The power of using food rewards in your dog training
Food is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to motivate and train your dogs. Think of it as very similar to the way you view your pay check each week…how long would you work at your current job if they stopped paying you? A day, a week, maybe a couple of weeks? If you are not using food to train and motivate your dogs then you could be missing out on one of the simplest ways to get your dog performing at a higher level than they currently are. And dog training food rewards isn’t difficult.
I hear this all the time…
- Question: “My dog will only come if I am using food rewards and if I am not they ignore me…what should I do? “
- Answer: read the following and watch the video
There are many misconceptions about food so here are some simple answers to the key questions that will help you get the most out of every tidbit you use…
Why do I need to motivate my dog?
If your dog is not motivated and enjoying your training they will not perform as well as they can, or as enthusiastically.
Are there not other ways to motivate a dog other than food?
Yes there are three main positive ways to train a dog using motivation 1. Toys – some dogs simply love the rewards of a toy such as a ball or a stick. 2. Affection – many dogs will do anything for a pat or a cuddle, you are very lucky if you are in this group. You have a dog who simply loves to please 3. Food – this is the by far the biggest group of dogs and often the most powerful. These dogs will do anything for a tasty snack.
Why use food ?
It is possible that your dog may fit into all three groups, which again is a bonus. However if your dog is one of the many who will only work for food then you are making life very hard for you and your dog if you don’t use food at all. You simply have to learn how to use it correctly.
Won’t my dog then only work for food ?
Food rewards should not happen all the time. They will be very frequent at the start during the learning phase and also with a young puppy but you need to learn how to fade them out as I show you in the video. The rewards need to become more like a lottery pay out where you are hoping for a big prize and are unsure if you will win but live in hope and keep trying! The only thing that you have to put into place is the activity of making the food rewards random. This means that sometimes your dog will receive food rewards of different types, quantity, quality, shape and size! It also means that sometimes your dog shall only receive a pat or a cuddle as a reward.
So if you would like to learn how to fade food rewards out so they become random rewards then simply watch the video. It is not tricky but will certainly make your life easier and keep your dog guessing and listening to you!
Find out more here: The Online Dog Trainer (for over 300 detailed, step-by-step videos covering every issue of dog training, including The 5 Golden Rules of being the Pack Leader)
I hope this helped. Hit me with some feedback!!