More than one dog owner has had trouble motivating their canine companions to work. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject:
Using Food or a Toy
Some dog trainers use this method to communicate or motivate a dog. They start to associate the command being given with the exercise. It is all well when being taught in play or prey; however, it might be easy to predict the dog’s reaction in a serious situation. Dogs trained this way will wait for the clicker to click or the toy to make a sound, rather than retreat! It is easy to deduce that while the dog was in communication with the accessory, it made no connection with its handler.
Is there ever a reason to raise communication barriers between yourself and the dog? When training a dog on what to do when in danger or under stress, being open and honest will take you farther than bribery ever could.
You might complain that your dog is not taking it seriously; however, understand that serious work requires serious motivation and communication. You can only motivate the canine through your own motivation.
As explained previously, maintain a working attitude while working with your dog to let it realize the gravity of the training. Another important thing to take under consideration is the breed your dog belongs to, which has an impact on how it gets trained. Training a sled dog or a Shitzu to Search and Rescue would be pretty useless. Select a breed that will suit the “work” because someone’s life may be depending on your training!
Honesty and attentiveness when training your Personal Protection dogs will serve you well in the field. Bribery will not.