Is it just me or is this dog-training technique nuts?

Read all about it and then, please come back and comment if you will.

All I’ll say for now is that this sounds as silly as the mother who toilet trained her kids by giving them candies.

For dogs and for people, there’s a whole category of life lessons to be learned without treats.

5 thoughts on “Is it just me or is this dog-training technique nuts?

  1. Hello, Actually I think it's worth a try. It's pretty heavy on the treats, but really what would that dog pay attention to the most? Food! Not shushing or scolding in this case, so what the heck. At least the dog is not being shocked or screeched at. The real question, I think, is: Why is the dog staked out in the yard alone anyway? I think there are more details there that should be explored. The dog should be vigorously walked and then can come inside with it's person to relax, and not be tied out. That's so redneck. It usually is because of chewing, soiling, etc in the house, and those separate issues should be kindly resolved with better management, crate training, etc. If the owner has the idea that the dog enjoys being left out like patio furniture, hmmm. The neighbors would be delighted with the treat technique, or having the dog walked and then brought inside, so I'd vote with them. The stern note about leaving a dog tied out is SO true. It's just a terrible idea. So, I agree: Walk your doggone dog, quit with the stakeout, and bring on the treats if you must!

  2. Bridget gets walked plenty but she hangs in the back garden in stakeout mode for hours on end. Just sitting and sitting until a cat or, preferably, a raccoon climbs through the trees above.

    We moved to this house from an upper duplex with a great balcony where she would also sit for hours at a time surveying passers by and, yes, sometimes barking at them.

    At first she seemed lost with the fenced in garden and longing for the activity of the street and I have to say that I still think she might enjoy some porch time. But whenever she's hitched there for a minute or two, she will bark up a storm at any dog who dares walk by. And I'm also worried she might get dognapped so it hasn't happened.

    Re the trainer's advice, I think having a dog that barks at strangers approaching the house can be a good thing so I'm not sure you want to train that out of them.

    And all those treats, oy vey

  3. well, I have to say, why can't a blend of both be practiced? I mean, when we were looking at the vid of the young girl Scottie doing all she was doing, sit, high five, down, etc, it was all done with treats.

    Some dogs easily obey because they desperately want to please a human; we all know that a Scots temperament isn't that way.

    Until they are taught otherwise, they believe everything is negotiable or ignorable unless it fits their pistol.

    How we get them to understand what we expect, demand, or need? Aye, now that is the magic, isn't it? But no dog left on its own for long periods of time will do much more than get into trouble especially out in the big wide open!

  4. Hey – I'm all about using positive reinforcement and classic conditioning in training – but there is a component missing here. Genetics play a big role in the barking issue. Folks get breeds because they're cute and never think twice about the bundle of genetic baggage they're toting home until…the neighbors complain. This is a Yorkie-poo – a sweet cuddle muffin that has the nervous system of a high E string on a guitar. They are not a laid back low energy spirit – they were born to warn. BARK! My advice would be – don't put your pup in the situation that pushes his brain into warning mode.

    Along with our Scots we have a Cairn Terrier…a charming, sweet, gentle pupster: however, he is alert at all times. Pip goes from zero to barking frenzy at the thump of a car door…it is his nature. We've trained him to calm quickly – "Thank you, Pip." – but his terrier genetics push him to excite easily. I can't change his brain chemistry and all that energy has to go somewhere so – bark if you must but stop quickly. This is one of the reasons he is never out side without us – that and I, too, worry about theft.

    I often use treats to teach a new behavior: sit, speak, shake, stay, wait, calm. But in this case you wouldn't be teaching a behavior – you'd be stopping a behavior that is a self-defense program in the brain. Training a dog out of a genetic imperative – I think it's gonna take more than chicken. So, in the mean time, don't stake him out there by himself where he thinks he the only thing standing between his house and eminent danger. He's a little guy. It's a big world. A bark is all he's got.

  5. Hello – I very much agree with you Duncky – food works great when you teach your dog some new tricks.

    But here we are talking about correcting a behavior – and that does not work with food treats. in fact you cannot change nature – and some of the dogs have been breeding over a century to get that kind of alert behavior. so the only solution, if you want to change that innate behavior, is to propose alternative behaviors and then see which one fits your dog best and that one then you can also honour with treats. but it is a question of thorough training and lots of good will and patience and time and encouragement – only engaging your dog and making him understand what you want will lead to some improvement. it is not everybody's wish to spend so much time with their dog.

    next time to buy a non-barking race is probably the best solution.

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