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Categories: Marker Training , Training With Food

Q. I'm having a lot of fun training my dog with your marker DVD. Will he be as responsive if we're out and about and I don't have a treat with me or he's not hungry?
I am having tons of fun training our Vizsla with your Marker training video. He responds very well to it. I am concerned though about the "end-game."

Will he be as responsive if we're out and about, and I don't happen to have a treat with me, and his hunger drive is low?

I am wondering if we're building in an expectation for him, to always have food, which is logistically difficult.

Thanks for your opinion.

A. I wouldn't worry about the end game yet. It takes many months to build the engagement and behaviors to the point where you should be thinking about phasing out rewards.

Right now, you should always have food on you and if you don't, then I would not ask for any behaviors. You definitely want to build the expectation that you DO have a treat in the beginning. Too many folks get in a big hurry to phase those out.

If this tells you something about me, my dogs are 10, 5 and 2 years old and every time I do laundry I find dog treats in the lint trap of the dryer. Haha. Even when my dogs are fully trained, I randomly reward them and it keeps them guessing (like the lottery). I have food in my pockets all the time.

I'd recommend the video The Power of Training Dogs with Food. Depending on your goals, we also have a video for much later that shows how to wean dogs off food, Finishing Work.

I hope this helps.
Cindy Rhodes

  Response:

Thanks very much for your thoughtful response. I love Ed's funny responses on his website. Sounds like he doesn't suffer fools gladly. Just purchased a tug and recall video. I'll try the one you mentioned yet.
  
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