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86 Reinforcers

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Foods: Hot dogs. Cheerios and other cereals. Freeze-dried liver. Crumbled ground beef. Pounce cat treats. Pedigree Tandem (break one piece into 3 or 4). Alpo Beef Bites (cut one piece into 6 slices). Alpo Beef Burgers. Rollover. Kibbled dog food (Nutro Max). String cheese. Leftover steak pieces. Hard-boiled eggs. Sardines (hey, they were leftover too). Atta Boy treat sticks. Snausages. Trout pellets. Rabbit pellets. Red licorice (found out tonight my wife's been sneaking this one in). Corn Nuts. Wheat Thins. Cheese Whiz. Popcorn. French fries. Ice cubes. Bread crust. Croutons. Rice cakes. Pureed liver. Dried liver. Canned cat food (use a spoon). Broken fortune cookie pieces. Cooked pasta (many forms). Rice balls. I'm sure there are more...

Objects/toys: Tennis balls. Kongs. Rope tugs. Frisbees. Sticks. Firewood. Cressite balls. Boat bumpers. Buoys. Bicycle tires. Burlap sacks. Puppy tugs. Protective sleeves. Ring suits. Leashes. Tracking harnesses. Firehose squares. Street hockey balls. Hockey pucks. Soccer balls. Basketballs. Boomer balls. Ultra balls. Folding chairs. Five-gallon buckets. Carpet rolls. Again, I'm sure there are many more. Read about using playtime as a treat.

Activities: Fetch (see below). Get in the kennel. Get out of the kennel. Go into the house. Go out of the house. Get in the car. Go out of the car. Eat dinner. Fight the water hose. Belly rub. Back scratch. Wrestle. Play with other dogs. Play with the cats. Play with the kids. Down. Heeling. Jumping. Chase the laser spot. Tracking. Building searching. Target stick. Swimming. Dope searching. Cuddling. Praise. Again, the list goes on....

As you may be able to tell, I do LOTS of opportunistic training. I've also been blessed with animals that learn to love some activities so much that they become reinforcers for other behaviors. (Thank you, Dr. Premack.) [From Karen Pryor: David Premack is a psychologist who demonstrated that a favorite activity can be used to reinforce, or reward, a less favored activity: i.e., watching TV can be used to reinforce doing homework. This is known as the Premack Principle.] Again, the list is limited only by your imagination and your dog's desires. Once a dog becomes fluent at retrieving, it can become a powerfully reinforcing behavior. Take advantage of your dog's/breed's propensities.

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