How to fade behaviors

A lot of people tell me that they don’t want to use treats forever. What people need to understand is that treats are used in the beginning of training. We use the word primary reinforcement to describe treats because they are the first or primary resource that dogs seem to enjoy. Secondary reinforcement examples are toys, touching ( tactile), ice, even hose plays. It is important when you begin training to first use the primary reinforcement (R1) then over time if the behaviors are consistent ( ie the dog does the behavior every time you ask for it) start fading the treats. Using smaller and smaller amounts and substituting touching and praise will move you away from treats. However treats are an important part of the training process and I suggest if you are training a new behavior or trying to correct undesired behavior to use treats initially. Set yourself up for success.


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