Let’s talk treats.
There is a value system to treats. Think of our money as the same. We find a penny and are happy but if we find a dollar, five dollar, or even twenty dollar bill we are thrilled!
Its the same for our dogs.
When I teach CJ something at home where it’s nice and quiet I use a penny value treat, kibble or tricky trainers.
When I am working on that same skill I taught him at home but out in the backyard or front yard for the first time I will use the dollar bill value frozen zucchini.
That same skill can be worked on in the Petco parking lot as far away from the door as possible with the five dollar value treat or the string cheese.
Take that same exact skill right outside the door or even inside the store and we are going to need that twenty dollar bill treat or chicken/hamburger/steak (which is not shown because I didn’t want to put chicken on my counter).
The more distractions and the closer you work to those distractions the higher value your treat needs to be.
Now this doesn’t mean every time we go out to Petco now I need to bring chicken but when we first went I did. As your dog gets better or more fluent in behaviors you can scale back down the value system of treats until you and your dog are able to perform skills everywhere for kibble.
One last note! Just because CJ or your dog can perform for kibble everywhere, every time, under every circumstance doesn’t mean they should. I’ll still pay CJ for a sit with some chicken because who doesn’t like randomly finding a twenty dollar bill?