The Ready Treat is a remote-controlled reward system that uses positive reinforcement for training behaviors. Using an hand-held infrared remote, you control when the dog receives his reward. Because the Ready Treat is a single-reward dispenser, it gives you the flexibility to use any type of treat in it: roast beef, cheese, liver, or whatever your dog loves. Place the unit where you want to use it, push a button to turn it on, load the treat compartment, close the door, and you're ready for action. The dog will not be able to remove the treat until you activate the remote to open the door to the treat compartment. With fresh batteries (not included), the remote transmitter works up to 50' indoors and 25' outdoors*.
Because the remote is infrared rather than operating on a radio frequency, you can use multiple Ready Treats at the same time. One remote will work for all of them; just point the remote directly at the unit you want to open and hold down the transmitter button until the treat compartment door opens. Best of all, the Ready Treat is small enough to go where you go. The base unit is only 4.5"W x 4.75"L x 2.125"H and weighs just over 7 oz. The treat compartment is 1"W x 2"L x 1"D.
You'll find many uses for the Ready Treat. In agility, we've found it useful for
- Teaching independent weave pole performance and encouraging the dog to drive through the poles to the end
- Teaching independent contact performance, keeping forward focus on the contacts even if you move away laterally or fall behind
- Rewarding start lines from a distance
- Rewarding distance work and sends
- Using as a distraction/reward for dogs that get distracted looking for dropped treats on the ground
- Remedial work with dogs that have learned to run watching their handler's hand for treats
*The degree of sunlight and the position of the Ready Treat reative to the sun plays a large part in the distance range of the remote. In the early evening or on a cloudy day, the transmitter will have a greater range than it will in bright midday sun.
Your Ready Treat training system will contain:
- Hand-held remote control runs that on 2 AAA batteries (not included).
- Food-dispensing base unit that runs on 3 AAA batteries (not included).
To see the product in action, click here.
The Ready Treat vs. the Manners Minder
The Ready Treat was not designed as a replacement for the Manners Minder. The Ready Treat was designed with these priorities:
- Small enough to fit in your training bag and as inconspicuous as possible in your training area
- Ability to dispense a wide variety of treats
- Simple to use: Push the button to open the door—nothing else
The Manners Minder is an excellent choice for rewarding behaviors like crate manners. The Ready Treat was designed to be used for training specific agility or obedience skills.
Tips for Using the Ready Treat
Here's some suggestions to help you get started with your Ready Treat remote treat dispenser.
- Take the time to introduce it to your dog. With the door open, feed the dog treats from it. The first time you open the door, make sure the dog is at least 2-3' away the unit; never pop open the door while your dog is sniffing the Ready Treat looking for a treat. The door opens quickly and it could startle your pup.
- Many people put the Ready Treat too close to the obstacles. Moving it farther away gives you the time to react and push the button. 15' from the obstacle is a good place to start.
- If your dog paws at the Ready Treat and you hit the button, what are you rewarding? Once again, hit the button on the transmitter before your dog gets to the Ready Treat so he doesn't have a chance to paw at it.
- Set the Ready Treat facing the handler not the dog. This will help the unit receive the infrared signal.
- When triggering the Ready Treat, aim the transmitter at the unit and hold the button down until the door opens.