? about Hip Ideas for Hyper Dogs book

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by horsekid1234, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. horsekid1234 New Member

    Has anyone heard of the book Hip Ideas for Hyper dogs by Amy Ammen and Kitty Forth-Regner? I bought the book awhile ago and I just had a question. In the book it says that you should train basic obediance commands without treats. Is it really better to train the basic commands without treats? I'm only 15 and really don't know alot about dog training so any help would be nice.:dogsmile:

  2. CollieMan Experienced Member

    There are mixed views about whether to use "treats" or not. In fact, come to think about it, there are mixed views in just about all aspects of dog training. :)

    Ultimately, like humans, dogs need to work for something. When we go to work, we expect to be paid for our efforts, to keep us going back to the same work month after month. Dogs, in my view, are no different.

    However, that 'payment' need not necessarily be in the form of food treats. My own dog used to love training for treats. However, that is now wearing off, and she seems to prefer working for toys and play more and more these days. She will work at training for a few minutes, so long as I pull out her favourite tennis ball after a few minutes training. But up until recently, she loved working for food.

    You need to find out what really motivates your dog and use that as a reward. It could be food, it could be play, it could just be attention, or it could be all three. Reward is a very subjective and relative issue. When my dog wants to go out into the back yard, she has to sit at the door and wait until I tell her to pass the threshold of the door. Her 'reward' in that case is the freedom of being in the yard. So, in that case, I've never used a food reward for that particular behaviour in that particular context. However, when I wanted her to retrieve the mail from the doormat each day, I had to use food as just fetching the mail was no reward for her.

    The important thing with food treats is that you monitor how many you are giving and maybe reduce the proper food you give to the dog at mealtimes, in order to prevent overfeeding.

    One commonly heard argument is that when using food treats, dogs learn to perform their behaviour only if 'bribed' by food. My guess is that you will find dozens of people here who regularly food treat their dog, and would happily argue that this is not the case. I would be one of them. :)
  3. l_l_a New Member

    I have seen that book and browsed through it, I think it has a lot of many good ideas for activities.

    As for the part about training without food, I don't think it's a big deal. You can use food if you want to, if you don't want to you don't have to, it's up to you. If I recall, that book has a fairly small section on obedience training and it seemed to be more along the lines of traditional style training so that's probably why they said to not use food. But like Collie Man said, it's just that different people have different ways of training, some don't like to use food, others do.

    I think it's perfectly fine to use food. I used to be in the "no food whatsoever for training" group but now I use food a lot and I think the dogs are more willing and cooperative for it so I don't think it is bad at all.
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    It largely depends on the dog in my opinion. MOST dogs can easily be motivated by food, but there are the few who are happy to eat....but don't care much about being rewarded with it. For instance, I have known some dogs did not do well with treat-training, but excelled when switched to praise training. Some dogs are simply extremely eager to please, and would much rather receive a "Good dog" and an ear rub than a piece of kibble. My Rottie mix did not do well at all with treat training, but learned exceptionally well with praise training. He wanted to make me happy, and he really liked to learn. He pays attention better than some other dogs that I have treat trained. Mud learned some tricks with only praise, and some tricks with treats and praise. We eventually get off the treats and go to just praise or play. She does well with both, and loves to learn and succeed.
    As far as dogs only performing for treats, I think this depends on the trainer. I have seen it in many dogs...for instance, the trainer presented the treat to the dog before each trick, then lured them into the position and they were rewarded. The dog actually learned the trick in the presence of a treat, but not in the absence of it as the trainer never taught the dog anything without it. The dog became trained to do things on cue in the presence of the treat. If the treat was not first presented to the dog, the dog did not realize that it was supposed to carry out the same behavior. Of course, this can quite easily be fixed, but it never would have been a problem had the trainer used either clicker training or simply didn't bring out a treat, almost flaunting it to the dog, then lure into position, then reward.
    For an extremely easily distracted dog, I would suggest treat training. This will help the dog learn to focus on the the handler, and become more willing to learn and do things not only for you but also for himself. For a dog that thrives on praise, I think you can go either way. The form of training you use depends a lot on each individual dog, to me.
    The difference between the treat "flaunting" and training that usually results in an obedient dog in the absence of treats is this: look carefully at the videos in DTA's classroom. Jean holds the treat in his hand, concealed although the dog knows it's there. Then he lures the dog into whatever position, clicks, and rewards. The dog associates the click as a positive sound which results in food 9 times out of ten. The trainers that I have seen with a food-only obedient dog held the treat, maybe even let the dog nibble it, then lured into position and rewarded. The dog was actually rewarded in some way before earning the reward. Without the "encouragement" beforehand, he is not aware that he is supposed to perform the same behavior without this.
    Like CollieMan, my dogs have to wait before leaving for a walk or just outdoor play. Their reward is play, exercise, and just fun in general.
  5. dakotamom421 New Member

    The idea of not using treats for training the basic commands is to get the dog to do the command when you want it, not only for food like tx_cowgirl said, but there are other ways to get this done, what i use for my dog is once he will do the command 100% of the time with rewards i start doing something like a lottery game he will get the reward after completing the task twice some times after three times i just make sure to keep doing it at different intervals to keep him guessing when he will get his reward. I hope this helps good luck with training your dog.:dogbiggrin:
  6. luna may New Member

    I do that too! :doglaugh:

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