My Dog Is a Capitalist, Except Her Money Is Treats

I mentioned before that I have random conversations with my dog, mostly because she at least looks at me while I’m talking. Well, lately, she’s been talking back. No, I haven’t finally lost my last sanity brain cell, I mean she’s found HER voice and has decided that she must use it. Loudly. At the sprinklers, a passing bird and other various things. I’ve been teaching her the Hush! command, which works…as long as there are treats available. No treats, no hush. And while I’ve gotten many of the basic commands through, like sit and lay down, she will only maintain them if she knows a treat is coming in the near future. If she even SUSPECTS that a treat isn’t coming, she’s likely to break command.
Now, most of the training books and places I’ve been use treats to “get the dogs attention” and say that after time passes, they will just automatically do the commands without the need for reward other than the “good girl” statement. My dog has learned that “good girl” translates to “I’m going to give you a treat”. Whenever I tell her “good girl”, she immediately sits at my feet and looks up at me expectantly. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing, except that when I don’t happen to have a treat on me, she then heavily sighs and either walks away (if she’s off leash) or refuses to move (if she’s on leash). Now, I can pick her up, and sometimes do, but I have to say that I obviously do not do well training smart dogs unless I have an unlimited supply of treats in my pocket. Which nowadays, I do. I think I’ve been trained…

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