Food will likely be used at some point in your training program. Some dogs are willing to work for kibble, but most dogs are motivated by higher-value treats. Click here for some easy ways to improve your dog's food motivation.
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Food is an amazing and versatile teaching tool
All dogs are food motivated to some degree. Some just need a little help learning how to work for food.
You can reinforce MANY behaviors in a short amount of time when you use food rewards.
Food can be used to promote both calm behavior and playful behaviors depending on how you use it.
You can take food anywhere with you.
If your dog struggles to play with toys, food games can be used to help a dog get into a more playful mindset.
Food does not reinforce fear and many types of aggression. If used correctly, it can be a great way to REDUCE these behaviors (I can go on and on about this very topic, but I will have to save that for another day!).
How to choose the best treat for your dog
Small dogs can usually have pea-sized treats, but larger dogs can have treats that are the size of dice. There are specific exercises that require larger-sized treats, which is one reason why I like to have a variety of treats on hand.
Your dog determines what is a valuable reward! Experiment with different treats to see what your dog is motivated by. Soft and smelly treats are generally best for training, so cookie-like treats are not on this list. Cookie treats are of lower value for most dogs AND most dogs will stop to chew them, which is not ideal for a training session where you want to get in a lot of repetitions.
These treats can be cut into whatever size treat you need. They are extremely high-value for most dogs and are healthier alternatives to hot dogs. Please note that they do need to be refrigerated or kept in the freezer between training sessions.
Cheese, cooked meats
Want something high-value that doesn't need to be refrigerated? These treats are a huge hit!
Treat pouches and fanny packs are a MUST have. My personal favorite pouch is made by PetSafe because they are easy to wear and clean. The most important thing is to find something that you will WANT to wear and use. Click on the photo to be directed to chewy so you can get your own treat pouch.
Happy training everyone!
This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.