in front of him. Now, even if you have nothing on you and even if you ask him several things, he will continue to listen, because he knows that the reward will follow soon after!

 

Stay tuned for the second exercise!

 

Article written by Eve Laforest, dog training specialist at De Main De Maître - Education and Canine Behavior, www.demaindemaitre.com




Wilder Harrier Team
Wilder Harrier Team

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