No Food For You!

Lance has had a few "reduced treats" lessons now since my early December goal to start using only personal play as his reward.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit that it has gone amazingly well.  Maybe it's because Lance is such an easy, happy dog.  Or maybe it's because in reality not much has changed about our training.  Training has always been fast paced and full of little play.

Honestly, I don't think Lance has even registered that a change has occurred.  I haven't gotten rid of treats completely yet, but the numbers have dropped from probably 10-30 treats in a 5-10 minute session to 1-3.

I think I'm ready to go to no treats.  While I am hoping Lance keeps on spoiling me with his eagerness to keep playing, I'm also preparing myself for rejection and more importantly, being ok with it. 

Ximena  – ( January 1, 2013 at 9:51 PM )  

Ah, to have an easy dog. That's great news, though! I'm excited, both for you and Lance and to see how your new plan meshes into your trials.

andrea  – ( January 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM )  

awesome :)
why do you want to go totally no treat? I'm trying to figure out what balance will work best here and for Sally (and found this for Wyn too) food can really help settle them and reward them - I am not good enough to have them in full drive all the time ;)

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM )  

Andrea, I want to go no treat/toys because all I have in the obedience ring is myself. Because I want to trial beyond the UD with him, Lance is going to be shown enough that he will learn the difference between trials and practice. I do not have a problem yet, but I know that if I keep accentuating the difference between the 2 there will be one in the future. Attitude would diminish greatly and in many dogs they will stop trying all together. I don't think getting rid of rewards in practice is necessary if you only want to get your Qs and be done, but I think it's very important if you want to keep trialing and with high scores.
I don't know how far Lance will go, but this is as much about being a learning process for me as it is about this specific dog.

Eventually, I do plan to add external rewards back into the picture but at that point it will be seen as a bonus rather than as an expectation of performance=treats. My goal is to create the environment so that Lance thinks training is a blast when the only reward is me. I am looking forward to the day when I won't have to treat right up to the ring gate, perform and pray, and then rush back to my crate to give him treats.

Cynthia  – ( January 2, 2013 at 2:38 PM )  

I am trying to do more training with play, too, and not treats. So far, so good. I still use the treats once in a while... Jet, actually, loves the push-back game so much when we heel, that he starts nipping at my hand before we go. LOL.. not sure how to work that out... :)

Lynnda  – ( January 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM )  

Unfortunately my female Dalmatian Java thinks she is doing something wrong if there is no reward forthcoming. Lazy Trainer on my part. Plus a dog that doesn't find extended exertion fun. So much for my OTCH dog....
Thank goodness for CDSP obedience -- you can carry food *and* there are no group stays. Onward to CDSP Utility for Java.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM )  

I love CDSP! If there were more than 3 trials a year around here one would never need to fade the food even for AKC! See you at the show in a few weeks :)

Tegan  – ( January 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM )  

Sounds like you're doing well. :) I guess it goes to show how fun you actually are, with or without food. Kudos for starting your 2013 goal so early!

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