Dog training requires patience. You have to motivate the dog by “positively reinforcing” the desired behaviors.
Teaching your dog to follow your commands has to be coupled with motivating signs for the dog. Use of clickers, treats, and praise are various techniques to lure the dog into the training process.
If you are looking for a way to properly use dog treats for training without bribery; this article is your ultimate answer to using treats and clickers appropriately.
1 – Be consistent in the beginning
When you start the training process, you have to be consistent about rewarding the dog for positive behavior. Your consistency will reinforce his behavior as desirable and praise-worthy.
Giving treats is considered the best method because it involves food; that has a lure for dogs. For a Pavlov-type response, use clicker before giving the treat to the dog so that he may associate it with the clicker.
2 – Give Treat When Calm
You should never give your dog a treat when he is demonstrating a hyperactive behavior or is involved in undesirable behavior. Dog’s associate their immediate behaviors with the rewards. Calm him down with a little appreciation, and give the treat reward.
3 – Try out different Treats
Shift between homemade and commercial food treats. You can also give fruits and vegetables in the form of treats. Know your dog’s likes and dislikes.
If your dog is having gastrointestinal problems, consider giving the best probiotics out there-after consulting the vet. Also, discuss the treats that will suit perfectly for your dog’s gastrointestinal health.
4 – Remove Distractions
If your dog is getting distracted by noises around the park, consider bringing him in a calm environment. In quiet surroundings, your dog can better focus on you and the treats. He will pick the desired behaviors quickly.
In crowded places, you can give bigger treats to the dog for displaying a good behavior.
You can give melatonin to the dogs that are suffering from anxiety due to change of environment or loud noises in the surroundings. But, always consult the vet first.
You cannot train a dog suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression. Using treats for them can become a give-and-take bribe game. They will only obey you when you reward them with food. Stability of mind is significant to the training process.
5 – Avoid Bribing
Positive reinforcement should be your priority during dog training. If you bribe the dog by showing the treats before they follow your command, you are luring him to take the bribe. Later on, he will only follow you when you give them a treat. Such training is useless in the long run.
6 – Replace with praise
As the desired behavior becomes a habit, give the treat to the dog only randomly. Praise him sometimes and provide the treat to him at other times. It will prevent him from give-and-take bribe mentality.
What kind of treat and How much?
Make sure that your dog is not over-eating. Adjust the daily requirement of nutrients from daily meals with the treats properly.
Treats can be home-made or commercial food treats. You can opt for fruits and vegetables. It depends on your dog that what he enjoys eating. You can keep your dog’s favorite meals safe to give them in the form of treats later.
It is important for the dog-owners to remember that training takes time and effort. Using treats correctly is of utmost importance, but that doesn’t shorten the time of training.
Your praise and love should be the best kind of treat that your dog should love to have. Giving too much of treats for everything often increases the desire in dogs to have more and more. They become insatiable, and if they are not given what they want, they may indulge in unwanted behaviors.