What type of treat do I use?
A high quality, tasty treat works best. You want a treat that your dog absolutely loves since that will give him the motivation to learn new commands.
The treat should be small. You do not want to give your dog a whole bone or a large treat every time he does a command. The do g w ill quickly become full and will no longer be interested in learning. Plus, the excess calories could lead to weight gain.
Use a special treat that the dog gets only when he is training. This will help the dog feel rewarded for a job well done.
When Do I Give My Dog a Treat?
In the beginning you want to give your dog a treat every time he performs a new behavior.
You can even use the treat to show your do g w hat you want. For example, if you slowly lift the treat above your dog’s nose, he will most likely sit. Then you can give him the treat as a reward.
Timing is critical! If you ask your dog to sit, he sits, and then as you fumble for your treat he gets up and walks away, you have missed your opportunity to reward the good behavior. So be ready to reward!
Moving Beyond Treats
Although treats are a great way to start a training program, it is important to teach your dog to listen to you even when you don’t have anything in your hand.
Start to verbally praise and pet him before you give him the treat. This will help him realize that your praise is even better then a snack!
Once your dog has a firm grasp of the command and you have been verbally praising him, start to give him a treat every once in a while. For example, give him a treat one time then he gets nothing for the next 4 times and then he gets 5 treats the following time. Your do g w ill never know when he will “win” so he will try hard to please you every time you ask him for a command.