• Michael D’Abruzzo

    March 31, 2011 at 7:06 am

    That’s a funny story, but good to hear! The dogs should love training. Ideally you never want to completely phase out the treats – you would want to put the dogs on a random schedule, so that they never know when one might come. If you do this with the combination of discipline they learn in phase 2 – you will get the best of both worlds. This way your dogs will listen even if you don’t necessarily have a treat or don’t have the ability to make them do something.

    These are all concepts found in the “dog training trinity” section of the obedience literature. Dogs will never do things for no reason in particular – and I always tell people there is no such thing as Lassie or Rin tin tin. even those dogs had a trainer standing on the other side of the camera that had the ability to motivate the dog using some form of operant conditioning.

    It will always be a matter of simple science when gauging how reliable you want your dog to be. Here is our operant conditioning video to review 4 different ways that dogs learn (and maintain obedience):