Should You Use Food For Training Your Dog?
Have you ever wondered if it is considered cheating to use dog training treats? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, I assure you that you are not the only one.
It is something that a lot of people don’t ever get cleared up in their minds. However, it is a very important topic that is important to understand. It is also something that is very easy to master.
I’m about to explain something to you in this article that will most likely be surprising to you, but will make complete sense as well. It will most likely contradict some of the rumors that you have heard. However, getting advice from other other dog owners when you are at the dog park isn’t always the best place for you to receive dog training advice. After you have finished reading this article, I’m certain the you and your dog are going to have a much better appreciation and understanding of one another.
First of all, let’s take a closer look at the statement that you shouldn’t ever use food for getting a response from your dog, since then the only time your dog will listen to you is when you have food to give to him. This simply isn’t true. According to the world-renowned dog trainer Doggy Dan, from TheOnlineDogTrainer.com, his dogs obey him whether he uses treats for dog training or not, even though he initially trained all of them using food rewards.
The main reason why you are able to start your training through using dog training treats is due to the fact that after your dog has learned to respond to the commands you give him without even thinking about it, you can then gradually phase out the food.
Phasing out the food is a very important concept. It is also called using ‘random rewards.‘ Basically what you do is start to give your dog treats from the inside part of your hand so that he isn’t able to see the treat. Then you start to slowly reward your dog every other time and then every third time. You can eventually space the treats out until they are random rewards.
I’ll be explaining in a separate article how you can boost the results you get with random rewards which leaves your dog completely focused and waiting for next command without you having to use all of your food up so quickly. So keep an eye out for that.
Here is a second myth regarding using food: your dog should be happy working for you without needing to get a food reward. I’ve heard this one numerous times, and have noticed it is usually coming from individuals who haven’t trained or owned many dogs or from individuals happy to use lots of aggression, fear and force as part of their training. This is a kind of “old school” approach– that your dog should obey you or else.
The way I look at it is, how long would you be willing to work for nothing? Probably not very long. That is exactly the way many dogs see it.
They tend to get bored working hard without getting any reward for their efforts. Not all dogs need to have food treats. Some of them are happy just pleasing you, and rewards with them are optional. All dogs are different. Some will do whatever you want them to with a smile, while others are thinking about where their next meal is coming from all of the time.
With dogs who just want to please, it might be necessary to use food rewards after they understand what it is you want them to do. However, for dogs that don’t care about their ball, cuddles or pats from you when they’re running around playing with other dogs in the park, these are the ones that will really benefit from tactical food training.
At this point you might be thinking you always need to use training treats for dogs. However, that is definitely not true. Like I said previously, when you have a good understanding of how to phase out food treats and utilize a boost-effect for maximizing the use of treats, you’ll soon discover that your dog responds to you very quickly each time.
So when you and your dog are out next time, feel free using food as their reward when your dog does something good. You don’t need to worry about the things you have heard to contradict this.
However, also remember to start to phase the rewards out over the long term. However, you don’t need to rush. I’m talking about doing this over several months and not just a few days!
You might end up eventually only using dog training treats about every 5th time or so, and then every 20th time and so on.
If you are worried about your dog eating too much, just take food out of their regular dinner so they are eating the same amount of food on a daily basis.
Hopefully this helps to clear up a couple of things about using food. For most dogs, it is always the number one reward.
I will be explaining how the effect of utilizing food rewards can be boosted and also explain more about the best dog training treats that specifically provide the best results. I promise that this one simple trick will leave you smiling.
Of course if you’re searching for a comprehensive dog training solution, you’ll only get so far by reading about it. If you’d like to watch videos to see all of the action, I strongly recommend that you check out the complete puppy and dog training website that Doggy Dan has set up.