Size Vs Quantity
When it comes to treats, what is more valuable size or quantity. Would your dog rather get one big sausage or 20 pieces of sausage?
I’d rather offer 20 rewards out of one sausage than give one sausage all in one go. The dog doesn’t know that he could of got a whole sausage, all he is seeing and tasting! is lots of treats. If I ask the dog to sit and he sits first time, really quickly and neatly I would give a piece of sausage, followed by another, followed by another and so on. Here I have rewarded that one sit 10 times and all the time I’m doing so the dog is holding the position and paying attention to me, Had I given 1 big sausage the dog would of dropped his head, eaten the sausage and possibly moved as the reward has come, therefore end of behaviour. By giving lots of smaller pieces I increase focus on me and the likelihood to repeat a desired behaviour by turning that one reward in to 10. I use this method in the reverse too, so if I ask for a sit and I get a sit, but it wasn’t very quick, or is a bit lop sided I’ll gave one piece of sausage (because the dog has done it) but then release the dog and ask again, if I get a more desirable response then I’ll feed lots of pieces, this tells the dog I really like what he just did and will encourage him to do it again.
Give it a go and see how you get on. Your dog will thank you for it. Even if you only manage to snap the treats you regularly use into 3 pieces, that’s 2 additional opportunities to reward your dog with the same treat.