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Old 11-11-2016, 10:17 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Interesting. I think my dogs would prefer praise over food as long as they weren't hungry.

What Does Your Dog Value Most - Praise or a Treat?
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:21 AM
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Interesting. I think mine would be in the likes both category.
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:44 AM
965 posts, read 508,632 times
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I have one who prefers food, she was born on open land on a reservation and focus is solely on food. Oh, if I praise her she wags her tail, but walks off sighing because I didn't treat her. I try to always have something on my person for her, she works HARD for that paycheck.

Then one prefers a toy - praise accepted in passing, treats are something he would have to stop moving to take.

The new puppy seems to prefer praise, treats are accepted only if he is hungry - but he is just 10 weeks old.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:08 PM
Location: West Virginia
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I NEVER had a dog that didn't want Praise over Food.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:33 PM
Location: North Idaho
22,672 posts, read 28,697,836 times
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I've owned dogs who refused food rewards while working. Food just got in the way of learning, which was the reward they wanted. Those dogs worked for praise but mostly they worked for the work.

I've owned dogs who had little interest in food and who considered praise to be rude crude manipulation. Those dogs worked because it was polite manners and they rather liked me, as long as I didn't get above myself. Excuse me. Did I say "owned"? I meant roommates with a friendly relationship.

I've owned dogs (2 of them right now) that are so food oriented that their brains turn right off and all they can think of is their stomach. They prefer to work for food, but they also enjoy praise.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:31 PM
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My Houla would work for anything, but food puts him up a notch. With the kelpie, he actually prefers snuggles and smooches much of the time, but when he's feeling very confident, he also kicks it up a notch for a high-value treat. It really depends on the dog. My border collies were show-bred but working dogs at heart. They would do whatever you wanted whenever - however, again food treats served a purpose. When training the treat marks the behavior and the dog remembers it better.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:32 PM
Location: too far from the sea
19,838 posts, read 18,845,295 times
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They sure didn't study my dog. He loves to hear, "good boy" but he'll do anything for a treat. I've worked to condition him by associating praise with a dog treat but he still prefers the treat.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:03 PM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,154,596 times
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I wish every first-time dog owner could read this thread, because it demonstrates such a crucial training point so succinctly: every dog is different. The most successful trainers are the ones who figure out what the DOG prefers as its reward, and incorporate that reward into the training program to get the best performance from that particular animal. There's no one single way to train that's equally effective on all dogs!
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:25 PM
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I never trained my dogs with food. Specially working dogs.
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