Trick/Treat training versus Reliable Obedience Dog Training

It’s not uncommon for clients to mention that their dog knows commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave-it. Then in their following statement, they are searching for help because that same dog doesn’t listen around distractions, pulls on the leash, and blows off any commands if strangers or dogs are around.

How can this be that their dog responds to obedience at certain times and then ignores commands at other times?

This common conundrum is the difference between a dog having Reliable Obedience vs. Trick/Treat Training. It frustrates many owners, but even worse, they blame the dog.

Reliable obedience means the dog truly understands the commands being asked and knows there is a consequence for not doing them. When achieving reliable obedience, a work ethic simultaneously becomes instilled in the dog when it’s taught through leadership, consistency, rules, and boundaries.

Trick/treat training is when the dog chooses what commands and when they perform them, and it’s usually dependent on what’s in it for them (a treat). Don’t misconstrue that rewards aren’t crucial in training because they are. We discourage food rewards used solely to capture the dogs’ attention or to bribe them to perform commands.

The most complex struggle for owners is bridging the gap between a dog wanting to do something vs. having to do something when they don’t want to.

When a dog comes for a Full-Service Training Program, much more is taught than the basic obedience commands. That is only one dynamic of the program. We never overlook the importance of good manners. Manners such as not bolting outdoors, pacing, whining, shoving toys at owners, jumping, counter surfing, being content outside alone, and mouthing are more important than a dog that sits for a treat (when they feel like it.)

Having a healthy relationship with your pet means they respect and love you as their leader. It also means you understand who they are as a breed and what they need to thrive. When all three of these dynamics work simultaneously, you manifest a lifelong partnership with your dog. We are here to help at The Doghouse, LLC with any of your training needs.