Bribery vs Reward in Dog Training

Many humans have this idea when using food to train is often associated with bribery. The truth is dogs do what works. Therefore if using food gets them to do what you want, then I can not see why not? You can also use the world around you as a reinforcement (premack theory).

Every moment you spend with your dog is a learning opportunity, so in reality, we probably don’t use food often as we think except during active training sessions. Ask yourselves, why does my dog continue to follow me? Because you reinforce him with praise, petting, food, walks and play. Always remember, that behavior should produce the food (reinforcer); the food (reinforcer) should not produce the behavior.

Vinny Olito CPDT-KA, CCDT
LLA cert of excellence
BAT cert of attendance

Basset Hound, Hound, Dog.



  1. My husband and I have had our puppy for just a coupe months now, and we have tried everything to train him. We are even thinking about enrolling him into a pet training program. However, I will have to do a bit more thinking. We mostly use treats to reinforce his behavior, but its true that other types of reinforcement like praise could be more of a beneficial award.

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