The fourth and final myth in the Mythbusting Miniseries contains a little bit of a throwback to Myth #1 because we're back on the topic of treats:
If you recall, Myth #1 talked about how using treats in training can often be seen as bribery; to reiterate, using a bribe is different from using a reward.
Bribe: "Hey, kid - I'll give you an extra scoop of ice cream if you eat all the vegetables on your plate."
Reward: "Here you go kid - you ate all your vegetables, so you get an extra scoop of ice cream."
With our SideKicks, the same concept applies: Wave a treat in front of Rover's face every time you ask for a Sit and you'll be hard-pressed to continue getting the Sit you ask for without waving a treat. This is about the time we start calling Rover stubborn or even dumb.
But, that's a bit unfair, don't you think? By waving food in Rover's face every time when teaching a Sit, he learned that it's just part of the Sit process; it's one of the steps that needs to be accomplished before the butt should touch the floor.
If you're going to teach your SideKick with food treats (and I recommend you do!), you've got a couple options:
1) Utilize clicker training and teach your SideKick that a treat only comes after a click (which only comes after you see what you like to see for the training exercise you're working on).
2) Keep the treats completely out of the hands and out of sight; it's only presented or provided after a behavior worthy of reward is performed.
Essentially, be conscious of what you are telling your SideKick is part of the process and be especially conscious that a visible treat isn't part of the cue for behaviors you're looking for.
We hope you've enjoyed each of the myths in this Mythbusting Miniseries! Can't wait to bust some more myths in a future miniseries!