How To Train Your Dog Using Treats

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Scott Jenkins started his architectural career immediately after he got his degree in Architectural Engineering. He has combined his love of design and writing into his own home improvement blog.

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how to train a dog with treats

It's much easier to train your dog if you use treats.

One of the best ways to encourage your dog to respond to your commands is to encourage positive behavior with treats. When you dangle a treat in front of your dogs’ nose he or she is much more likely to respond positively.

Treats are an amazing way to instill positive reinforcement of the types of behaviors that you want to encourage. If you aren’t using treats to train your dog you are severely handicapping yourself.

Used inappropriately however, your dog will become dependent on them and won’t perform on command without them. Let me show you how to properly use them to get new commands off on the right foot.

How To Get The Most From Your Treats

The timing of when you give your dog their treat is the most important part of their training. It’s extremely important to give the treat immediately after they have performed the command.

This serves two purposes. First, it gives them some incentive to perform on command. Second, it lets them know that they did what you wanted exactly how you wanted it.

What Size Should The Treats Be?

The treats should be just large enough to make them want to work for another one, but not so large that they will actually

get full.

Treats should also be soft so that they won’t crumble. Your dog will chase small crumbs to the floor and get distracted. You want his full attention at training time.

Are Treats Rewards Or Bribes?

Treats are not meant to be bribes. They should always be given after a desired action and should not be presented every time. You don’t want your dog to refuse to comply with your commands unless he knows he’s getting a treat.

The most important thing you can do to prevent this is to keep the treat out of sight. While seeing the treat is helpful in the beginning, it can become counterproductive over time.

If your dog won’t comply with commands while the treat is hidden then completely ignore him and try again later. When they do comply, immediately give them the treat.

How To Get Your Dog To Perform Without Treats

You can’t give your dog treats forever for rolling over and playing dead. You can start to wean them off of them by substituting vigorous petting or a hearty “good boy” every third or fourth time them do the trick for you.

Over the course of a couple weeks you can give them less and less until a treat becomes a special treat for good behavior. Once they are trained, just a little attention is often enough to satisfy them.

The prospect of getting a treat for a job well done will always be in the back of their mind, however. Every once in a while surprise them by pulling a small one out of your pocket after they play dead. It will keep them interested over the long haul.