Most of the new handlers ask this question of whether to use dog treats when training your dog to learn a new trick or behavior?
Treats help dogs in adopting and remembering the new trick. Your dog is not learning the trick or command to please you, but he is doing this for the treats you offer. Dogs tend to learn faster and have more fun, when they get rewarded for good behavior.
The reward is commonly treating, but it does vary from dog to dog. Some dogs prefer being admired where some prefer going out for fun.
Why do we use treats for training?
Some dog handlers use treat during dog training, thinking to treat more like a bribe to dogs than the training tools. Well, nothing could be truer than this.
Treats for dogs are the same as your paychecks. Paychecks kept you motivated and involved in the job you're doing.
Same goes for the dogs. Treats are their paychecks. It is a simple tool for keeping dogs motivated.
Use Dog treats to lure your dog
Dog treats are a great way to lure him into doing the behavior you want. Like, when you want a dog to sit. You may start by luring him with treats. Every time he obeys, you give him a treat. Dogs can easily be lured into any kind of training you want them to. Because, as the Ceasar Milan said, a dog is always hungry.
Dog treats should be small.
You would never want to give your dog a bowl full of treats. Always use the smallest treat possible.
The smaller the treat is, the bigger is the drive.
It keeps a dog eager about the taste of the treat. You can even use your daily kibble dog food for your dog. It is all about the curiosity that drives the dog.
Your dog may become less responsive over time. In that case, it's better to change the treatment. I say it again, use the smallest treat possible. Most dog trainers use cooked chicken or string cheese, hot dog, liver.
It is most likely that your dog may get overweight. Sometimes, during an intense training schedule, trainers mistakenly ignore this fact and keep on bribing them with treats which is not ideal.
Especially for larger dogs, obesity causes a number of health problems. So, it is very important to keep track of treats he is fed during the sessions.
It is never healthy for dogs to consume more calories than he needs. Treats in the sessions is extra calories he will be consuming other than his routine meal. It is advisable that treats for dogs should only make around 10% of the daily diet.
keep Treats out of sight.
Treats should be like a surprise for dogs to double the joy.
The major issue of keeping the treat in the sight while commanding is that they align their behavior with the treat and that's what you never want.
Make it a surprise, or they will expect treats every time you command.
Time to reduce dog treats
Well, handler often presumes that if they stop using treats in the sessions, their dogs won't listen to them anymore.
However, it is just a misconception. You don't have to jar of treats every time to the sessions, or anywhere you go with your dog. Once your dog has learned and adopted the new behavior, you can slowly reduce treats for dogs.
But do not stop dog treats. Otherwise, the dog will obviously have no interest in keeping the behavior.
Dog treats might sound like bribing the dog but it actually rewarding the dog for learning new behavior. It is very similar to getting a paycheck. Like you do a job you love, everything is perfect, but you don’t get paid for it.
Soon, you will quit it for a job that you don’t even like, but if you get paychecks, you will be interested in it than the previous. Every living thing needs some kind of motivation.
So, always reward your dog for learning new things.
Here a short resume:
- Use these treats for dogs to lure your best friend into the behavior you want.
- You have to be a little strict.
- Act like the pact leader to make him adopt behavior and when he does, reward him. This way, the dog is being lured in adopting the behavior. He would be more interested and adapt faster than otherwise.
- Keep the treats small.
- You won’t want to treat him an extra meal every time he obeys you.
- Keep track of the treat's consumption of your dog during the training sessions
- You don’t want to overweight your dog while training, especially if it is a large breed.
- Overweight could lead to various disease like a hip dislocation or elbow dislocations.
- Keep the treats out of reach and sight.
So, he gets them when it is least expected. Otherwise, he will only obey when treats are in sight.
I advise reducing treats slowly. Well, I did not say to reduce rewarding. You reward him other means like admiring him or taking him out or giving him his favorite toy.
However, treats should always be a part of the session; otherwise, your dog is most likely to forget the behavior or avoid obeying you. Keep track of the session. Keep track of his routine and stick to the plan.
You don’t want you fur-ever to an obese stubborn monster, do you?