Puppies are notorious for having a short attention span. When you first start training, you’ll want Fido to watch and listen to you. One of the best training tools you can use is a tasty morsel tidbit. In this article, we will explore when to use dog treats.
Using Dog Treats to Reward During Training
When your dog performs well during training provide a dog treat as a reward. Some dogs work only for praise, but others need a bit more of a nudge such as a food item. Often one of the greatest incentives is to provide a combination of praise and a dog treat. You will be providing the treat for a job well done. If you are housebreaking your dog, then provide a treat every time Fido goes potty outdoors. When you call your dog to you and he comes then give him a treat for immediately coming when called. Using treats in this way is a form of reward training.
Lure Your Dog with Treats
You can use a dog treat as a reward, but you can also use it to lure Fido to perform the behavior you want. If you are training your dog to sit then hold the treat close so your dog can sniff it. Now slowly move the treat back over the top of the dog’s head. The dog will automatically stick his nose up in the air to follow the treat and then will sit down. Luring is great for training a dog to sit, lay down, and rollover. You can even use a treat to lure the dog by your side as you train your pooch to walk beside you in the heel position.
Picking a Good Treat
There are many commercially available canine treats that might work perfectly for FIDO. Here are a few characteristics that you should consider when picking out a dog treat.
Easy to Eat
Pick a dog treat that is easy for your dog to eat. It should not be too large. Instead, choose a treat that is easily swallowed and requires truly little chewing to enjoy.
Use a dog treat that tastes good. Your dog should enjoy the treat, so he views it as a good reward for his positive behavior. Try different treats until you find a few that your pooch feels are tasty.
Store-Bought vs. Homemade
Store-bought treats are easy and not messy. However, a homemade treat is probably filled with healthy ingredients. You can also opt for something simple like cut-up hot dogs, chicken, boiled liver, ham, or cheese.
Using Treats to Train Your Puppy
Puppies respond in a positive way to treats when learning a new task. Usually, a puppy has a truly short attention span, so a treat captures their interest almost immediately. A pup will feel the motivation for food.
Don’t Offer Too Many Treats
When you first start training your dog, it’s probably tempting to offer a handful of treats to truly capture your pooch’s attention and motivate them to do whatever you are asking. However, if you use too many treats your dog might become full or simply tired of the morsel. Instead, only provide a treat when the job is well-done. Be quick with the treat too so that the dog can automatically associate their action with receiving the tidbit.
The best time to use dog treats is when training and as a reward to reinforce good behavior.