Frequently Asked Questions: When can I fade the treats?

Last night during one of my group classes, I had a student raise her hand and ask "I don't know if it's too early to be asking this, but when can we stop giving them treats?". Since this is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get, I discussed the answer with the entire class. And the answer is: it depends (of course!). The fact of the matter is that treats are one of the easiest, most efficient ways to reward good behavior. If it was really important to you or your dog had some kind of allergy or food intolerance that you were sorting out, you could stop giving treats today as long as you were using SOME kind of reinforcer (i.e. fetch, tug, the opportunity to go outside or

Change Takes Time

One of my coworkers quit smoking last month. She had been smoking for over half of her life, and for health reasons decided to quit cold turkey. As of this week she still thinks about cigarettes. Often. I have a good friend from school who had a chronic tardiness problem. She set out to change her ways, and was successfully arriving earlier than scheduled appointments after several weeks of retraining herself using sticky notes and multiple sets of preprogrammed alarms. When I was in high school I had a BMI of 35.9, which is in the "obese" category. That was my senior year. Fast forward five years and I was able to bring myself back down to a healthy BMI using exercise and cleaning up my die

Leash your dog!

A few weeks back I had a student in one of my basic obedience classes ask if he ever would be able to walk his dog off leash in their neighborhood. I asked him why that was something he was interested in, and he mentioned that his uncle never leashes his dog while walking him. We had a long discussion, and I'm happy to report that he was pretty convinced by the end of class that he didn't ever need to do as his uncle does. So why should you make sure to keep your dog leashed when out and about in public? 1) Safety! If you've never seen a dog get hit by a car, be grateful. My number one reason for keeping a leash on your dog are the safety issues involved. The fact of the matter is that for

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Mary Thompson, CPDT-KA, PMCT
Phone: 312-307-6481

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In Home Dog Training serving Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Itasca, Des Plaines, Mt. Prospect, Roselle, Wooddale, Bensenville, Hoffman Estates, Park Ridge, Niles, Prospect Heights, Wheeling,  and more.
Group classes in Des Plaines.