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8 Tips for Successfully Training Your Dog with Treats

May 16, 2017

8 Tips for Successfully Training Your Dog with Treats

 This is Darhiana training Boo Boo in Sag Harbor, NY with our all-natural Rabbit Crisps.

When it comes to dog training, many people feel that treats are old hat — that treats bribe dogs without helping them build any actual skills. But training your dog with treats can actually be incredibly rewarding, both for you as the owner and your canine companion.

 So where do you begin? Here are our biggest tips for training your dog with treats, as well as a few debunked myths. And remember, all-natural dog treats are the best way to keep your pal healthy — and happy!

  1. Use treats to reinforce positive behavior.

Do not show your dog a treat in order to get them to do something. A lot of people do this, and it is bribing. Rather, produce the treat after your dog has performed the action you’re looking for. This makes the treat a reinforcer rather than a bribe.

  1. Don’t overdo it on size.

Because you love to see your dog love something else, it’s very easy to get carried away and give them too many treats. You can help yourself out by giving them smaller treats, or even broken-apart pieces of bigger treats. Only using small treats will help your dog maintain a healthy weight in the long run.

  1. Reward steps.

You may find yourself becoming frustrated with trying to get your pup to perform an entire task before giving them their treat. Dogs don’t have the attention span that humans do, so this often doesn’t work. Instead, reward their progress along the way.

It’s okay if the steps you reward aren’t big ones. Perhaps give them a treat whenever they lower themselves, getting ever closer to the sitting position. Give them a treat each time they get slightly lower. They will eventually figure out what the end game is, and soon enough, they’ll be sitting!

  1. Refrain from rewarding hyperactive behavior.

Try your best not to reward your dog when they are in a hyperactive state. If they are calm and in the right frame of mind, the entire process will be much more rewarding (and effective) for the both of you.  

  1. Try out different treats to find their favorite.

You may have a lot more success with one treat flavor than another. Dogs have preferences, too, and if a treat isn’t delicious to them, they’re not going to want to work for it. Keep at it with various healthy dog treats until you find the one that gets them the most excited. It will help keep their attention much better than a lackluster treat.

  1. Take away distractions.

Dog training with treats works best if there are no other distractions around. This could be nearby cars or people, or even the “people food” sitting out on the kitchen counter. To get your dog to better pay attention to the task at hand, take them somewhere quiet where the treat will be the most interesting thing around.

  1. Combing treat training with other techniques.

Clicker sounds are also extremely useful in training dogs. Use a clicker in tandem with treat training, and slowly wean your dog off the treats. They’ll eventually respond just to the “reward” associated with the sound, and you can leave treats to be what they are meant to — treats!

  1. Use all-natural treats.

Finally, your pup will be eating a lot of treats over the course of your training — it’s best to make them healthy ones. We at South Fork Pet Company make a wide variety of all-natural dog treats suited to any tastes, with no harmful artificial ingredients added. Be sure to take a look at our offerings today!