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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-02-2004, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Weaning from treats

Riley understands quite a few hand signals now but the little turd won't obey those commands unless she sees or smells a treat in the vicinity. I've been trying to "wean" her off of treats and give them randomly, like every other command or every third command. If she does a command when there's no treat then I shake my head yes and smile while scratching her under her collar (she LOVES to be scratched there) but now she's getting to the point where she refuses to do what I sign unless she actually can see the treat! Now what do I do? I tried to start over, giving a treat reward every time and tried to slowly back off again but she looks at me like "I'm not doing a thing until I see the payoff!" Stubborn little bully! We still have another month before the trainer will start working with us.

On a side note: I learned tonight that a 32 pound Bull Terrier puppy running around on a 16 foot retractable leash can wipe out a whole row of Hollyhock flowers in 1.3 nanoseconds!


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-02-2004, 10:03 PM
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Have you tried a piece of regular dog food as a treat? That's what we do with my mom's puppy and he's just so excited to get something from us, he'll take it.

I'm not much help only having had the chinnies.

But the mental image of puppy vs. flowers was pretty funny!

Stephanie

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-02-2004, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sure she would be happy with that but I want to get her totally off of the food rewards because when we're out socializing I don't always have a treat handy when I need her to sit or lay down.

I didn't have this problem with my other dogs because I could use the tone of my voice for a reward along with a pat on the head. Riley isn't satisfied with a smile and scratch under the collar.....she's got a chubby little belly to prove it! Using her regular dog food should help with that. Thanks for the idea!


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-02-2004, 11:33 PM
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Hey Scarlette I have the exact same problem with Biscuit! My trainer told me to throw the treat (not too far away and easy to find) so that my hand is giving her the treat. At first I couldn't see the sense in it but it worked....she's off food rewards!
So example....I put my hand on the ground and say 'drop' with the treat in my hand that is on the ground. She drops cause she wants the treat. So I throw the treat and when she is going to collect it I get another one out ready. As she is coming back to me I say 'drop' with my hand on the ground again. If she didn't do it straight away I took my hand off the ground and looked away from her for a few seconds then repeated the drop with hand on ground...throw treat away. Pretty soon she was coming back and dropping straight away and once she got used to that method of rewarding (one training session) I'd say drop with an empty hand and then throw her the treat. If she wouldn't drop I'd show her the treat with the other hand (the one not on the ground) and pretty quick it got to the stage where she'd drop on command no matter what cause she didn't know which hand the treat would be thrown from or if she'd get one at all.
I also started adding things, so I'd make her drop, say good girl (which would be a signal for you) then make her sit again and then reward her with a treat. I started doing that once she had the basics down pat to her brain think and now she's quite happy to do lots of tricks in a row cause she learnt that I'm the one that decides when she is clever enough to be rewarded. She also learnt that only when the treat bag was out and we are doing training sessions does she get a treat...otherwise it is just expected of her and I don't give her a treat for the things she already knows, only the new stuff she is learning.
eg on that one (sorry if this is so confusing....let me know what you don't understand!)
she learn to do an army crawl along the ground right now so I get her to drop to get her into position and then get her to crawl and she gets the reward for crawling, not for dropping.
I might just stop here before I confuse you anymore!!! Ask any questions you like cause it's probably hard to visualise.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 12:29 AM
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great advice carm!!! i'll have to remember that for penny. she's so bad about this!


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 01:05 AM
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I'm just glad it made sense to you Jane!!! and I wouldn't have known if my trainer didn't tell me!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm confused! I'm supposed to throw the treat away from her if she does what I tell her?


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 03:45 PM
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yes so she has to walk away from you a little bit to get it. She can see that the treat comes from you so she knows where it is going to get it but that way it isn't coming directly from your hand. At first I didn't believe it would work either but it really does!

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