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April 15, 2013
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The Retrieve

The Retrieve

Cindy demonstrates the retrieve with her Belgian Malinois, Rush. In this short demonstration you will see Rush retrieve a variety of items of differing shape and size.

April 15, 2013   |   2 Minutes, 22 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question here

Question: We have consulted with 3 trainers about training our aggressive 9 month old dog. Two of them said that you should not use food for training as it increases dominant behavior in dogs. Can you give us some advice?

Cindy,

I have recently purchased the videos "dominant and aggressive dogs" and "e collar training" from your site. I have a 9 month old alpha female Doberman and a 4 year old golden retriever.  The Doberman shows handler aggression, aggression towards our golden retriever and toward her bones/toys. I have watched both videos and we have implemented the back to basics approach where we ignore the dog for 2 weeks, keep her on a leash with us in the house at all times, removed all of the toys etc and things are going well.

We consulted 3 professional dog trainers and paid a lot of money to try and get some help managing this dog. 2 of the trainers told us to absolutely not use any food rewards (which we had been doing) They told us that this increased the dominant behavior of the dog.

The videos we watched from your website showed techniques using food for markers and rewards. We are confused now as to where we should or should not use food rewards. Can you please give us some advice.

Cindy's Response:

Training with food correctly can be used with any dog.  it’s old school thinking that you should not use food because it increases dominance.   The trainers you spoke with probably have seen a lot of people use food the wrong way, as a bribe instead of a reward.  There is a difference.

Using a dog’s food to reward good behavior actually can increase your status as a leader to a dominant dog. since food is one of the most important things for a dog, it only makes sense to manipulate that resource to our advantage.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Training with Food.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Search Engine. This search engine was written specifically for Leerburg by our in house IT manager. Our search engine is specific to Leerburg and only searches leerburg.com and the Leerburg web forum. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

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