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Will Work for Cookies

Most folks know that you need some form of motivation to teach your dog new behaviors and most of the time that motivation comes in the form of cookies or food. Often times folks get stuck in this type of reinforcement and their dog starts expecting a reward every time they’re asked to do something. Essentially creating a dog that will only work for cookies.

So how do you wean your dog off of cookies?

Well the first step is to make sure that your dog understands the behavior that is being asked completely without a lure. Meaning, you don’t have to use a reward to maneuver your dog to get the desired behavior. Your dog should be completely verbal or hand signal trained without a cookie in your hand. If you’re not at that stage yet then you can’t move on.

Okay so your dog completely understands the behavior that is being asked of he or she, but they won’t perform such without a bribe. So here’s a secret, stop being predictable and mix their reward up. Meaning, you will reward at different intervals. For example, you ask your dog to sit and you reward, but for the next 6 repetitions of sit you do not reward until the 7th time you ask. Rewarding at different intervals will keep your dog guessing on when they will receive a cookie, thus creating motivation to perform the behavior that is being asked of them every single time.

Happy training ya’ll.