before you all yell at me, I wave the white surrender flag. Maui and I are going to sign up for doggy classes today or tomorrow. they start feb 9. in the meantime, I have some questions.
I just realized that Maui is only listening to me (for the leave it and come command) when I have treats. Is this not a dominance issue then? or is it still that too? thanks.also, how long after a trick is introduced should treats be ended? I was using treats (first his regular food when he was younger and now some training bits) initally to teach him a trick. for example, I would say "shake" and then show him what I mean by grabbing his paw. After that, I would say "good shake" while giving him a treat. after a short time, I didn't need to grab his paw, he knew what I wanted him to do. I still used treats for a little bit.

Now, he has know the shake command for at least 3 months. he does it with and without treats now. for the "leave it" and "come" commend, he still requires treats to do it. I started teaching "leave it" from day one but he has too many opportunites to get a ton of things that aren't his (my nephews toys are always covering the floor). we use the trade technique with it plus treats. for example, if I have a treat nearby, he gets a treat for leaving it.

if I don't have a treat, then he gets a trade with the leave it command. is this confusing him? should I discontinue treats all together and only use the trade technique? thanks for any help.
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I just realized that Maui is only listening to me (for the leave it and come command) when I have treats. Is this not a dominance issue then? or is it still that too? thanks.

I would give serious thought to temporarily expunging the word "dominance" from your vocabulary and instead thinking about things like "how do I get my dog to pay more attention to me?"
I tend to be overly generous with treats while training, too, and it's a bad habit that slows down the process rather than speeding it up. It's another reason to take classes and work with a trainer - another set of eyes can help identify problems like this. However, pretty much any book on clicker training or, more broadly, on conditioned learning discusses how to put rewards on a schedule. I'm particularly fond of "How Dogs Learn," by Burch and Bailey.
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness ML King
before you all yell at me, I wave the white surrender flag. Maui and I are going to sign up ... is this confusing him? should I discontinue treats all together and only use the trade technique? thanks for any help.

I am currently reading the book "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson, and from your post, I am guessing that her book might help you a lot with understanding your dog's motivation for certain behaviors.

Jodi
before you all yell at me, I wave the white surrender flag. Maui and I are going to sign up for doggy classes today or tomorrow. they start feb 9.

Hurray! Hope you both have a great time.
I just realized that Maui is only listening to me (for the leave it and come command) when I have treats. Is this not a dominance issue then? or is it still that too? thanks.

Nope, not dominance. At least, not the way you've explained it below.
also, how long after a trick is introduced should treats be ended?

Ended? Maybe never. Phased to a trickle? As soon as possible.
I was using treats (first his regular food when he was younger and now some training bits) initally to teach ... it with and without treats now. for the "leave it" and "come" commend, he still requires treats to do it.

Well, let's consider the differences between "shake" and "come" or "leave it". "Shake" is a pretty well-defined behavior that is elicited partly from the command and partly from the "picture" (you don't say specifically, but if you offer your hand I suspect he'll "shake" even without a verbal command, yes?). "Come" and "leave it", as you've described using them, happen in different environments without a clear visual cue.
IOW, if you offer your hand, it's probably "shake". But "come" or "leave it" don't have a consistent set of circumstance (to the dog, anyway) that provide clues to what's probably the right response. Does that make sense? Add to that the likelihood of using "come" or "leave it" when your dog is focusing on something completely NOT you, and you can see why it might take a little more time to phase out the treats.

Now, the other thing about using treats is teaching the dog that sometimes cookies are clearly visible and will be given for compliance, sometimes cookies are not clearly visible and yet still magically appear when needed, and sometimes cookies are somewhere other than on the human and their arrival is somewhat delayed. And sometimes, cookies just don't happen. To make treats a "see it, get it / don't see it, don't get it" proposition sets up a situation where many dogs think the only sensible time to comply to a command is when they can see the reward ahead of time.
for example, if I have a treat nearby, he gets a treat for leaving it. if I don't have a treat, then he gets a trade with the leave it command.

So, if he hears the command, he knows it's "no treat"? Unless you're "trading up" (trading something marvelous for something so-so) frequently with the command, you've given your dog a clear-cut sign that the verbal "leave it" means "no cookie for you, bubba". Not much incentive to obey in that, is there?

Mary H. and the Ames National Zoo:
Raise A Fund, ANZ Babylon Ranger, ANZ MarmaDUKE, and Rotund Rhia
I just realized that Maui is only listening to me (for the leave it and come command) when I have treats. Is this not a dominance issue then? or is it still that too?

It's good that you're going to a trainer, I hope they'll be able to explain the proper terms to you.
As to the food: The reason a dog learns to come to you is because you're way more interesting that whatever he's doing when you want him to come. Right now, the treat is the sole reason he's paying attention to you.
And no, he's not listening to you on the "leave it" or the "come". From your descriptions, it sounds as if Maui is coming for the treat and obeying your "leave it" because you're offering something better in exchange. Don't get me wrong, what you're doing is a good way to begin, you just have to start to distance the treat from his response.
If he's coming reliably when lured/baited, the next step is turn the bribe into a reward; that is, when he responds to "come", reward him with a treat you've kept out of sight. If he even turns his head to look at you, reward him with a "good boy". If he doesn't come at all, try luring him with a toy (or something else that he considers lower value than the treat). If he comes, give him the higher valued reward (the treat).

Short training sessions 'cause he's still a puppy. And don't worry too much about progressing past the "bribing him to come" point, not with hands-on training coming up in a week or so.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
before you all yell at me, I wave the white surrender flag. Maui and I are going to sign up for doggy classes today or tomorrow.


Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply by e-mail
Europe has taken over the Holocaust, by Mark Steyn:
I just realized that Maui is only listening to me ... dominance issue then? or is it still that too? thanks.

I would give serious thought to temporarily expunging the word "dominance" from your vocabulary and instead thinking about things like ... discusses how to put rewards on a schedule. I'm particularly fond of "How Dogs Learn," by Burch and Bailey.

thanks, I will check out that book.
I am currently reading the book "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson, and from your post, I am guessing that her book might help you a lot with understanding your dog's motivation for certain behaviors.

thanks, will do!
I just realized that Maui is only listening to me ... a dominance issue then? or is it still that too?

It's good that you're going to a trainer, I hope they'll be able to explain the proper terms to you. ... progressing past the "bribing him to come" point, not with hands-on training coming up in a week or so.

thanks. that is all very helpful
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