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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, after the dog learns to do a trick, do you still have to give it treats when it does it to have it continue doing so?

I keep thinking after it learns the trick and you no longer give it treats it will stop. Thanks!
 

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Well, you will put the dog on a variable reward schedule, so the dog will keep doing the trick in hopes that he`ll get a reward, however rewards don`t have to be treats all the time either, praise, petting, toys, going outside, etc, are all good rewards.
 

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Once the dog has learned the trick, your job is not finished !

After your dog learns the trick, you need to generalize it, meaning do that trick in different locations, and also introduce distractions progressively.
For example, the dog learned the trick in your living room, do it a couple times in the kitchen, then in the yard. If all goes well, do the trick on the sidewalk, and then at the dog park, in town or wherever you go with your dog.
All the while, you need to give treats, because for the dog, doing the same trick in diffrent places or under different circumstancers is like doing different tricks.

When you were teaching the trick, you were (or should have been) pairing the treat with a verbal, like "good boy" or "nice job".
In the learning phase, you should always give the treat and verbal.
During the generalization phase, always give the verbal, but once in a while, not the treat.
When all goes well, you will give the treat less and less often, randomly, until you get to the point when you almost only give the verbal, and reward with a treat only once in a while.

Dogs (and people) learn very well with a random schedule of reinforcment.
Don't forget to be enthusiastic when using your verbal, so it will become a great reward in itself for your dog !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! one more..do you have to wait until a dog masters a command before moving on to the next? or can you work on more than one?
 

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I work on a few at a time. Dogs get bored doing the same thing over and over again. Now, if the next trick involves the first, you do have to master the first before moving on to the next.
 

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Ditto Amaryllis.
I would not teach "sit" and "lie down" at the same time, as they are easily confused by the dog learning them.
But "roll over" and "sit pretty" for example, can be worked on in parallel.
 

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My dogs work on 2-4 tricks per session, it keeps them engaged and happy. I have alot of 1/2 done tricks that I haven't finished training, and I might leave a trick for awhile then attempt it a few months later and the dog remembers it (and is often better at it! LOL)
 

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I always only worked on one trick at a time because I don't feel like my dog is very smart about picking them up. Or perhaps he's extra smart and training me to reward him with treats for as little effort as possible.

I wonder sometimes.
 

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I always only worked on one trick at a time because I don't feel like my dog is very smart about picking them up. Or perhaps he's extra smart and training me to reward him with treats for as little effort as possible.

I wonder sometimes.
Don't we all!
 
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