One of the biggest misconceptions about positive reinforcement training is that you are "bribing" your dog.
It's true that you can develop a dependency on treats, especially if you always give your dog a treat after every little thing that he does.
But in reality, you want to eliminate the treats once your dog has mastered any behavior or trick. Ideally, you would want to switch to praise, attention or playing with a toy.
Once your dog has mastered a behavior, begin by mixing your reinforcements. Give your dog a treat for one repetition, then praise on the next.
The kinds of reinforcements that you can give besides treats are limitless. You could even run away from your dog and get him to chase you - that's a positive reinforcement!
And then ... you can even keep treats as a special reward for when your dog does the behavior or trick very well!
This method works very well. My dogs will do every trick that they know for praise and attention. Of course, they will also do them for treats. :-)
Something to think about...
To Your K9 Success,
P. S. What happens if your dog does a behavior or trick very well but you don't have treats? Simple! Run to the treat jar! Your dog will make the connection.
Power Quote: "Your dog values your attention more than you think!" - Jean Cote