Many pet owners use treats to motivate their dog during training. And this can be a good tool for a lot of pets when done right.
The most important thing to remember, though, is how a dog should look to its pack leader to get a treat. A dog must learn how to receive it.
For example, if a dog is told to sit, they must follow through with the command to get their food reward. A dog should only get their treat after they have completed their training task. In many ways, this theory resembles clicker training.
Giving an animal “freebie treats” during dog training sessions can be very confusing to the dog so stay consistent when you dole out those tidbits
For those who own dogs who are not food motivated, one easy tip is to try different treats to see what they like best. Pet stores often have samples so that’s always a good way to save those extra dollars.
Also, be aware as to the time span between a meal feeding and training. Some modifications may need to be made such as feeding your dog a lighter breakfast so they are a bit more food motivated for their training treats in the afternoon.
And as always, wait a few hours to feed a dog its meal after a training session. A dog must cool down before it eats a meal.
Some pet professionals believe in the below theories:
- High Value: fresh steak or chicken bit treats
- Medium Value: healthy and natural store bought treats
- Low Value: kibble
If a pet owner is using a low or medium value treat with their dog not responding, they may have to up the treat ante to “high value.”
On the flipside, if a dog’s mind is just too spun on a “high value” treat and can’t perform, then go ahead and lower the level of their treat.
Some pet owners prefer to only use high value treats and teach the dog to focus on them despite the food urge.
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the right balance and what works best.
Keep those eyes open for other training treats to test out because dogs like a taste bud change once in a while.