I have also been wondering if I am giving my Bella too many treats, everything I see is give them treats, so I have been doing it, but now whe I take her out, she stops dead and when I say Bella Come, she waits there until I give her a treat, I am trying to slowly break her of this, but she doesn't t move. I am slowly trying to slow down the treats. I reak them in half, so they are small treats, but she is also trying to train me and I don't know what to do about this. How do I distract her e ought to come without the treat or pulling on her collar?
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Treats are absolutely vital for most training. BUT you are using them incorrectly. They should be a REWARD, NOT
a bribe. If the dog won't work until you "show them the goods", then they have, indeed trained YOU rather than the other way around!
And the size of the cookies really isn't the issue at all. If you CAn break them in half, they were probably too big to start with. You need to use LOTS of cookies when training new behaviors, so you want them to be small, especially with a small breed dog.
You need to learn how to manufacture the behavior you want FIRST, then get the treat out of your pocket to reward the correct behavior. A clicker also helps a lot, but you must know how to use it correctly. This is a matter of what you need to learn more than the puppy.
A good class or working with a private, positive based trainer would help you a lot.
Yes, you DO eventually fade the treats with a dog who totally understands and can perform a specific behavior in a variety of settings. But that is hardly ever in the first year or two of a puppy's life, when they are learning all the time. If you look at the video I posted of Kodi working with a friend yesterday, you will see she is using a lot of treats. That is appropriate for two reasons. First, we were working on some brand new rally moves that have never been used before. Second, he has never worked with HER before, and she and her cues were new to him. And he is 8 years old! If it had been a competition, with known/trained signs, and me handling him, he would have worked without cookies. Actually, if Betty had not had cookies in her hands, his performance would have been "cleaner", but she wasn't convinced he would work with her, and also wanted to encourage him a lot, since she was working with someone else's competition dog.