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My pup has doing very well over the past two weeks of ownership... she has had one "mistake" in that time.

Perusing the various tips on house training, I see that many advise that you reinforce the dogs proper potty behavior (i.e. potty outdoors).

While, I believe that my pup detects my falsetto praise as a mild reinforcer, I have this feeling that a more intense reward may interfere with the things. It's just a thought and goes against some very basic training rules, but...

... I get this feeling that I want the dog relaxed for potty time rather than all focused and jacked up about my hot-treat reward. My current method is this: I take the dog out. As she "goes", I say "do your business" calmly. Once finished, I praise her softly.

Well, let me just ask, is this "treat for potty" a solid tactic? What am I rewarding? The "release in an appropriate area" or the completion of the release?

Beyond the emotional intensifying of a reinforcer laden scenario, there is some foggy timing area on what, exactly, is getting the treat.

What do you think?
 

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1) This is a topic of debate. Lots of people don't give food rewards for pottying outside, and my personal view is that if you're getting good results without treats, don't bother. We did (and still do) because our dog was "reverse housebroken" when we got her so we needed stronger reinforcement. We've been using the clicker to put pottying on command, with decent success. We don't use a particularly high-value treat for this, though -- something along the lines of kibble -- so Biscuit doesn't think potty time is EXCITING HOT DOG TIME. But if it's not broken, don't fix it.

2) With either praise or treat, I would reward completion. Otherwise you risk her thinking that you're rewarding her for "assuming the position" or squatting. I would praise/reward the instant she finishes her business and starts to stand up.
 

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I started by praising and treatng when patch completed eliminataion, now he just get praise for a wee and a markie or milk/gravey bone for a poo.

I also know it's hard as he got used to peeing for a treat and it took 3-4 weeks to get him used to haveing a wee without a treat, i started to miss ever other wee, and increased he amount i missed as the weeks went on till he only gets 1 every now and again now just to keep a reinforcement in place but also so he never knows when he will get the treat. tbh he's 23 weeks old and has been clean and dry now for 16 days at night time so i'm pleased with progress.
 

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Rewarding for potty is a solid tactic, reinforcing potty outside, as well as in the bathroom area. However... as Handeggs said "But if it's not broken, don't fix it."

If you think you might reinforce the wrong thing, keep doing what you're doing. I never gave my dog a treat for potty, and after 11 years, he still knows what to do and how to do it :) I do praise him sometimes.... but he gives me an evil eye when I do it. I think the fact that he's lighter is reward enough :) In any case, I strongly recommend that you encourage him to go in the same location, if possible... for your convenience, rather than his.
 
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