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Thread: Trick and Treat

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Default Trick and Treat

    Happy Halloween everyone!! I have a training question. It is definitely not Trick OR Treat and more like Trick AND Treat lol. My dog will do anything but only for a treat. We've been phasing it out. Trick, treat, and then trick, trick, trick, treat. If she doesn't see me with the treat bags out, she will sometimes ignore me. Sometimes, I play the game of invisible treat by reaching into my pocket.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    How strong is your NILIF with her? I’ve found that Sebastian is more responsive to “requests” from me when I am pretty strict about making him sit for everything - treats, going outside, etc. In Kit’s case, you could try alternating sitting with other behaviors she has learned, in an effort to get her to associate responding appropriately to cues with getting non-treat rewards she wants - be it a toy, access to furniture, or even passage through an exterior doorway.

    I do think that there’s a possibility that some of Kit’s “What’s-In-It-For-Me” attitude could be age-related, and that there is potential for some natural improvement as she reaches mental and emotional maturity.
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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    When a dog is not performing because it knows a treat is not immediately forthcoming, that typically means the treat is being phased out too soon. There hasn't been enough repetition to cement, so to speak, the behavior on command.

    Having said that... in my experience...

    I would agree that there is likely an age component at this stage. Then, Kit is a female. Females are just harder to handle generally speaking as compared to boys. Third, she's a LGD. LGDs learn a bit differently than other dogs. Very few LGDs follow commands just because we say so. When LGDs learn commands, they also learn when those commands should be applicable and when they shouldn't be. For example, Bijou was extensively trained in agility and had several agility titles. But if we were at the dog park, she wasn't going to do any of those agility obstacles at the dog park because dog park time was HER time and I couldn't MAKE her do agility. When we were at a agility or obedience trial, she knew that was when she was supposed to follow my commands and would humor me.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    The age thing sounds about right. The only command Kit will not do without a treat under all situations is down. She will only go down with a treat. She will even pivot without a treat. I wonder if this is about vulnerability.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I think it’s possible that vulnerability could be part of what is going on. Down was a difficult cue for Chester, who, as the polar opposite of an LGD, has always been very biddable and eager to please unless fear was getting the best of him. When we were living in the apartment complex, Chester would respond quickly to the down cue at home, but once we ventured outside into the common areas, all bets were off, especially if there were dogs other than Sebastian around.
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