DD 007: How To Use Food In Your Dog Training

In this podcast we look at the amazing topic of how to use food correctly when training your dog. If you have ever wondered whether or not you are using it correctly and making the most out of it, then this podcast will answer all those questions.

How to use food in your dog training

Many people are using food when there’s absolutely no need for it, others are making things more complicated by using it, and some are not using it when it could really help with their training.

It’s important to note that things in the dog training world have changed over time. Years ago, the use of food in training was absolutely unheard of. Now you will find some dog trainers shoving food into their dog’s mouths for doing virtually nothing. So if you find yourself confused, hoping that maybe there’s a middle ground that would make sense to you that has been overlooked then I think you will enjoy what I have to say.

Here is a summary of what we go through in the podcast: How To Use Food In Your Dog Training

1. Why you should use food

  • Food is like money to a dog… for many dogs it’s their training currency.
  • There are some behavioral issues that can be fixed in an instant with food.
  • I answer some of the key questions such as shouldn’t dogs just do as you say without having to use food?

2. What are the exercises where we seriously consider using food?

  • The use of food during the puppy training phase.
  • How food can be used to help stop some behavioral issues.
  • How to use food as a powerful distraction.

3. When not to use food

  • Why using food treats will never replace dog psychology.
  • Why using food treats is only a part of the solution.
  • The danger of not using treats wisely (when your dog outwits you!).
  • How treats can actually encourage the behavioral issues you are trying to extinguish when they are used at the wrong time.

4. Seeing food through your dogs eyes

  • Not all food is created equal.
  • The $1 million pay cheque.
  • My dog’s absolute top shelf favorite treat.
  • I answer the question “What is more appealing to a food orientated dog than a sausage”.

We finish of the podcast with whole bunch of tips and tricks all related to the use of food, that will help you and your dog get the most out of every little morsel that they eat!

By the end of the podcast you will see food in a completely different light and understand what great dog trainers have learnt. That food used correctly is a very powerful tool. Simply throwing a bowl of food down in front of your dog each morning without a second thought will become a thing of the past!

So enjoy the podcast, and let me know what you think.

Looking for additional dog training resources? I highly encourage you to check out how I’ve trained over  77,000 dogs with my calm, gentle methods here! Happy a puppy? Check out my Puppy Coach training program!

Thanks for reading, have a great day and as always, love your dog ☺

Doggy Dan Signature .


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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Doggy Dan. My 9mnth old border collie pup doesnt seem interested in food when we are out. I exercise her and our other b/collie 4yrs old together, she seems more interested in him at times. when she does run back to check in with me i go to give her a treat but she doesnt want it, she gets good girl and a pat. should i change the treat to something really fatty? what i have used is what i use at home with them both. she does come back when called but not always right to me as she is always watching where her best friend is.

    1. Hi Pauline,
      Often dogs do need a higher value treat when working around distraction, the motivation needs to be great enough that they think ‘jackpot!’. Having said that some dogs will work happily for some praise and a pat/fuss, just work out what your dog’s leverage is and go with that. High value treats are foods that your dog loves and doesn’t get often, like cheese or cooked meats but it could be anything. Make sure you only give her a pat/fuss/treat if she has returned to you when you call her, she needs to know the difference between when you ask her to return and when she decides to on her own. Hope that helps…Doggy Dan

  2. If my dog knows I have rewards in my waist bag he will only stay by me looking for a treat instead of say retrieving his ball ( which by the way does not bring it straight back to me ) he usually goes somewhere near and puts in down on the ground or chews it and then sometimes when I have to go over to get it, it picks it up and runs off with it.
    How can I get him to bring the ball back and then get a reward?

    1. Hi Brenda,
      a couple of things you can try.
      1. Make having or not having treats less obvious. Once your dog is not sure if you have treats of not it becomes more of a lottery…Good for you. He has to keep guessing
      2. The more you are the pack leader the less he will try to disobey you and the more he will follow his natural instincts and follow the pack leader 🙂 (Are you a member of the video website http://www.theonlinedogtrainer.com ? This will help heaps if you are not.
      3. Learn to use the short line so you have control of him…(again inside the video website you can see me using it for training this exact behavior)
      4. Start small with almost just a drop it and get the reward and then train him to bring it to you (fetch) again all explained in the video !
      Hope that gives you some ideas ! All the best, Doggy Dan 🙂

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