A treat can be a bribe or a reward depending on when it is given. Timing is everything.
If you have your dog’s attention and ask the dog to complete a command and he does it, you then take the treat out of your pocket and offer it, that is a reward.
If you are offering the treat up front, the dog sees it, and then you make the command, this is called luring or bribery. It is not a reward. You are telling your dog that you have a nice little treat if he performs a certain command.
Bribery can also take place if you ask your dog to perform a command that he knows how to do and has completed the task over and over but for some reason just is not in the mood. You have asked a couple of times and you decide to take the treat out of your pocket and show it to get the desired outcome. The treat has now become a bribe. The goal in training is to avoid bribery!
Before asking your dog to do something, have his attention and be sure he is looking at you. It is important that your dog knows his name and responds to it. Teaching your dog to respond to his name first will prompt him to look at you when called. Then you can ask him to perform his task. After the task is performed, the treat and praise are given. Now that is a reward!
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