For centuries, people have been depending on a training tool that all dog trainers swear by—treats. Using dog treats to teach your pet new tricks is scientifically proven and wholly enjoyable for your pup as well.
Training and Positive Reinforcement
In the late 1930s, a psychologist going by the name of B.F. Skinner introduced the concept of operant conditioning. It uses rewards or punishments to build behaviour. Although the definition is quite severe-sounding, the application can be more innocent.
Through the course of his research, Skinner trained dogs using treats. Whenever he would ring the bell, he would give them a treat. It continued until such a time that the dogs started salivating whenever they heard the bell ring, even without it. This illustrated that they associated a specific behaviour (the ringing of the bell) and a resulting consequence (receiving a treat).
Although Skinner was the first person to publish research on the topic, humans may have used this training strategy or variations of it before to train or at least tame animals. How do you think cave people had wolves as hunting partners?
If you’re thinking of teaching your pup a thing or two, keep reading to learn how you can do it. You may also want to stock up on healthy dog snacks because you’ll need a lot of those.
Introduce the Behaviour and the Reward
Before you expect your dog to sit when you say “sit,” you have to introduce the action to them. To do this, you can use a treat to lure them into performing the action.
Convincing your pup to sit is not sitting their tush down, saying “sit,” and then giving them the treat. Effectively luring them involves holding the treat above their head, moving it slowly towards their back, and making your dog sit on their own.
After luring the pup to sit, you have to mark the success with a click of the clicker or a verbal cue then they get the treat. Repeat the lure-reward strategy several times and then try it without the lure. If they sit, you’ll press the clicker, and they get a reward. Just remember to give it to your dog immediately after the behaviour.
Practice It in Daily Life
Now that your furry friend has learned the trick, incorporate it into your daily life. Doing this keeps the connection between their behaviour and the reward fresh in their mind. Plus, some tricks can even help you manage your pup.
If your dog loves food, have them sit before eating. It reinforces the trick and allows you to put their bowl down before they start eating. If your pup loves going on walks, make them sit when you’re putting on their leash. Aside from reinforcing the trick, having them sit allows you to secure their leash properly without chasing them around.
Give Them the Dog Treats They Like
You can only consider a treat a reward if your dog likes it. If you feed your pup one and they spit it out, that can’t be a reward, can it?
There are a lot of dog snacks available in the market today. There are even shops that offer dog “chocolates.” Isn’t that amazing?
Training with positive reinforcement doesn’t just teach your dog new tricks—you’re showing them what you like too. Aside from this, constantly working with your doggo allows you to communicate better with them while strengthening your bond.
If you’re looking for healthy dog snacks and treats in Perth, Frankie Loves Bakery has got you covered. We offer a wide variety of Australian-made dog treats that any dog will love using natural and dog-safe ingredients. Contact us today to learn how you can get a 10 per cent discount on your first order!