Kathy and Sarah give tips and advice on how to use your dog's food to train them!
Kathy: Welcome to Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense “Episode Two: Ditch The Bowl Challenge.” I’m your host Kathy Santo and I'm here to teach you everything I've learned in my over three decades of training dogs, their families, competing in dog sports, writing about dogs, and being a guest on radio and TV shows. I'm so glad you joined us today and I'm also so glad that I'm here with one of my favorite people, my trainer, Sarah, who used to work up with us and our dog training facility in New Jersey, but now is out in Fort Collins, Colorado doing a smaller, at the moment, version of the school we have up here and we have big plans for you, Sarah. I'm really excited about putting a facility down there sometime soon.
Sarah: Yes, absolutely. Hey everyone! Alright, so today's episode we are going to address one of our absolute favorite things to do with our students. We do it throughout the year, and it's our Monthly Bowl Free Challenge.
Kathy: Which is different than a Free Bowl Challenge, which is what one of my students in Puppy Class, she’s like, “Wait, what? We get, you're giving us a free bowl?”
Kathy: I'm like, “No, no, no...let me say it again. It's a Bowl Free Challenge.” But they still didn't know what the hell that means.
Sarah: No, they, and it's something that, that they don't even, it doesn't even cross their mind to do this. A lot of the times, like, when we tell students, like, use your dog's food to train, that's a perfect opportunity, to, for your dog to be learning how to earn everything in their lives and they don't even think about it. They think that they have to use, like, hot dogs or cheese to train their dogs anything.
Kathy: Right! So here's what I tell them. Number one, when we train new dogs, puppies, a lot of the times we're using food and it's because there's not a relationship yet with the owner and the dog. And two, food, to dogs, is currency. It's like paychecks. Although, occasionally, I get somebody who says, “Why can't I just train with praise?” And I'm like, “Well you can, but it's not as interesting to the dogs, because they hear you talking all the time. You probably praised them for just breathing all the time,” and, “How would you like it if your workplace decided, ‘you know what we're doing with paychecks, we're just going to give you lots of compliments’? ”
Sarah: We're going to hug you every time you do a great job.
Sarah: Kisses on the cheek for exceptional work.
Kathy: Exactly. No, that's why I work for myself.
Sarah: I would be, I would quit. I'd be out of there in three seconds.
Kathy: That’s right! And, you know what, there's a lot of dogs who don't like that physical touching stuff!
Kathy: So, yeah, way to turn your dog off. Alright, so, basically what I explained to my students is, your dog and you have a list of things you want to teach them. Manners, commands, just basic stuff, basic dog husbandry, that you need to have them understand so that you can live a happy life together, which is the reason you got your dog in the first place.
Kathy: And if you have all these things that you need to teach and every day you give them a free bowl twice a day, or three of you have a puppy, of exactly what they want for doing nothing, you are throwing away the biggest training tool that you have, and that is, leveraging their meal for training. I mean, and when you say to people, they're like, “Oh yeah, you're right!” The thing of it is it improves your relationship because you have something the dog wants. The dog is like, “Hey, I...I really want that!” And you're like, “Hey, that's awesome. Let's do something together!” The dog is like, “Absolutely, I will totally e