Why do we use food as a reward, and not just praise?
We want to make it really easy and fun for the pups to learn – using a ‘primary reinforcer’ will help.
A primary reinforcer is something that we need to survive – for example food – and we don’t need to form a positive association with it.
A secondary reinforcer is something that we learn a (hopefully positive) association with, for example praise. A secondary reinforcer is normally paired with a primary reinforcer to achieve its (positive) association; “good girl Dyfri” handing her the treat.
Over time the food and the praise will become interchangeable, but for most dogs the food will still be of higher value than just the praise.
YOUR PUP DOES NOT WORK FOR FREE AT THE MOMENT. EVERY GOOD BEHAVIOUR DESERVES A REWARD. Try to have treats handy.