Treat Training, thought to be a Bad word to some people
Today I saw comments on the internet that made me chuckle, words which I have seen before written by others or verbally expressed by people who believe treat training to be a BIG no-no, yes even in these enlightened days some people truly do talk still talk about treat training in that manner.
When one sees these comments one can also tell that the people expressing these views have not understood or looked into the method enough to have an intelligent understanding of it, thankfully many of us have tried it/looked into it and now happily use it as one of the tools we have in our box of tricks.
A good and kind tool that we can use when appropriate!
It isn’t a bad word, Treat-Training, and it is just another tool to help us teach the dogs what we want them to do, and to praise them for doing so, and as someone said on the internet
'If you do something good at work and your boss says ‘well done’ I bet you are chuffed, but if he says ‘well done’ and puts £50.00 extra in your wage, how much better is that! ’
Mention clicker training, and ‘Oh my’, you may as well say that you have let the dog runaway to join the circus, one can just imagine the shocked looks on their faces, it does make me smile!
One could say our voices when we praise the dogs is a Treat to the dogs, one could say the same for retrieve item the dog has just picked for that is the reward the dog will get if he follows our instructions.
All forms off rewards can be used to benefit the dogs, but all rewards need good timing and common sense in the use of them, all forms can be used incorrectly when either common sense, timing, or a misunderstanding of the technique is used. Though please don't misunderstand me, Clicker and treat training are easy to understand, especially when one is shown it by an excellent trainer, or maybe even friend that has used it successfully for quite a while. Clicker training pin points the time so well that the dog is not left in doubt of what you are rewarding it for, making it so easy for the dog to do right.
Because I mainly use it at the start of training for the pups, one doesn't need to use it in a middle of a field when the dog is hunting, one wouldn't need to use it then anyway as the dogs reward is the hunting, we all know how they love to hunt. We also know how dogs do not necessarily revel at the basic and boring things, just as we ourselves do not enjoy the boring basic things of a new skill being learnt, but with our voices and praise and the clicker with treats, we can make the basic things interesting and rewarding enough for the dog to enjoy and learn.
Remember, we are only getting our dogs to do what comes naturally to them except we asked them to do it for us, though each dog is different so the more training skills you have to your bow the better as you can then tailor the training to the dog.
As I always say, you should never train a dog with physical correction/punishment, you shouldn't do it and with the aid of varying training skills you will not have to use those cruel methods.