Your best friend when beginning training your dog will most likely be treats. Treats are an excellent way to start a training program and serve many purposes. A treat helps keep your dogs attention and is a great way to reward your pup. Although treats are effective, your goal when training should be for the dog to follow commands without the treat as you will not have one at all times.
Types of Treats for Training
The treats used for training varies and is totally dependent upon the owners preference. Although many different items can be used, there are some common themes in treat selection one should follow for training. The main thing to keep in mind is choosing a treat that is small in proportion. A dog should not be given a whole dog bone or something similar each time it follows a command. This would cause the dog to become full and lose interest in training. In addition, it could quickly add unwanted weight to the dog, which could lead to health problems later.
A good choice for a treat is a piece of high quality kibble. Often a different type is used for training that varies from everyday food, so the dog feels it is getting something special for a job well done. Any name brand of high quality is recommended.
When to Treat
When starting the program you will want to treat the dog each time it performs a command. In addition to the treat, the dog should be praised when it does correctly. The timing of the praise and treating is of the up most importance. If you praise at the wrong time, the dog will think it is getting rewarded for another behavior and it causes confusion.
Weaning Off Treats
Although treats are a great way to start training, a program that continues treat will not have good long-term results. Once the dog begins to know what to do, gradually begin stop the treats from time to time and follow only with praise. After time passes and the dog becomes accustomed to your commands, stop the treats and only praise. This is so important because treats will not always be readily available when you need your dog to listen.
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