Training Tips of the Week
Tuesday, June 06 2017
*** TRAINING TIP OF THE WEEK***
MY DOG DOESN'T WANT TREATS NOR TOYS!
Training without food is possible yes,but the precision and the value in training is not going to be the same. Why?
Let's start talkig about food first:
One very important rule is that food shouldn't be available to them all the time.
Sometime the quality of the food can create a bad feeling about eating as they don't feel so great after their meal. Make sure you choose an appropriate diet, not too rich in carbohydrates, as they are just there as "filling" and your dog will feel he doesn't need to eat more.
I also suggest you to choose the right moment of the day to train your dogs. Take them out for a walk first, let them exercise and then train them, before they have their meal!
Keep their portions smaller when you have to feed them in their bowl, make sure they eat and they want more and use the rest during the day for training.
When you go outside, take with you HIGH value treats.
Keep it unpredictable, keep changing between treats, make it fun.
If your dog doesn't take treats in the class or at the park, you are stepping too far too soon. Start using treats just outside of the door. The move it a bit farther away in your road. Then gradually progress to more difficult places. You need to give time to your dog to adjust to different environment, but don't force food on your dog. It needs to be a positive experience.
Something else that can help is doing some "nose games" in the grass. Hiding food for some dogs can be fun, because hunting is involved. Get them use to "hunt" for their treats out and about, that way you will build the value for taking food in different environments.
Sometimes not taking treats is related to stress or hormones, or other reasons that has nothing to do with hunger and food. For that we suggest to talk to your trainer.
What about toys? This a more difficult topic. Some dogs are more oriented on toys then food and that is fine when you have to reward recall or focus games.
If your dog is not interested in toys then you have to think about different things: how many toys are available to your dogs during the day without you being involved? A bit like with food, if they have fun playing by their own when you are not there or if they have more fun playing with toys with another dog in the household, sometimes they don't care about playing with you, they have so much fun without you already!
Choose some special toys that you will keep only when you want to interact with your dogs, a couple of times during the day. Make it a short, quick and fun experience and then the toy needs to go away again, when your dog is still interested! That way you will build your dog value for that toy to come out again.
Toy play , as food, needs to be introduced gradually, from the house to the garden, from the garden to an easy place where your dog can still concentrate on you and not struggling with distractions.