"On a TV it was so easy...",we hear it so often when dog owners struggle with training even simple obedience...
If a dog performs a behaviour that leads to good things, they’re more likely to repeat it. If it doesn’t lead to good things, they’re less likely to repeat it. It’s that simple!
So... if you want your dog to regularly and reliably work for you, to follow your cues and commands, you have to make it rewarding for them to do so. But what rewards can you offer?
Some dogs will work for praise – if they find it rewarding enough. Others will work for play or even cuddle, verbal praise.. but almost all dogs however will work food.
Food is a primal need and instinctive desire. So food is possibly the best reward to give to your dog for a job well done ,although you should always mix in praise and play too!
What is the best food to be used as treat?
We say it should be smth very small but tasty(not causing dog's obesity).It should be also soft and easy to swallow(you do not want to wait next 5 min for the dog to finish it up.
ex. sausage sliced to tiny pieces, cooked meat or hard cheese.. but all in tiny pieces.
First reward for every job well done, than every other...and so on until the need of feeding treats for good performance fades out.
With time the dog will perform just for the verbal praise/or a ball but do reward them with smth tasty every now and than too!;)Dogs will also associate movement and/or position we used to reward them, with the praise.
Never offer the treat if the dog did not perform accurately. It will send a message they do not need to obey to be treated with tasty bits.
See photo below. Miguel's hands are empty..
We use food only in beginner puppy stages, withdrawing it very fast by replacement and finally using only verbal reward.
Food is not a permanent solution!!!
This is not their meal
If you think you have used quite many treats ,please give your dog smaller dinner that day
Do not make dogs performance depended on it(recent training trends tend to lead to disobedience once the treats stop coming and obesity)
It has to be light, small, soft and tasty enough to get their attention ;)
It is REWARD ,NOT a BRIBE!
See you next time ...