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Treat Rewards

This training can also be done with toys which is harder especially when it comes to Eurasiers. As you master the treat reward system, you can switch it up with toys.

When using food as a reward there are three steps in rewarding our dogs:

1. Continuous

2. Variable

3. Random

A continuous reward is where the dog gets rewarded many times with food type treats every time, they perform a task or behavior we ask of them. The food reward is of high value, something that the dogs do not get all the time. Train ME, cooked Chickens, cheese, and hot dogs. Kibble might work for labs but not for the Eurasiers.

Do not train your dog after you just feed them. They will not be food-motivated at this point. Five to two minutes three times a day (5-10x3) with a hungry dog and tasty treat will equal success. But there is also a limited number of rewards that can be given during training before the dog is no longer hungry or he is just bored

One way to prevent this is to break whatever you are giving into tiny pieces. The pieces should not be larger than morsels. The dog only needs a taste, not a meal. Train Me which Lew uses and Harry loves are the size of a pea. They are soft and can be broken into three to four pieces. Always keep training short and end on a positive note.

After training a puppy for about two to four weeks with food/treats, now you want to mix it up a bit. Please note that there is no set time to move from treats to some of the time tnon-treats rewards. This will depend on the dog himself. Again, this is only after the pup has mastered that one task. This training is called variable rewards. The first time they sit, you give them one piece of a treat. The next time you give them three small pieces, then two, one, and finish with three. Next time you mix up the sequence. Always keep the number a random number because this will keep their attention. Dogs, especially Eurasiers, are smart, easily bored, and not very food motivated. If you train each section the same way, day after day, the dog will catch on and become bored.

The last step is random rewards. Our long-term goal is to be totally random when the dog gets a reward. People find random treating is hard. One reason is that people are creatures of habit plus they think dogs should always be eating. Secondly, many people feel they are being mean to the dog when in fact you are teaching a valuable lesson, the lesson of being frustrated. When a dog is feeling frustrated, it builds motivation and drive, so the next time your dog will try harder to please you. Your dog sits and gets a treat, next time your dog sits and get a pat on the head, then he sits again and get three treats. Dogs like patterns and not your dog does not what to expect, so you have his attention.

Dogs watch us, they know our habits and they are smart enough to figure out what comes next. If you come home every day, take off your shoes, let them outside, greet them with a hug, they expect that and will become bored. That is probably a bad comparison because with Eurasiers, they treat you like you have been gone for years even after you just come out of the bathroom.

There will always be a slight dip in performance when dogs go to a random reward schedule. In the beginning, if the rewards are only given every other time, the dog’s under performance is temporary until they understand the game. There is the problem if a dog is moved from continuous rewards to random rewards too soon. The dog’s willingness to work goes away because he does the game. . If that happens the solution is to go back on continuous rewards for a while and try later. Try not to race through the learning process. Do not compare as each dog is different.

Also, when dogs are left on a continuous reward program too long their motivation goes away. A sign when this happens is when your dog stops working or following your commands. So, you have to go back to step one, but now learning a different command where the dog gets the reward all the time to different amounts of the reward to some of the time treats. You need to pay attention to the behavior of your dog. Verbal Praise is constant.

Dogs will eventually stop following commands.

  1. New dog owners who never train a dog are impatience with the performance of their dog. (The dog is not learning as fast as the owner feels the dog should.)

  2. Does not take the training seriously.

  3. Don’t train the dog to perform without treats.

  4. Don’t stop changing your dog’s mind, because boredom along with stress will cause the dog to act out and will be destroying anything and everything.

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