Dog owners often have to do things to their dogs that they may not like, such as baths, nail trims, brushing, etc. We often give dogs treats during and after the task so that they don’t mind them so much. What I’m wondering is if it would be possible to train a dog to take the initiative of deciding when those tasks get done by allowing them to decide to ask for the treat first, after which the undesirable task would be done.
For example, train your dog to be able to ask for bacon whenever they like. That will be very easy. He can be trained to ring a bell hung from something and then you’ll give him a piece of bacon. Once he learns that, then do some undesirable task like trim his nails after giving him the bacon. After a while, he’ll learn that ringing the bell means he’ll get bacon, but that he’ll also get his nails done. So once he learns ring bell->get bacon->nail trim, will he later ring the bell on his own?
Can he understand that he can get something desirable whenever he wants (bacon), but it will come with a downside (nail trim)?