If you want to teach your dog new tricks, positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to do so. And when it comes to positive reinforcement, the first thing that comes to mind are dog treats. However, you should note that there is a proper way to give your dog these yummy rewards.
Here are some tips to ensure you use treats effectively.
1. Use Treats to Reinforce Calmness in Your Pet
Has your dog ever been too excited to get a treat that he tried to snatch it right out of your hand? You probably experienced this when your dog was too playful or outgoing.
While a little bit of excitability is normal, it can still be a problem when you’re trying to teach your pet something new. If your pet is too excited, then it wouldn’t be able to focus on what you’re teaching it. This is why you need to use treats to reinforce your pet’s calmness.
2. Give Treats in between Meals, Not Immediately After Eating
It’s best to give your pet treats between meals, not immediately after mealtimes. Giving treats immediately after feeding your dog will just make it expect treats every time it finishes eating. This means that you won’t be able to use treats effectively as a reward, and your dog might take on too much weight.
3. Discipline First before Affection
It is important to discipline your dog before giving it treats. This way, you will be able to create a positive association between treats and discipline. This means that your pet will now understand that treats are given as a reward for good behaviour.
4. Engage Your Dog’s Sense of Smell before You Give the Treat
One important use of treats is to reinforce your pet’s senses. This way, the treat will be used to give your pet the motivation to learn.
First, you should note that dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans. This means that the scent of the treat will be important when you try to get your dog’s attention. Your dog has two other senses that you can use as well: sound and sight. This means that you should engage your dog’s sense of smell, but you may also use a clicker or a tone to get your dog’s attention. This way, it will know that the treat is coming soon.
5. Don’t Overexcite Your Pet When You Give Treats
It is best to give out your dog treats immediately after giving it a command. This way, you will make the dog associate the treat with an order. Remember that you should not excite your dog too much when giving treats. If your dog is too excited, it may not be able to focus on what you are teaching it.
6. Find Treats with the Best Ingredients for Your Pet
Treats are often made with specific ingredients to address certain health problems. For instance, if your pet is experiencing dental issues, you might want to look for treats made for tooth health.
If you want to buy healthy treats for your dog, you should check the ingredients list. You should avoid treats that contain sugar, grains, or artificial preservatives.
When it comes to training your dog, treats are a great way to reinforce good behaviour. However, giving treats the right way is important to make the most out of your training sessions. Properly giving your pet a treat is crucial if you want the training session to be effective.
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