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The Cookie Jar Concept

This is an uncut training session of the early stages of teaching Voodoo the “Cookie Jar concept”. Please excuse my training errors, this is something I’m just learning as well but I make some basic errors too. The main components of the concept are 1) The dog can go check out the cookie jar any time he wants. You want the dog to CHOOSE to work with you because 2) YOU are the dog’s “key” to the cookie jar.

We want the dog to learn that the way to open the jar is to work with the human. This is slightly but importantly different from the idea of a “delayed reward” (work X amount and then get “paid”). We want the dog to work the human to convince him/her to open the jar for the dog. This is more powerful for the dog because they have more control. This difference is taught to the dog in the details of the training steps and creates a dog that pushes you to work with them, even though you don’t have any rewards on you.

In the early stages, the dog only has to do easy behaviors to get the human to open the jar. So one of the biggest mistakes I made in this video is expecting too much from Voodoo. So hopefully others can learn from my mistakes in this clip. 🙂

I’m using a different “marker” for this to let Voodoo know the reward will come from the jar (still learning to do this myself, so I still click a few times and I forget to say the new word at least once in this clip). This will later allow me to click behaviors I want to reward from my hand without him running off to the jar. And it will let him know right away when he can run to the jar where I will open it for him.

About dazzlesmom

Dog Mom, Reward-based Dog Trainer, Former Police Officer, Author, Speaker, Martial Artist, Traveler, Instructor.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing! He’s adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This video is so fun to watch because he is communicating clearly and when you push him, he lets you know he is frustrated.



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