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Not Listening: Over Dependant on Treats

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What to do when your dog is a treat addict and only listens when you have treats?

Your dog won’t do anything unless you have the treats. You need to start removing the lure from training as soon as possible (I suggest after 6-12 trials). Start at the basic steps for each command with treats and after a few, remove the lure. Still, reward. Use life rewards like going on walks, or getting pets, or jumping on the sofa or getting dinner instead of treats. You also need to stop rewarding sub-par behavior once your dog is more advanced in his training.

What are the consequences of keeping a lure in training?

Luring to teach behaviors is the fastest way to teach your dogs commands. Forgetting to “fade” (gradually remove) the lure is the biggest mistake that you can make. If you don’t fade the lure early in the training process, you and your dog can become dependent on the presence of treats to get the behavior to happen.

I have treats with me all the time, but I try to avoid relying on them. Always try without luring and only fall back on treats if you have run out of options.

If your dog is a treat addict, you will have to start from step one on the commands and then slowly remove the treats.