Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Change Food-Motivated Behavious

JanM
November 12th, 2006, 08:12 PM
My 2.5 yr old Golden is totally food motivated - I would like to change this behaviour but have no idea how to go about it. He has been like this since I got him at 8 wks. He will eat anything - digestible or not! I give him a tiny piece of a biscuit when he responds to commands like "come" but I wish I didn't have to! My other Golden is not food motivated at all (thank goodness). Any suggestions would be appreciated..

mummummum
November 12th, 2006, 08:46 PM
I'm not sure you can change a food-centric dog but you can reduce the frequency of treats given. Start off by pairing the obedience command with a treat and another reward (some use high praise and affection, others use "clickers"). Then give the treat every second command , then every third, then completely randomly but always maintaining Reward B with each command ~ and it always comes first before the treat.

Goldens4Ever
November 12th, 2006, 10:41 PM
JanM,

LOL! My two goldens are the exact same way! The oldest is completely food-motivated and our youngest is not, AT ALL! The youngest will do anything and really doesn't even want a treat, but the oldest....getting her to do something without having a tasty treat readily available; not very likely. I agree with the other post, in that if a dog is food-centric, it may be difficult to completely change that but you can always reduce the amount of treats. I think that it's just a part of who they are.....it's kind-a like some people are motivated to do things for others by the amount of appreciation, publicity, etc. that's given to them in return for their good deed, while other people don't care about what they get in return, they just do it. Make sense??

JanM
November 13th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Thank you both! I've been thinking I could probably not change his behaviour and it's nice to know others have the same problem! I do change the frequency of treats - sometimes he only gets one every 3rd or 4th time he "obeys" and other times it's every time - he never knows when he will get one. I guess I'll just have to accept that he is who he is and go with flow...
Thanks again..