Best Strategies for Using Dog Treats for Training

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Best Strategies for Using Dog Treats for TrainingAre you trying to teach your dog new tricks with the help of a dog training book? Have you tried everything to get your pooch to walk correctly, including a leash for dogs that pull? Have you considered entering your pup into agility contests? Or, are you simply trying to teach your dog how to stop begging from the table or jumping up on people?

Whatever it is that you’re trying to teach your furry friend to do, dog treats can be a highly effective training tool. Why should you use treats for training and how should you use them? Read on to find the answers to these questions.

Why Use Treats for Training

Though your pooch loves to make you happy, your happiness isn’t enough of an incentive to make him do whatever it is that you want him to do; however, canines will go out of their way do whatever benefits them. For example, if your pup knows that performing a specific action is going to result in something that he enjoys or benefits him, he’ll be more likely to repeat that action; however, if he knows that a specific action isn’t going to result in something that he enjoys or benefits him, he’s less likely to continue that behavior.

In other words, if you want your furry friend to do follow your commands, then you are going to have to offer him a reward. For some dogs, praise may be enough of a reward, for others, playing with a plush dog toys or rubber dog toys may be an incentive; however, these rewards aren’t effective for all canines. What will all dogs something for? – Food! Why? – Because the desire to eat is instinctive, so by offering your pooch something to eat when he performs a specific action, you are tapping into his instincts. In other words, treats serve as an incentive for dogs; hence the reason why they are such a highly effective training tool.

How to Use Treats for Training

Using treats to get your dog to follow your commands does require some skill. First, make sure you are selecting the right type of treats; opt for something small and low in calories, like commercial dog training treats. As the name suggests, these treats are specifically designed for training purposes, as they’re small and usually have a low calorie content. Since you’ll be offering treats repeatedly during training, low calorie is important to prevent weight gain. Alternatively, high quality, low calorie dry dog food can work, too, such as dry dog food for weight loss. Small pieces of low calorie jerky treats for dogs can be effective, too.

Whatever you’re using, use the treat as a lure; in other words, show your pup the treat, but don’t offer it to him. Then, work on the behavior you are trying to teach him. Once he successfully completes the action, offer him a treat. It’s really as simple as that. Every time he completes the action, give him a treat and eventually, he’ll start doing the action on command. Do keep in mind, however, that you should never offer treats when your pup hasn’t fully completed the exact action, as doing so will render the purpose of using treats for training ineffective.

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