When to give treats?

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ripsix
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When to give treats?

Postby ripsix » January 10th, 2022, 10:49 am

I have all 3 dog breeds and noticed the bloodhound is leveling up the slowest, despite being used more and at higher stamina.

I'm wondering if it's the treats mechanic. After he starts barking he found the animal, he runs around and I can't give him his treat until either he settles down and walks to me, or I call him over.

I'm wondering if the treats are then not applying a bonus to finding the animal, and instead a bonus for calling him over? Is there a way to tell?
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby xOEDragonx » January 10th, 2022, 11:48 am

I can confirm the coonhound levels painfully slower than the other two breeds. Treats can help make the other two breeds level even faster, but they have the least effect on the hound. This is a quote from theHunter wiki to help elaborate:

"If the dog's stamina is at 100%, the following experience points (XP) are gained:

understand command to fetch a bird: 20 points
fail to understand to fetch a bird: 2 points
understand other command: 2 points
fail to understand other command: 0.2 points
receive treat: 30% of the successful command the dog was treated for (e.g. 6 points after fetching bird)"

That list is in reference to the labrador retrievers, but it gives you an idea about how they get experience. The pointers would have a very similar list, except replace "understand fetch a bird" with "successfully point at prey" and "fail to understand fetch" with "fail to understand point." But the numbers are similar. Since the treat gives an additional percentage of experience versus a set amount, it is safe to assume the best time to give a dog a treat is after it successfully fulfills it's main command (i.e. successful fetch for a retriever and successful point for a pointer). Giving treats after a failed command or after the dog simply sits or lays down would be wasteful.

One would assume this same logic would apply to coonhounds, but it doesn't. If hounds followed this same chart, they would receive 20 points (40 points for a 200% rested dog) for "understand command to find dead animal" and you would give them a treat when they find the dead animal. The problem is that unlike the other two breeds, the hound doesn't receive a single lump sum of points for doing it's main job. Next time you tell your dog to track, keep opening and closing the dog command window while it's tracking and you'll see that it gains a small chunk of points (approx. 5-10 points for a 200% rested dog) for every short distance they actually track (they get points approx. every 30m or so, I don't have an exact number, perhaps it even counts blood tracks the dog finds rather than distance). When the dog does finally find the dead animal, it still only gets another of these small chunks of points. So instead of a hound getting 40 points for doing it's job, it's now getting more like 10 points, 10 points, 10 points, and 10 points. The problem is that when you give the hound a treat, it's only getting a 30% boost to those last 10 points instead of the overall number of points for the track. And distance DOES play a role in the number of points a hound gets. If he's only tracking an animal 20-30 yards, he'll only get a couple points even if he's successful. The longer the track, the more points the hound gets. But they are still just in small chunks instead of one lump sum.

So compare how two dogs level:

200% Lab - successful fetch - gets 40 points - treat gives extra 12 points = 52 points for every fetched bird
200% Hound - successful track - gets 40 points in chunks of 10 - treat gives extra 3 points = 43 points for every tracked dead animal

I don't know about you, but I can have a lab fetch 30-40 birds minimum in an hour waterfowl hunt. Whereas, the hound might only track a max of 10-15 animals an hour for me if I'm intentionally crippling animals, and they won't all go far. So hounds naturally gain experience at a much slower rate, and on top of that the treats just don't offer them the benefits like they do with labs or pointers because of the way the points are earned.

This is based on my own experience of messing with these dogs over the last several years. I don't have exact numbers on the hound so don't quote me on the 10 points things, but pay attention next time you have your hound tracking. You'll see on a long track, he gets his points in chunks after certain distances. If he only has to track an animal 20-30m, he hardly gets any points at all. And pay attention before and after you give a treat to see exactly how many bonus points he earns. It's not much.
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby HooCairs » January 10th, 2022, 12:20 pm

A treat always gives 30% of the previous points. If you get 40 points for a successful command execution, give the dog a treat within the next few minutes and you will get 12 points extra.

After a while, the treat option will no longer be available. So you can do nothing wrong.
- Dog executes command (! mark)
- You have treat option available and deal it

That's it. When the dog is down to 90%, you may consider not wasting treats, as the 30% will not be a much bonus as when it is at 200%. The treats are rather expensive. ;)

https://thehunter.fandom.com/wiki/Dogs#Dog_Treats
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby Brutus969 » January 10th, 2022, 12:46 pm

Never. I don't want my pooches getting fat and slow!
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby xOEDragonx » January 10th, 2022, 6:09 pm

To follow up on my previous explanation, I took my dog out for a tracking session to get more solid numbers. The dog only gets 8 points at a time in those tracking chunks. It does not get ANY just for giving the "!" symbol, it has to do it's job in order to receive points, same as the pointer and lab. It looks like it gets points every 15-20m but it's not obvious exactly what triggers the points. So by giving your dog a treat even after it finds the dead animal, you'll still only ever be giving it a boost on the last 8 points received.

200% Lab -- successful retrieve -- 40 points -- 30% bonus from treat is 12 points = 52 points per retrieve
200% Lab -- successful track -- 32 points in batches of 8 -- 30% bonus from treat is 2.4 = 34.4 points per track

I went with 32 points because that's what my dog was averaging on 60-80m track jobs which is fairly normal for the animals I injure. Obviously longer track jobs will yield more points overall, but still only a 2.4 point treat bonus. Animals that ran <20m, I could give my dog the track command and it would go straight from the first blood to the dead animal fast enough that it gets literally 0 points. Not even any points for understanding the command.

The bottom line is, giving treats to hounds doesn't work the same way as pointers and labs. Pointers and labs can get up to 12 points bonus per treat. Looks like hounds can only get up to 2.4 points bonus per treat. Treats are almost 6x more useless for hounds. Which is pretty awful given how slow they get experience from actually tracking.
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby BaiPe6o » January 11th, 2022, 6:08 pm

Great explanation, xOEDragonx. A little addition if you don't mind: I think the dog gets 8pts per track found and not for distance tracking, but I'm not 100% sure.
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby ripsix » Yesterday, 2:34 pm

xOEDragonx wrote:To follow up on my previous explanation, I took my dog out for a tracking session to get more solid numbers. The dog only gets 8 points at a time in those tracking chunks. It does not get ANY just for giving the "!" symbol, it has to do it's job in order to receive points, same as the pointer and lab. It looks like it gets points every 15-20m but it's not obvious exactly what triggers the points. So by giving your dog a treat even after it finds the dead animal, you'll still only ever be giving it a boost on the last 8 points received.

200% Lab -- successful retrieve -- 40 points -- 30% bonus from treat is 12 points = 52 points per retrieve
200% Lab -- successful track -- 32 points in batches of 8 -- 30% bonus from treat is 2.4 = 34.4 points per track

I went with 32 points because that's what my dog was averaging on 60-80m track jobs which is fairly normal for the animals I injure. Obviously longer track jobs will yield more points overall, but still only a 2.4 point treat bonus. Animals that ran <20m, I could give my dog the track command and it would go straight from the first blood to the dead animal fast enough that it gets literally 0 points. Not even any points for understanding the command.

The bottom line is, giving treats to hounds doesn't work the same way as pointers and labs. Pointers and labs can get up to 12 points bonus per treat. Looks like hounds can only get up to 2.4 points bonus per treat. Treats are almost 6x more useless for hounds. Which is pretty awful given how slow they get experience from actually tracking.


Thank you for the explanation and testing, guess it confirms what I was seeing but from your testing it seems clear I shouldn't even bother giving the hound treats.
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Re: When to give treats?

Postby Cutch » Yesterday, 4:44 pm

To follow up on my previous explanation, I took my dog out for a tracking session to get more solid numbers. The dog only gets 8 points at a time in those tracking chunks. It does not get ANY just for giving the "!" symbol, it has to do it's job in order to receive points, same as the pointer and lab. It looks like it gets points every 15-20m but it's not obvious exactly what triggers the points. So by giving your dog a treat even after it finds the dead animal, you'll still only ever be giving it a boost on the last 8 points received.

200% Lab -- successful retrieve -- 40 points -- 30% bonus from treat is 12 points = 52 points per retrieve
200% Lab -- successful track -- 32 points in batches of 8 -- 30% bonus from treat is 2.4 = 34.4 points per track

I went with 32 points because that's what my dog was averaging on 60-80m track jobs which is fairly normal for the animals I injure. Obviously longer track jobs will yield more points overall, but still only a 2.4 point treat bonus. Animals that ran <20m, I could give my dog the track command and it would go straight from the first blood to the dead animal fast enough that it gets literally 0 points. Not even any points for understanding the command.

The bottom line is, giving treats to hounds doesn't work the same way as pointers and labs. Pointers and labs can get up to 12 points bonus per treat. Looks like hounds can only get up to 2.4 points bonus per treat. Treats are almost 6x more useless for hounds. Which is pretty awful given how slow they get experience from actually tracking.


Great job, easy to understand :!: ;)
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