Fetching for a Treat

Like most Shibas, Loki is very treat motivated. If you have a treat, he'll obey your commands and if you don't, he'll ignore you. Many trainers and some really great dog books recommend getting your dog to obey without food, but I'm at a loss on how to achieve that with Loki. He cares for praise and affection about as much as I care for a gold star sticker.

The other day, I was doing a quick training session with him, reviewing old commands and trying to introduce a new one - stay. Loki has little patience for the command stay. He has to wait too long to get a treat. He starts scratching and whining. Then all of a sudden in the middle of my training session, I see a light bulb go off in his head. He darts across the room, picks up his toy, brings it to me, and politely sits in front of me. I laughed so much at his ingenuity that I gave him a treat.

You see, I've been trying to train him to play fetch, as that is not something he naturally does. And in training him to play fetch, I give him a treat for fetching his toy. This time, he decided to fetch for a treat without being told to do so.

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