Enlightened by Dogs Podcast

EBD047 The Truth About Treats in Dog Training

Explore the truth about treats in dog training: Do you have a partnership or a transactional relationship with your dog?

Welcome to the Enlightened by Dogs podcast hosted by the passionate and informative Kathy Kawalec. Each week Kathy will bring great stories, tips, and strategies to help you build a better relationship with your dog. Dogs are socially intelligent parts of our family group and so we must treat them as such.

In this episode, Kathy tackles the importance of building partnership relationships with our dogs and plays a clip from the Q & A portion of her workshop where she dives into the topic of the truth about treats in dog training.

Listener Question: “You talked about transactional relationships which is where I think we’ve gone wrong. However, I have a question. One of the things we do where I think we are both safe, calm, and happy is scent work, but he is rewarded for every find. Is this building our relationship?

Listen for more on:

  • What’s the difference between training/transaction and life/partnership with our dogs
  • The truth about treats in dog training and the mistakes we are making

Listen to discover:

  • Transactional relationship – what is it?
  • Partnership relationship
    • What does it mean?
    • Why is it effective?
    • Why is it the correct method?
  • Using treats
    • Interact
    • Engage
    • Reward/reinforcement
  • Training/working
  • Rant
    • Nothing wrong with using treats
    • Treats are amazing
    • Concept that everything is about training
    • Stuck in treat/no treat transaction
    • Training mindset
    • Limitation in transactional relationship
  • Suggestions
    • 95% rule
    • Start where you are


“Transactional Relationship: Don’t confuse working and getting a reward for a job well done, with a real relationship.”

“The mistake is making everything transactional – life with dogs is so much more than training.”

“I want to encourage you to separate training from lifestyle with your dog. Like separating work from home and family life … or school from the rest of your life.”

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