By Dr. Sophia Yin
One of the best parts about being a part of a strong network of animal behavior professionals is that I get to learn about interesting experiences with animals, clients and behavior products from a completely different perspective.
For instance, last month at the North American Veterinary Conference, I met up with Dr. Lisa Radosta, a board certified veterinary behaviorist who lectures extensively and runs Florida Veterinary Behavior Service. I don’t have any human kids, nor do I want any, but Lisa does and, as a result, she was able to make a statement about the Treat&Train®, the remote controlled reward-based dog training system, that I would never have thought of.
Dr. Radosta stated, “The Treat&Train is the perfect baby shower gift. Every mom with a dog should have one.” Lisa is both a busy and successful mother, and like all of my veterinary behaviorist friends, undoubtedly has an unusually well-behaved and well-nurtured child. On top of that, she’s also very fit and beautiful, and also active in her community. So, of course, she’s always on the lookout for the most efficient, effective ways to accomplish important duties so she can carve away the time she needs to get her many tasks done. Here are two ways that she has used the Treat&Train to make her life while pregnant and raising a child easier.
Treat&Train: Keeping A Household of Dogs Calm and Organized
Early on, Dr. Radosta used the Treat&Train to keep both of her Rottweilers calm, relaxed, and out of her way while she was feeding her daughter. Dr. Radosta said, “I’d just tell both dogs to go to their beds which were located in separate areas of the room and they would lie down and get rewarded from their individual Treat&Train.” Problem solved! The Treat&Train comes with a specific protocol for training dogs to lie down calmly for prolonged periods, even with distractions, and eventually with few or no treats. You can also set the machine to automatically reward on a variable schedule of up to 5 minutes so that the dog only gets 12 pieces of kibble per hour!
Treat&Train: Keeping Dogs Calm in the Car
Another way in which Dr. Radosta has used the Treat&Train to solve a potentially annoying issue with her dog has to do with taking her daughter, Isabella, to Kindergarten.
Says Dr. Radosta, “If you’re a kindergarten parent, you know about the drop-off line at school.” For those of you who aren’t parents, the drop-off line is where you wait in your car at school for a teacher to take your child to their classroom. Says Radosta, “While in the drop-off line, people can be walking in front, in back, or on the sides of the cars. Then, suddenly, a teacher opens the door and takes your child out. This caused Maverick, my Labrador Retriever, to bark, which was annoying and embarrassing.”
Maverick, Dr. Radosta’s Labrador, was quiet while people were walking around the car but when the teacher went to let Isabella out, says Dr. Radosta, “that’s where Maverick would start barking. We used our Treat&Train to deliver treats to Maverick every couple of seconds at first, whenever we went through the drop-off line. And I’m happy to say that Maverick no longer barks in the drop-off line.”
Dr. Radosta even pointed out that when the remote control batteries died 3 months ago, she didn’t have chance to get new batteries. So she abruptly stopped delivering treats from the Treat&Train. Because Maverick associated the situation with being calm, even with an abrupt stop in the use of the Treat&Train, he still remained quiet and continues to be quiet now even without the machine!
Now, for the percentage of you who would like your dog to be calm and quiet in the car but are worried that this type of training will prevent your dog from barking if you’re at a stoplight and someone tries to hijack car or kidnap your child out of the back seat, you probably don’t need to worry. For one, a locked door is somewhat preventative. And two, due to the much scarier nature and the possible yelling and hollering involved, your dog will probably understand that the situation is a threat and vocalize a response.
So relax, set your Treat&Train up and start having fun! Your household will be calmer and your friends will be impressed!