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Steven_L
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PostSubject: Treats as Bribes?   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:53 pm

One of the main reason people resist using treats to train their dog is that they don't want to "bribe" them. This is perfectly understandable; one shouldn't have to bribe a dog to do something. However, if you are using food the right way your are not bribing your dog, you are rewarding her.

Let's take a look in the dictionary (Merriam Webster Online):

bribe: "money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust."

reward: "recompense (to give something to by way of compensation as for a service rendered or damage incurred) "

Clearly, these are two very different words. A bribe influences while a reward compensates. And this difference is exactly how you can tell if you are using treats the right way.

If your dog needs to see the food before she will do something, it's a bribe. And, not to put too fine a point on it, you're doing it wrong. It's an easy mistake to make: in lure/reward training we use the food to get the position or motion we want. But then we "fade the lure" (get the food out of our hands) as fast as possible. If we don't do this, we end up with a "show me the money" dog.

For more on this, check out food critics.

http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/are-treats-bribe-when-you-train-your-dog

For more info visit http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/it-bribe-lure

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Betterdog4u
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PostSubject: Re: Treats as Bribes?   Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:29 pm

Let me play devils advocate here:

Would you then say that its wrong to use treats to train a trick. Many animals, including seals, sea lions, dolphins, and yes dogs, will work for a reward, but when learning the trick they will only do it if you show them the treat or food!

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PostSubject: Re: Treats as Bribes?   Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:41 pm

The problem there starts when the dog will only do the trick or desired command for a treat and will not hesitate to do otherwise if not presented with a food treat

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Betterdog4u
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PostSubject: Re: Treats as Bribes?   Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:11 pm

Steven_L wrote:
The problem there starts when the dog will only do the trick or desired command for a treat and will not hesitate to do otherwise if not presented with a food treat
OK< so what would you suggest as a solution in this kind of case?

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PostSubject: Re: Treats as Bribes?   Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:23 pm

Betterdog4u wrote:
Steven_L wrote:
The problem there starts when the dog will only do the trick or desired command for a treat and will not hesitate to do otherwise if not presented with a food treat
OK< so what would you suggest as a solution in this kind of case?

The solution to this is conditioning also known as phasing out food treats. For the way I train it kind goes like this:

1. Teach what a command means using lures.

2. Cue the response and reward, occasionally using lures if need be (this is using treats before the action is done) but you can give a different treat than the one you are showing.

3. Once a command is set, you reward, this meaning that you A. Ask the dog to do a command, B. The dog does it, C. You give a reward (food+verbal).

4. Slowly start phasing out part C in the last step and replace by only verbal praise. Every now and then (maybe every other or every other other successful command) you give a treat.

5. Last part of conditioning, you start to give food treats sparingly. This serves to reinforce the behavior and if the dog expects a treat its unexpected.

http://k9domain.org/conditioning.aspx

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PostSubject: Re: Treats as Bribes?   Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:08 pm

Good discussion..

i managed some how to teach mine to do tricks even when i dont have a treat..but since he does them, i usually do give him a treat . but he will do it and then run off and keep playing. perhaps in the back of his mind, he wonders if im going to give him a treat every time, hehe
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