Using Food for Training Reward or Bribery — A Fine Line©

Using food as a reward and using food as bribery is two different things. Although it is easy for the average owner to mistakenly use bribery when using food as the reward.

Bribery is when you ask your dog to do a behavior, he ignores you and you pull out a treat, show it to him and ask him to do it again. Bribery is when you use a treat to lure him into doing something. Bribery is when you say, “I’ve got this to give you if you will do this for me.”

When we use food as a reward, we do it differently. We never show the dog we have it or wave it in front of his nose, and we also don’t give our dog commands that the dog isn’t consistent in doing. We wait for the behavior to occur and then treat when it does. The dog doesn’t learn to see the treat and do the behavior instead, he learns to do the behavior to make the treat appear. Once the dog is consistently offering the behavior, the command is added and the food is slowly shaped away from that particular behavior.

If you find yourself using food in a bribery fashion and can’t seem to get out of it, please email me or give me a call and schedule a private training lesson modified just for you. I will help you stop your bad habit in no time.

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