Why do dogs not take treats during training?

Today, I was asked this question. I have experienced in the past dogs who do not take treats during training and behavior modification and when this happens I do an assessment to figure out why the dog is refusing treats in the first place and what can be done about it.

In many cases, the dog who refuses treats is in a fearful state of mind and over threshold. So the aim is to increase the value of the treats and lower the threshold. I use several strategies to lower the threshold and one of the most common is to increase distance from whatever appears to put the dog over threshold.

Finally, dogs who are play motivated and/or have strong predatory drive, I can use games and toys and I also use life rewards once I have learned from the owner the activities the dog naturally finds reinforcing.

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