A number of people have asked about the popper treat I used in this video to teach Eko how to walk in his boots.
I picked up the poppers because all treats are not created equal. The poppers fill an important niche in training in that they are small in size but high in reward value for Eko. Eko wouldn’t budge in his boots for his normal training treats and I didn’t want to use a dental chew or bone (other high value treats) because they take longer to eat and would interrupt training.
Eko with his eyes on the prize
For reinforcing commands Eko already knows, I prefer using his regular training treats as a baseline. But for rewarding novel behavior (currently I’m working on the “wave” command) I find the poppers extremely effective. When Eko gets one of those, he knows he really nailed it.
The poppers offer a fun way to practice the “leave it” command. I love how intently Eko watches the treat (click image for full size gif)
If you want to check out the Beggin’ Party Poppers for yourself, they’re currently running a giveaway sweepstakes over at Pighead.com. I’m kind of jealous of all the dogs in the video over there who jump and catch the treat midair. For some reason, if you toss a treat up to Eko he will let it hit him in the head rather than jump for it.
Hm, speaking of which, I think I know the next trick I’m going to have to teach Eko!