My dog only does what I say when I have treats. Help!
While there can be many reasons that this can occur, I'm going to speak to the most common reason.
The Most Common Reason
When a dog will only do what their told when there is a treat around, that usually means that the owner taught the dog the difference between 'real life' and training.
A common way this is done can be seen after any dog training group class. What happens is people work on their training with food in class and everything goes well. Yay, right?
However, then, when they leave class, the owner puts the treats away and they allow their dog to pull them on leash to the car. You see why this can create some confusion, right? The dog learns that everything goes back to normal (pulling is allowed) when the treats go away and they leave the training room.
Another example is people will teach their puppy to sit by using treats. Then, when the owner has friends over and the puppy jumps on the owner's friends. The owner says, "sit" and the puppy sits... but... the owner doesn't have treats!! Then, the owner (being excited to see their friends) immediately pays attention to the friends and leaves the puppy unrewarded for sitting. Which means that puppy will learn that "treats around = my owner wants me to sit," as well as "no treats + people around = my owner doesn't want me to sit." A recipe for unlearning training on accident.
To sum up, "my dog will only listen when I have treats" is a sign that the training was started, but not finished.
Ready to Finish the Training?
Perfect! If you need help figuring out where things are going wrong with your own training, reach out today to schedule a session today! Or give me (Steve) a call (314-655-8208) for a free phone consultation. I can help you figure out what style of training will best suit your needs.