Most of us have had the experience where we cue our dog to do something, only to be met with a confused stare or a hopeful sniff of our hands instead. Then you pull out a treat, ask again, and then magically your dog sits fast and eagerly! It can seem as though the dog is thinking “No food, no work”!
This presentation will discuss how to teach your dog to confidently and happily follow your cues even when you don’t have treats in your pockets! We will be looking at techniques to help both the sports dog work towards entering a trial where no food is allowed, and for the pet dog owner to get that same response at home without having to resort to bribery. The reward WILL be coming even if you’re not holding it!
The primary focus of this presentation will be teaching your dog how to work with the rewards set at a distance. We will discuss:
- Being aware of what currently signals to the dog when behaviors are going to be rewarded.
- Teaching a marker cue for rewards off our body so the dog understands when the rewards are available (and when they aren’t quite yet)!
- Does the dog need to see the reward upfront in order to be able to work?
- What the reward procedure will look like when you are at a trial.
This presentation will briefly discuss responding to more than one cue before the reward, but we will not be able to discuss how to get rid of treats completely, nor extending the duration of work without a reward.