Which Toy is the Better Reward?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll always say it: Dogs work better when they are presented with the promise of a reward. They WILL perform if they MUST, but their performance will appear as such. In other words, if you want your dog to look happy doing a job… make sure he thinks there’s a reward involved.
For people who say, “I don’t always want to have to have a treat to lure my dog into doing what I ask – you’re kinda right! Your dog will form associated patterns if he thinks there’s always gonna be a reward there. You’re making him think that there will always be a ball, tug or treat – doesn’t mean it always has to be there. Done properly, reward-based training builds a stronger and better bond than aversives. I do leave the door open for aversives. If a dog does NOT comply when I know he knows what I want, he will get corrected, but that comes a bit later. Right now, let’s focus on rewards.