So our new thing is that Reese is now getting her kibble for treats and for work. Whether it is tricks we are doing, agility work, or just plain "kennel up" time. She used to voluntarily go in her kennel when she wanted a treat/bone. She used to get one when she got in her kennel as a reward. But I wasn't so happy with her deciding to put her self in her kennel, well that part is good, but then for her to expect a cookie as her reward when she choose to go to her kennel, umm yeah not liking that part.
Nice thought Reese and you definitely have the concept down, but not going to work anymore.
I thought I would get a little feedback from my girl when the cookies/milkbones went bye bye. To my surprise I didn't. She went in her kennel one night and wanted a reward i.e. bone and so I got her 3-5 pieces of kibble and she looked at and oh, okay I'll eat that.
It was easy. I try to have her work for all her meals right now, but if I don't have time to work her I will offer her food and if she wants to eat out of her bowl in the morning great, if not I'll wait and feed her the evening meal, (working for it of course) and she is nice and hungry so is ready to work.
I think because I made a clear mental switch that she was only getting kibble now, it made it easier to stick to, and she didn't even fight it.
I will still use higher value treats for more distracting environments. For now we are using kibble in the house. After a bit I will move outside to the yard with her and then from there slowly move to other places of interest, i.e. the park.
Remember your dog will not starve themselves, staying alive is a primal to them, they will eat when they get hungry. The other positives of this are that 1.) it is cheaper than buying treats and 2.) when I don't have time to work her for her kibble she is more than happy to eat it out of her bowl - and finishes the entire thing. She used to just pick at her kibble. Love it! So glad we did it!