Always Trade Up

“Always trade up!”

My youngest, home bred girl, has always had a great retrieve. Her first retrieve to hand was completed at 6 weeks old, clicker trained and to her just another game to play. Bearing this in mind, her retrieve is by now very ingrained. When she finds things or steals something her instinct is always to bring it straight to me for her reward.

This morning was a great remind of something not everyone appreciates and that is ‘always trade up’! What do I mean by that?

Well this mornings example was a find Faith made in the garden, right at the bottom she found a crisp packet had blown over and it was complete with wonderful smells and crumbs! She picked it up and ran past me to go indoors, I called her back and asked her to hand over her find and she did. She did because she has been heavily reinforced for it in the past. But, she also did it because she knows she can rely on me to produce a reward that is worthy. What do I mean by this?

I always trade up…..

So, if she brings me for example:

  • A piece of kibble shes found, I would trade up for a piece of tasty sausage.
  • If she has a tug toy, I would trade up for a squeaky ball.
  • If she has a smelly packet of crisps shes found, I would trade up for a super smelly tripe stick.

She can rely on me to always present her with something better! It doesn’t have to be a something, it can also be a game, a belly rub but the ultimate aim is that it is what your dog finds most rewarding.

So get to really know your dog, what do they really love, what could they do without etc and use your rewards accordingly. Remember, even once you have a reliable behaviour, don’t take it for granted, keep working on it and reinforcing it, always!
For canines & their companions
Nina – 07917 445830