Saturday, April 25, 2009

What is a treat and train?

A treat and train is a remote reward training system (currently sold under the name MannersMinder) that was developed by Dr. Sophia Yin. Click her name to go to the MannersMinder website.

I like to use it for crate training and for down stays on the mat. The dogs had the breakfast kibble served from the TnT on their mats this morning. The dogs think the TnT isnthe best thing since sliced bread. I own three of the original model.

I set the TnT to the down stay mode to drop one piece of kibble on a variable rate with 10 seconds as the average. That setting means the kibble will fall at an average of every ten seconds apart but may be as close as every second or as far apart as 20 seconds.

The machine took about 35 minutes to empty of 8 ounces (by weight) of mixed kibble. Today's kibble a mix of Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Reduced Calorie Dog Formula, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck Cat Formula and Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Grain Free Dog. Kibble is a special treat to my raw fed dogs and cat kibble is the cream. I always have a variety on hand as I work in a pet store that always has a lot of different samples to give away.

Neither dog left their mat. Between kibble drops both dogs stared holes in to my face. Both know that the remote is operated by me to drop kibble. They love the TnT's remote almost as much as they love the clicker.

Over the years we've had our TnTs, I have rewarded both dogs a lot to look at me instead of beating up the machine between treats. Red can get one open in about three seconds using his paw. Blue just thinks that a couple of strong paw whacks will speed things up.

I was sitting about 20 feet away reading email. Anytime I looked up and both dogs were looking at me, I used the remote control to drop some kibble.

When I do mat work any more I don't use the TnT. I used it today so I could take photo. I do pull it out to prevent crate screaming one of Red's most endearing habits, and to work on distance and direction and drive. I think I will also start using it for contacts.


  1. love love love my T'N'T. That is how I taught Conner to go to his mat.

    rotten little darling heathen puppy

  2. Do you think it is the best thing since sliced bread? I am considering buying one. (If nothing else than for the fact that they look like so much fun!)

  3. See Susan Garrett's blog for comments on needing to fade a T N T for agility obstacle training *and* for the lack of Transfer of Value using a T n T:
    Lynnda L in Mpls, MN