Friday, August 24, 2012

Treats or No Treats

                    I have seen changes in the diabetic alert dog forums recently. There is a movement to move away from treats or transitioning away from treats to just praise as a reward for alerting. I have an extremely treat motivated service dog and I was thinking about trying it but the other part of me is like why fix something that is not broken. Mind you my dog is sneaky and she is always trying to come up with new ways to get extra treats. She will for example wait til exactly and hour after I have eaten knowing that my blood sugar will be above 120. That would then fall in a high alert. She is extremely smart so here doing this is no real surprise to me. I have a feeling that taking away the treats for  her could have some adverse effects to how she alerts and so I am not going to do it. I know some of the people who have been able to transition from treats their dogs are not very treat motivated. I am not the best dog trainer and so I have been learning as I go but I think on my part that I am doing the right thing for Duchess and I. She is an excellent alerter and I rely upon her so much. I cannot even justify trying it at this point because I do worry about it being dangerous for me. I have been giving her treats for the past two years and it seems like my choice is the best for both of us.



  1. Just as we raise our children - with what works for us as parents, we also raise our dogs. My husband (@maindog101) has a guide dog, and as she's grown older, we find that different things motivate her, and we are always thinking of new ways. You are that dog's partner and best friend, so as her best friend, you know her BEST. Do what's right for Duchess, and only you know the answers, or at least in the best position to figure out what those answers are.

  2. Thank you Jamie. Each dog is so different and most people think the same solution will work for all dogs. My dog is really sensitive to change so I will try new things very slowly but sometimes they do not work, but eventually I'm sure I will find a better method.