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what can I use as a treat??

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Out BC is coming up to a year old now. We have been going regularly to dog training but my current challenge is getting him to walk to heel better, and also to "drop" on command.


In the house, or at training, he is fine and responds well to food treats - particularly cheese. However, when outside nothing seems to interest him - except being outside - I've tried cheese, smelly sausage and dog treats but he doesn't even want to look at food. On the advice of my trainer I've tried a new toy in the house - letting him play with one end, whilst I hold the other - and then producing this toy from my pocket when we are out. Again, he's not interested in the toy as a reward. I know I need to reward him when he goes "down" but don't know what to reward him with so that he thinks "wow" that was good. Somehow words of praise and a pat on the head don't seem enough. Any ideas anyone??

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Let me tell you, I've had the same problem with my dog too. When outside, I'm not even there. Which I can find very dangerous if there is another dog there and I couldn't call a command to her such as "come". All dogs are different but what I tried with my Border Collie is taking her to the beach off the leash, with a tennis ball, which she loves. Get them into the game of catch or tag, and then while your dogs playing ask him for a down, sit, ect. and when he does it throw the tennis ball, or some other toy to him softly. It's worked like a charm for me, and I understand where your comming from when you said that a pat on the head isn't enough. My dog doesn't like the pat, she doesn't see it as praise at all. Well I hope I was of some help, bye.

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Thanks - will try that one. He loves a tennis ball as well. When we take ours out we take a tennis racket as well and belt the ball as hard as possible so that he has to run for it. He thinks it's wonderful, but my husband will never be able to play tennis on a proper court again because he just wacks the ball as far as he can now.

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Hi there!


I just wanted to add a few things if I may! The ball idea is great, but I thought of something else too!


I was having the same problems as you were. I couldn't figure out how to praise Koal so that she KNEW I was praising her. Just a simple "Good Girl" wasn't good enough, and I didn't want to overload her on treats so that every time she did a trick or listened to a command, she'd be sniffing my hand looking for a reward. I don't want her looking for something unless I give it to her.


I just happened to turn on the tv the other day and there was a show about dog training on PBS. They said when you praise your dog to use a VERY high pitched voice, almost like Mickey or Minnie Mouse (sound almost animated)! They recognize that better than a "Good Girl" or "Good Boy" used at regular tone, or a slightly higher than regular tone. I tried it on Koal, and it WORKED WONDERS!! She now knows when she's good and when she's being bad, because my voice now has 2 extremes to it, instead of one tone for bad, and one for everything else. They also said that if you make the commands fun, and sound like play words, they'll respond better.


A third thing that I picked up from that show. If you use their name before or after (either one consistantly) an action command, like "Come" or "Sit", they respond with more enthusiasm because they know you're talking to them, and it's less confusing for them.


I tried these little 'tricks', if you would, on Koal, and they worked wonders (and it's only been 2 or 3 days since the show)! Below I have included the URL of the site for the show just for some valuable reading and such! You can even buy the videotapes of the series from there too if you like. Be sure to check out the Ball for the Tips From Marty! They helped me out!



Take care, and good luck with your pooch!






Jennifer and Koal

London, Ontario, Canada

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