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“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.” – Phil Pastoret
Back at our second week of agility class, Penny was all smiles.
Between last week’s class and our practice and home, Penny knew she was about to score a ton of high-value treats
She was licking her lips as soon as we got to work
And she quickly racked up treat after treat by dashing through the tunnels and going back and forth over the jumps
But over the weekend I read through our homework and moved to a more challenging reward system I like to call “Ripping Penny Off”Normally, when training Penny I give her a treat each time she performs the desired action.
But what happens when Penny performs the action (touching the target in this case) but isn’t immediately rewarded?
I get the, “Hey, you ripped me off!” look
While Penny would argue the lack of a treat is a crime against dogmanity, it does serve an important training function. I want Penny to always go to the target, irrespective of treats so this week we’re working on fading the treats out.
As you can see, Penny’s displeased with this new policy
“You want to fade the treat out? How about my teeth fade this target out!?”
A temper tantrum earns Penny no rewards, so she’s started to understand the best way to get treats is by performing the task on her own accord. We may make a lady out of Penny yet!
Nah, probably not. But we’re having a lots of fun working together on our new skills.
I’m with Penny on that front… and you read that really in a book how to rip off a dog? it’s written by Al Clawpone, right?
Ah, yes, the teeth when you stop rewarding every target. That’s one of Nala’s “Hey, Dummy! Where’s my treat?!” responses, too. It’s also how I inadvertently taught Nala to peel blue tape off of things when I was trying to teach her to push a cabinet shut!
It’s animal cruelty-torture even. Call out the National Labor Relations Board-Penny isn’t getting paid.
i love her objections – smart puppy!! Do you ever wonder if they train us a bit more than we train them (at least in my case its true)
Cheater! When Mom tries this with me (we only get as far as a treat every 2nd or 3rd time) she goes to the next repetition REALLY fast. She thinks I won’t notice the treat cheat. Trust me – I notice!
Love and licks,
We call it “school!” No treats until all exercises are finished. And smarty pants doggies that jump ahead of the instruction get nada!
Lol. Penny has the most beautiful face ever. Will, I don’t know how you do it. I’d probably just end up giving her more than she should get. Keep up the good work:-)
Well thanks a lot for sharing that whole no-treat-every-time nonsense with all the humans out there. 😉
In nose work there are always treats when you find the hide, but in tracking, you have to be satisfied with the thrill of finding the end article. You may get a reward there, or you may have to wait until you are back at the car. I guess if we are having fun at the sport learning to live without a treat every time is not such a big deal.
I know the rules too but totally don’t blame her on that front and the face, well that just says it all. Love getting my morning giggle from you guys!
bahahahaha poor girl that was a awful trick
Whoever thinks dogs can’t count has never had an empty treat bag. 😉 Continued best wishes on the agility training with or without treats (sorry Penny). 🙂