For example, they have learned to wake me up at 5 am (ok, sometimes 4) seven days a week, without fail, to eat. Chester has learned that if there is a sidewalk, use it. Chester knows “WAIT” from when I used to shout it at him before crossing the street during our old marathon-training days. Gretel is learning the same command but mostly because she takes cues from Chester. I took a class with Gretel where she learned a reliable recall…mostly.
If you ask any long-tern Dachshund owner they will tell you that they are very obedient….as long as you are asking them to do something they already want to do!
I’ll tell you what Chester and Gretel always want to do without fail…EAT! In a a lot of cases, a lack of training can be made up for with treats and a little bribery.
For example, posing for photographs. I haven’t trained them to pose. I haven’t even trained a reliable sit (Dachshunds tend to cheat because their hiney is so close to the ground that they know a half-crouch often looks like a sit looking from the front end of the dog). What I HAVE trained them to mostly sit and wait for a treat. To get them to actually LOOK at the camera, the treats have to be “high value” (as you have seen, even that is not foolproof).
“High value” can mean different things to different dogs. Generally, it is any treat that your dog absolutely goes nuts over and only gets on these special occasions. For Chester and Gretel, I like to use freeze-dried meat treats.
I was out of this kind of treats so it was good timing when Chewy.com contacted me and asked me to try the new Orijen freeze-dried dog treats. I had a good experience with Chewy.com last time, and I really respect the Orijen brand, so I jumped at the chance and ordered the Alberta Wild Board Singles (made with a single meat source).
These treats are great for photo sessions. Their not too big, not too small size is good because Chester and Gretel can see them in my hand but they don’t contain a ton of calories (approximately 7 calories per treat)…which is important when you have to take a lot of photos to get 1 good one. I have tried other freeze-dried treats and either their formula is crumbly and dusty and hard to hold in my hand or they are large and turn to dust when you try to break them into smaller pieces.
I can feel good about giving Chester and Gretel several of these treats because they are getting pure protein and nothing else. They eat grain-free food but it does contain other things like carbs and vegetables. These are like little vitamins to help give their little muscles the protein boost they need to stay strong. Now that it is summer and we are getting more active, they need that.
What is the best treat to bribe your dog with?
Disclaimer: Chewy.com sent me these treats to try free-of-charge but did not compensate me for writing this post. All opinions are my own.