It is no secret that food is a great motivator. At Awesome K9, we believe treats are a great method to use when training your dog or puppy. Using treats while training allows you to quickly obtain the desired behavior from your dog, and then reward him/her duly with a treat.
I am often asked about how and when people should remove treats from the training process. Many owners (and rightly so) are concerned about the treat method backfiring. Their fear stems from wishing to avert a situation where their dog is only motivated to work or obey orders in return for food. In this situation, the dog becomes the boss and you are forced to basically bribe him whenever you need him to do something.
There is a correct and incorrect way to use treats in training. When treats are used as a lure, the dog sees the treat and then is cued to do a behavior. The dog may come to understand that if no treat is visible there is no need to respond to any of your cues or orders. The correct way to use treats in training involves attaining the desired response, or at least part of the behavior, and then offering the reward.
Once you have your dog following commands consistently, then it’s crucial that you start asking them to do things without always expecting a reward after. Give the treat randomly. Eventually you want them to do the command because they know the command, not because there is food involved.
Stay tuned to the Awesome K9 blog for more training tips. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation test for your family dog. 613-797-4454.