By Dr Sophia Yin, DVM
Back in 2004 when I first developed the Treat & Train for the Sharper Image (now the MannersMinder sold by Premier Pet), my official designated use for the product was to solve unruly behavior that dogs exhibit when guests come to the house. But at the time, I had so many thoughts on how I wanted to use this device. Just imagine what you could do if you could finally reward your dog away from you, right as they were performing the desired behavior, and you could set the exact treat rate? And you could basically follow portions of the protocols that are already on the Treat & Train DVD. The uses were limitless with the most imaginative and experienced trainers recognizing the potential the best.
Here are some examples of how Canine Rehabilitation Specialist and Veterinary Technician, Sarah Johnson used the Treat&Train/ MannersMinder during rehabilitation for her Border Collie, Trooper, after he had TPO surgery on his hip. Sarah has top-performing agility Border Collies and participates in other canine sports too. So getting Trooper back to top athletic condition is foremost in her mind. She currently works at the Andrew Sams Clinic in Mill Valley, CA developing and implementing a canine rehabilitation program and has a video called Pilates for Dogs (http://www.fitdogs.net).
Trooper getting electric stimulation after his hip surgery. Every time the current goes on, his Treat & Train delivers his treats.
Trooper getting his hip iced after TPO surgery with the help of Treat & Train.
Watch Trooper use the Treat & Train while his hip is being iced and to train him and reward him for walking on a treadmill post surgery.
Another great use is for training dogs to put up with cage rest. That is, before their surgery, use the Treat&Train/MannersMinder to train them to lie calmly for extended periods of time. Then once they have surgery you'll have a way to keep them calm!
Sarah's Border Collie, Cruiser, has titles in obedience, sheep herding and agility. She has earned her MACH, ADCH, and lifetime Bronze titles. In 2002, Cruiser was Top Ten in both Standard and Jumpers. In 2003 at 9 years old, she was top 10 in Standard, Jumpers and Snookers. In 2004, at ten years of age Cruiser won 1st place in Veteran's Grand Prix and 3rd place at the Incredible Dog Challenge Nationals.
How do you use the MannersMinder or Treat&Train? Please share!