Having a dog as part of your family already brings happiness on its own, but it’s a different kind of happiness when they’re trained. However, training dogs requires a lot of patience and treats.
Yes, treats can help in training your dog. Think about it this way: if you’re working, you expect a monthly paycheck since you worked for it. The same applies to our dogs—if they follow our commands, we should reward them with the only currency they know for a job well done—those scrumptious biscuits!
Most dogs will do anything for a biscuit or two, and they’ll do more if you give them more upscale treats such as bacon or a piece of chicken. In other words, treats are the leverage that you can use to train your dog.
So, how do you use treats to train your dog? This article will shed some light on the matter. Read on below to learn more.
Should You Always Use Treats?
You don’t always have to use treats, but using them makes training easier. It’s also best that you ensure that your dog doesn’t gain excessive weight because the treats they eat are already high in calories.
Unfortunately, many dog owners pass on positive reinforcement training methods out of the fear that their dogs will rely on treats. The fact of the matter is that it can and must be done so that your dog will learn to follow you on command.
Why Treats Are Effective
Most dog owners believe that their dog is willing to work for them because it makes them happy. Yes, dogs find their owner’s approval and praise rewarding, but the best type of reward for them is getting a treat.
If treats are present during your dog’s training sessions, they act as a reinforcer. The reinforcer is what causes the frequency of an action to increase. In regards to your dog’s training, the reinforcer is what increases the likelihood of your dog following your commands.
Treats Are Easy to Use
Most treats can be given easily and quickly to your dog, especially tiny ones. In short, you can get your dog to make a considerable number of repetitions in a relatively short time. If you’re introducing a new trick or practicing in a group, this is especially important.
Take this for example: if you’re rewarding your dog with a game of fetch every time they come when they’re called, it will take longer to make ten repetitions than if you reward them with a small treat every time they’re successful.
Aside from using them as a reinforcer, treats are also effective if used as a lure. A lure treat is when you hold it firmly and bring it close to your dog’s nose. Once you have your dog’s attention, you can entice them to follow you as you hold their treat. In essence, a lure gives you the ability to move your dog in a particular direction, which is wherever you direct them with their treat.
When the Treat Becomes a Bribe
Treats are an excellent method of training your dog, mainly if used as a lure, because it can make them follow your command. Your dog’s course of action has to happen as soon as possible so that your dog will learn that you’re not going to bribe them just to perform certain behaviors.
You must keep your dog’s treat hidden until after they perform a specific action that you ask them to do. A treat becomes a bribe if your dog refuses outright to do an action until you show them that you have a treat. If you ask your dog to sit, for example, get their treat and ask them again until they follow.
Phasing Out Treats
Once your dog is trained enough, it’s also vital to consider phasing out treats since they learn more. If your dog performs a command without distractions, it’s a clear indicator that they’ve matured enough to the point that they won’t need treats anymore.
Alternatively, you can also switch things up when it comes to using treats. An excellent way to do this is by giving different treats with different qualities and giving your dog the appropriate treats depending on how well they perform.
Treats are an excellent tool to train our dogs, but they should be used responsibly. Treats are a good motivator for your dog, but a fine line must be established between rewarding and bribing. You must also have a plan to phase out treats as your dog matures.
Training your dog is a long and tedious process, but you can learn from others as well. Dog Obedience Training Blogs is a website that can help you with your dog obedience training. There must always be activities that strengthen the bond between a dog and its owner, and training is an essential aspect of building trust! Browse through the rest of our articles today.