The Importance of Treats in Dog Training: Generally, dogs are one of the closest animals to us humans and it’s been this way for centuries. As to why and how this came to be, we can’t really tell but all we know is that it’s been this way for a very long time. This is probably why they are commonly referred to as man’s best friend. Dogs were very helpful to our ancestors as they could be trained for hunting, herding, and even fishing.
Their ability to adhere to training and instructions is one that many animals do not possess. Today, in addition to the roles mentioned above, humans have found other innovative ways to put the intelligence and obedience of these animals to good use. Nowadays, we have guide dogs that help blind people get around, there are also those that deliver newspapers, therapy, search and rescue, and also, detective dogs exist as well.
These dogs, through training, have been able to master the skills needed to carry out these tasks and many have become excellent at their “job”. Now, all we’ve said so far makes it seem as if every dog is easy to train, however, this isn’t the case. While many breeds are easy to train, others aren’t, and they require extra effort, a good treat strategy, and patience to get them to do your bidding.
Some breeds that can be quite hard to train include Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, American Pit Bull Terrier, Chinese Shar-Pei, Bullmastiff, and Bulldog. Experts advise that first-time dog parents take in other breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, and Border Collie since they are much easier to train.
For the most part, these canines only respond to the language of love and not what you say to them. Your pet picks up on your reaction to certain behaviors it exhibits and learns to repeat those you take well. Your pet will most probably repeat an action that earns it its favorite treat, belly rub, or cuddle. Actions that you frown at or scold it for will be done away with, most times.
The type of training approach you go with will depend on your pet’s breed and how they’ve responded to that style of training. For breeds that are harder to train, for example, you’d want to exercise your authority a little more to let them understand you’re in charge. This is necessary because some breeds will take you for granted if you’re not stern enough.
However, this should be done with respect as our pets can tell when they are being mistreated. Breeds like the Rottweiler and Pitbull could become aggressive towards you if you always lord yourself over them. As with most things in life, there should be a balance. Click here to learn more about the Rottweiler.
The following techniques may be of help when training your pet:
Keep Sessions Short
Dogs generally do not have a long attention span and forcing your pet into lengthy sessions is the fastest way to get it frustrated and detest training. For both of you to get the best out of every session, keep it below 15 minutes. Another trick that seems to work is mixing old and new tricks. This way, your pet doesn’t get bored and frustrated learning new tricks.
Take Things Slow
Remember the way human babies must learn to sit and crawl before they walk? The same goes for your pup because they are also babies and must take those baby steps. Forcing your pup to learn tricks that even older dogs struggle with won’t just work. Worst case scenario, you end up hurting your pet. Take things slow and level up gradually as your pet grows and becomes stronger.
The Role Treats Play in Dog Training
In schools, many teachers employ the reward system of training in their classrooms. In this system, students that adhere to the rules and regulations created by the class teacher get rewarded. Conversely, they get punished for flouting the rules. In training dogs, treats act as the reward for a job well done and should only be given to your dog when it has earned it.
- Act as a reinforcer: Generally, most dogs are interested and excited about training but getting a treat at the end of it makes them even more excited and enthusiastic. While pets enjoy praises from their parents, food acts as a reinforcement. For instance, if you give your pet their favorite treat each time it brings you the mail, chances are that it will make this action one of its household chores. Dogs enjoy delicious treats and don’t mind working for them.
- Builds relationships and stronger bonds: As is true with humans, the fastest way to your dog’s heart is through its stomach. Since dogs enjoy exercise and training, they’ll love you even more if you added delicious treats to those sessions. They’ll see you as someone who rewards them when they do what you want, and they’ll love you for it. Besides, treats make the whole thing much more fun and exciting for everyone. Visit https://www.marthastewart.com/7838784/why-important-bond-with-your-pet to learn more about the importance of bonding with your pet.
- Are easier to use: Ok, imagine going a round of frisbee or thug of war every time your pet gets a trick or does something good; would be tiring right? Needless to say, training sessions would get a lot longer. But with treats, your dog can be rewarded on the spot and move on to the next item on the list. Sessions will be shorter and much more productive don’t you think?
There are many myths out there about training treats and how they “spoil’ the dog. Some people say that they are bribes to get pets to do what we want. Treats are not bribes if they are given after the pet has completed the desired action. If they are given before, it becomes a bad way to train your dog. While treats can be a great way to keep your pooch motivated to learn new tricks, if used inappropriately, they could turn out to be counterproductive.