Avoiding Treat Training Obsession

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by farwyn, May 14, 2013.

  1. farwyn Well-Known Member

    Well , we all know some breeds that are quite attracted ,alright maybe even addicted to food and especially treats , such as the labradors . Well my question is , although one that im going to encounter almost one month later , how can we avoid having a dog that is willing to train just to get the treat/s involved ! Basically i've already thought of keeping the treats out of the dogs sight but i doubt it'll be enough . Besides i've read many posts regarding dogs that are only willing to offer behaviours only when there's a treat involved which is almost like bribing the dog :p . By the way sorry if im missing something Jean,Sara or another person has mentioned before but im kinda new to the club so ... i guess you understand ! :D
    Tâmara Vaz likes this.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I was just reading about this in Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash". If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. You can read it for free here, http://www.scribd.com/doc/116526977/Culture-Clash (although I have found a couple of pages missing!) The section titled "Food-Lure Addiction" begins on page 140. Hope that helps.
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  3. sara Moderator

    Fantastic advice above! Basically, you need to avoid bribing your dog. My dogs work for food, toys, praise, anything, but that's because I never bribe, but reward. There's a fine difference, but there IS a difference. I do believe Jean did a tutorial about it recently...
  4. sara Moderator

    Sorry, the tutorial he did was in his training course, which you have to buy. Which might be a good investment for you. I don't imagine positive trainers/clicker trainers are easy/cheap to find in Greece
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  5. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    Treats are simply the easiest thing to use, they are something the dogs cares about that is easy to control access to because the dog can't simply walk over to the pantry and get their kibble out of the bag. Treats can be delivered quickly after a behavior. But, there is almost always something else you can use too, sometimes that is more powerfully reinforcing than a treat, and I think it's totally awesome and smart to tap into that!

    For example JJ has been notoriously bad about the "drop it" command. Since what she wants is a game of chase by not dropping it, the second she does drop it, even if it's only for 2 seconds, I give her that game of chase. I use environmental, functional, hot reinforcers, whatever you want to call them all the time. Whatever the dog cares most about in that moment is the best thing to use. Of course, treats will work every time with all my dogs but Lucas.
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  6. sara Moderator

    We had a thread about that awhile ago... for example, when potty training, take the puppy out on a leash... the second he does his business, let him off the leash for a few minutes of playtime as a reward :)
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  7. Linda A Experienced Member

    I had a problem with Royal becoming treat obsessive. He figured one trick equaled one treat. And it was totally my fault. Once I learned to up the criteria the problem went away. In other words he had to do multiple behaviors before he got his treat. Some times two, some times five. The idea was that he knew he was going to get a treat, he just never knows when. Worked like a charm.
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  8. brody_smom Experienced Member

    This is pretty much what it says in "Culture Clash", only more concise and without all the professional trainer jargon.:)
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  9. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    I phase out treats as the prompt by using the lure then pretending there is a treat in my hand and 'luring' the dog into the position, showing them there is not a treat in that hand and then taking a treat out of my pocket with my other hand. If they wont do the behavior because they realize there isn't a treat I bring my hand back into my pocket and rub my fingers against the treat to get the scent of it and repeat the 'luring' and then show them there is no treat but give them a treat from my pocket with my other hand. I pair the treat with petting or give lots of petting first and then give the treat like an after thought. I also look for times the dog is specifically asking for attention and use that time to ask them to sit for the petting that they already said they wanted and I might give them a little petting and then ask for a down for more petting.
  10. farwyn Well-Known Member

    Wow thats a lot of replies in such a sort amount of time , ty guys ! Well first of all i need to thank especially the first replier as the link he provided made everything entirely clear to me ! Sara , regarding clickers in GR there are like 4-5 pet shops in the entire country (luckily most of them are e-shops) that can provide you with clickers , not that i plan on using any since i've developed "my" sort of clicker for horse training but it had another use back then ;) . As for Jeans training sessions i dont even have access to them due to the lack of credit cards (yeah it sucks ... (n) ) , still though i think that due to all of your support guys i've managed to forge an acceptable image in my mind regarding what i need to do to avoid this kind of food addiction .

    Many Thanks ! :D
    brodys_mom likes this.
  11. 648117 Honored Member

    When Holly was a pupppy I found that it was also good to always have treats on me. I found some treats that don't smell too strongly so that I didn't walk around smelling like dog food and then just had some in my pocket (or in a small bag in my pocket) at all times to reward good behaviour and recalls etc.
    It meant that Holly did what I asked her all the time because I might have treats. Then I sometimes had treats on me but Holly didn't know if I had them or not because there was no treat bag to tell her (I also kept treats in a bowl in the lounge and by the back door). Now I usually don't have treats unless we are training and I still always take treats on walks to reward good recalls and she gets a treat when I put the leash back on her at the park.
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  12. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Our veterinarian sells them for cheap. They're just the box kind, but still...
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  13. blacknym Experienced Member

    Deja is food obsessed for sure...But I have started asking for more before she gets her treats now. She has a strong stubborn streak and I have been getting her behaviours solid. Now is the time to start asking for I think. LOL.

    Good on you for thinking about this before starting with the cuitepatootie in the pictures from the other thread. LOL I learnt as I went and as a result have made some big mistakes with Deja i am having to correct now. :D
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  14. farwyn Well-Known Member

    Well i was getting a lab so i guess i had to check this out asap xD

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