Most pet owners will confess, if asked, to the fact that they do spoil their pet in terms of treats, feeding and cuddles. There is certainly no shame in this admission, in fact most of us would agree that it gets right to the heart of the matter – spoiling pets is half the reason for having them in the first place. Of course, this refers to “spoiling” in the sense that your pet is given treats regularly and made a fuss of. Sometimes spoiling can go too far, and lead to another kind of spoiling altogether.
A dog will respond to treats in exactly the way you wish it to, as long as you stick to the straight and narrow with how you distribute treats. If you hand it a treat every hour or more, it will simply see this as standard behavior. Its own behavior will become fairly lazy and it will have little incentive to display the behavior you had come to hope for. Treats can be given just for the sake of it, but they cease to be “treats” in any real sense once they become the norm.
You should keep a keen eye on how frequently you give your dog a doggy-chew or a bit of food unbidden. These treats can play a major part in how you train your dog, and if a morsel of food is just another bite to eat in a long day of eating and relaxing, it will grow lazy and not bother much with tricks and behavior, which is a shame for all concerned.