Some dog owners are unsure if using treats is a good way to train your dog, but experts say it’s a great way as rewarding your dog for good behaviour will help them to learn faster. Most dogs LOVE good quality treats and will do anything to get their paws on some. Read on for the benefits and how to use treats to train your dog.
Easy to use
The main benefit of using dog treats for training is that they are easy to use. When your dog performs the behaviour you are training them you reward them on the spot with a treat. They then know that if they complete the behaviour, they will instantly get a positive reward.
Try the ‘lure’ technique
Once your dog has tried a treat, they will want another! You can use the ‘lure’ technique by showing your dog the treat in your hand and then training them the specific behaviour or trick. They will know that by doing this behaviour, they will then get the treat.
The ‘lure’ technique is great for specific training, such as getting your dog to move the way you’re wanting to train them. To do this, you can show them the treat in your hand and get them to smell it (which they will!), and use that hand in front of their nose. If you control a dog’s head you can control their body, and the ‘lure’ gives you a force-free way to move your dog’s body.
Use as a reinforcer, not a bribe
For the most effective use of treats for training, use them as a reinforcer, not as a bribe. The ‘lure’ technique should only be used in the very beginning of the training process, and then as soon as they understand, only use treats for when they complete the behaviour as a reinforcement reward.
High quality dog treats only
Treats should only make up a small amount of your dog’s total diet and it’s important to make sure they are not putting on weight due to too many treats. The majority of their food intake should come from good quality dog food, then supplemented with treats for training and rewards. Superior Chunky’s range of dog food and treats are top quality. They are made with a high-energy formula, made in New Zealand from local meat, and with no added fillers.
Phase-out dog treats
Once your dog has learned the trick or specific training you have been working on, you can start to phase out the treats. The idea is not to give too many treats for training, as then it will be less of a ‘treat’ and more of a standard occurrence. Then when you want to train your dog in another area you can use treats again too, and also sometimes it’s nice to give them one just because!
Superior Chunky’s range of treats is perfect for training your dog. Check out the full range here.