Was working with this guy and dog in Fall River the other day.
In the middle of the session a friend of his showed up and he naturally wanted to talk about dog training.
He told me that he never gives his dogs treats for training. He said that if you start with treats you’ll always have to use treats.
He said bribing the dog does not work. I could tell that he was trying to argue with me and it took me years to learn this, but you never, ever win an argument. Seriously, you can show facts, documents proving your point, physical proof that you are correct and the other person will dismiss it.
So guess what I did.
I agreed with him. This completely took the wind out of his sails. I said, “You are 100% correct. Bribes are the worst way to train dogs. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your incredible intellect with us.”
“But I saw you using treats just a minute ago with this dog,” he said.
“Yes, you did. But from this point forward I will never use bribes again with this dog. Thanks again,” I said.
Once he left my client was puzzled. I assured him that we were going to keep using treats and that I was not lying to him.
That is when I explained the difference between bribes and rewards.
A bribe is offered before the behavior occurs. this happens with the recall command. The dog does not come so the owner shakes a box of dog cookies to try and bribe the dog into coming back.
A reward is used AFTER the behavior occurs. The dog comes when called and THEN we give the treat.
It is a small, subtle difference but the mistake that is often made with treats is that they are used as bribes.
Once you start using them as rewards, you’ll get better results. For the recall command, you need to set your dog up to be successful so you CAN reward instead of bribe.
I show how it’s done, step-by-step in my dog training classes that we have every month. You can more details on our classes by going here NEXT: