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Why would you want to avoid treats? Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways of training.

Over time you can phase treats out to the point where the dog will do as asked while not always for a reward. However I believe praise should always be given and that is a reward in itself.

I can't imagine training my dog without the use of treats. I hardly ever have treats on me with my older dog, she does as asked just for simple praise reward but she's always delighted when she gets something extra! It keeps her on her toes and always ready to do as asked.
 
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