How To Prevent Bribery In Dog Training
In the dog training world, there seems to be two big groups of clients. On one side, there are clients who are incredibly stingy and hoard treats like they are gold, and on the other side, there are clients who never let a treat leave their hand or in front of their dog’s noses. For those clients who find it hard to put down the treats, we have to get creative and find ways to get those treats out of their hands. Here are some tips on how to prevent bribery in dog training.
If clients are working away from their ziplock bag of treats, it is likely that they will take handfuls so they don’t have to keep going back to the bag every click. A treat bag on their waist or a treat vest will keep their treats accessible so they do not have to load up a handful before a training session.
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As a teacher, we are there to monitor our students. If we hold the treats for our clients, then we can monitor when they go for the treats. This can make our clients more aware of their clicker and treats, and prevent them from grabbing a treat before they click. This technique does require you to accompany the client as they work so their treats are accessible. An approach like this may not be appropriate for everyone or every dog. Assess your situation before utilizing this approach.
If your client consistently grabs for a treat before the click, try finding a ‘home’ station. Collaborate with your client and find a position that their hands can go back to every time after clicking and treating. Once they use the position enough, it will become second nature and will get rid of the premature grabbing of the treats. This technique can also be used with the previous suggestion.
TAG teaching is the human equivalent of clicker training. You, the trainer, will come up with a TAG point for your client. A TAG point is the criteria of what you want. An example could be, “The TAG point is hand on thigh.” It would be your client’s job to return their hand to their thigh after every click/treat. When your client does place their hand on their thigh, you would click your own unique clicker just for your client. In this case, the click is reinforcement to your client for a job well done. TAG teaching makes your client aware of what is expected of them and makes them more aware of what they are doing. After enough times, it becomes routine for your clients to keep placing their hand on their thigh. To learn more about TAG teaching, visit their website here.
Being a trainer means that we must be good teachers to our clients. When our clients have good clicker mechanics, they can achieve anything they want. Sometimes we have to use our creativity to help our clients become proficient at training.
What other creative ways have you used to get treats out of your client’s hands?
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