Kibble as reward seems to have gone a bit south

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by HollyBerry, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. HollyBerry

    HollyBerry Registered Users

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    I guess she's just decided she's a bit over it..(i'm speaking only training in the house now)

    We started our puppy class two weeks ago and had to work on a bit of 'engage with me for basic training in this more interesting environment' so theres been a bit of an increase in the frequency of chicken or tuna cakes etc and it's gone a bit south from there. Or at least its in the last two weeks we've experienced a real change and i am just guessing it may be in part connected to that.

    We decided to reduce meals a few times to see if this would increase her interest in working for a less interesting food but i would say she just ignored it more, became very cranky and overly hyper around the house so we didn't withold for too long. This also coincided with a complete stop in all interesting treats except for on the puppy class and recall training. I also stopped all training outside until this is sorted so i can limit her access to a more interesting food but it still doesn't seem to be working. I suppose the reinforcement she is getting from puppy class is enough to say nah i wont work for that. I don't feel i can withhold all 'good' treats altogether just because i think class would be living hell and there are practical moments outside of it where sometimes you need a great lure but maybe thats what is necessary for a week or two until we're back to normal?

    Does anyone have any experience/suggestions? Am i missing something really obvious perhaps?
     
  2. HollyBerry

    HollyBerry Registered Users

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    Oh and i should add what we are working with because its not everything that gets a nose turn for kibble-

    clicker retrieve and handling (nail clipping, mouth exam), and place cue (go to mat) seem to be unaffected by this, i think in part because in clicker retrieve finding the kibble is a game.

    Its sit, and sit with distraction and sit at distance she couldn't give a moments notice to. Nor any heel work or really any duration training of positions. Sit works great with toys as the rewards but i can't get the repetitions in in the same way and its a really fine line between fun an overexciting her. I also can't help but wonder is holding the toy and asking for the trick not just a bit like holding the treat before their nose?? I'm probably doing this wrong but the best toy is too big for a pocket haha
     
  3. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Our stint at agility(before she closed down) made me realise that different breeds respond to different rewards. All the border collies had no interest in food and were rewarded with a toy and their concentration was the best.
     
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  4. HollyBerry

    HollyBerry Registered Users

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    Yeah i wondered if the answer was staring me in the face really. But its not negatively bribing then to be holding the toy whilst giving cues then?
     
  5. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oh I don’t know. Maybe someone better qualified will answer that!
     
  6. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    You say that she is refusing kibble when you are training (even indoors). My next question would be: Are you feeding your dog?

    Presumably you are, because if you're not feeding her tastier treats except at training class, she would only be eating once a week....

    So presumably you are still giving her meals of kibble. Why? If you want her to work for something, why give it to her free multiple times a day?

    It goes like this:

    Get the food which is her meal. Attempt to train with it. If she refuses it, stop training. Put the food back in the bag. She gets no more food (of any description or type whatsoever) until her next meal time - when again she has a chance to earn it and work for it. At some point she is going to get hungry enough that the food is valuable enough to work for.

    A piece of bread and butter when you've been out walking all day, is the most delicious thing ever. You would do anything for it, at the end of a hike. A piece of bread and butter at the end of a 3 course meal, is really not something you could even force yourself to eat without throwing up. Think about food motivation and use it....

    Dogs will not starve themselves. And one session of puppy class each week with tasty treats, is not enough to fill her up for an entire week, so you should still be seeing a very definite keenness to work for kibble the rest of the time...
     
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  7. HollyBerry

    HollyBerry Registered Users

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    So after i posted the original post i actually found a post you had put up to someone who’s puppy had gone off their food a bit and we’ve just drawn a really hard line and followed the advise you gave there (basically this) because she turned her nose up a bit at dinner last night also. So we reduced the food by half, she gets five seconds to start eating and all training outsde is a hard stop. I just really didn’t feel confident about which way to handle it but christ i can’t have a fussy eater! So your posts gave me the confidence to really draw the line on it. We have 5 days to the next class, and we’ll be a bit more careful about the better rewards when they come back out again in future. I think we got a bit too generous..
     
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  8. HollyBerry

    HollyBerry Registered Users

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    I should add also, as i wasn’t clear, that we will do all food around training now, our usual routine had been all of dinner was earned through training, and now we will be on holiday for buck premier this weekend so we can really hold with it the full weekend now until monday. OH has her to work in the week days and he isn’t so keen to train her (so she gets breakfast and lunch for free) and i’m not sure he is so confident to train her during lunch (still 3 meals a day for a few weeks more i think.. 6 months right?) but i will work on that with him this weekend.
     
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