Every dog loves treats. Like a kid who craves chocolate, it’s something they will yearn for and few moments will be more exciting for them than being offered one.
For that very reason, treats become an invaluable aid to dog training. If you want to make the best use of dog teats, the way to do it is to use them as a training tool, rewarding them when they do what you want and withholding them when you don’t.
As yourdog.co.uk notes, there is more than one kind of treat and dogs will love some more than others, just as humans have favourite foods. That means some can be kept as very special rewards.
To use this creatively, you can give standard treats as rewards for things you have already got your pooch to do on command, but the special treat can wait for when they perform the action you have been spending a lot of time trying to get them to do. Big treats are for the things they have found hard, or done when there are lots of distractions about.
However, as Pets4homes warns, there are potential issues with treats that you need to be careful to avoid. For example, it highlights the importance of teaching them manners as they need to be gentle and patient when waiting for a treat, rather than snatching them or begging a lot. These are habits you should definitely not cultivate.
It is also crucial to remember not to overdo treats. Not only does this help to remind your pet that they have to be earned and are something special, but from a nutritional perspective they cannot replace food any more than a ‘diet’ of sweets and chocolate would replace proper meals for your kids.
If you keep treats as a special reward, you will enjoy a reward of your own – a well trained, happy and healthy dog.