Dog Treats & Biscuits
When training or teaching your dog it is important to be consistent, patient and positive at all times and to always have training treats with you.
Treats as Incentives
There are different opinions amongst dog owners regarding whether or not to use treats to train them, but for dogs, this can work as an incentive. Alternatively, you can use your voice or a game to reward them. Of course, the point of training is not the treats or snacks, it's about learning, so make sure you give your dog sensibly-sized treats, such as the Fish4Dogs Super Star Training Treats. Not all treats or biscuits are suitable for training, such as chewing snacks coming from Nylabone. These rewards can take more time to chew and are therefore not perfectly suited for training. Additionally, dogs usually prefer the taste of soft snacks to hard, dry ones so they will try even harder to obtain the treat! It is important that the type of snack you choose is used for training only.
Rewarding with Attention
The best way to reward your dog is by giving them something that he usually doesn't get so that they are extra motivated to perform the command/trick. Dogs will do their best when you reward them with something they like or enjoy, so find out what it is that your dog values as a reward. An excellent choice if you're not sure which treat your dog prefers would be the Freeze Dried Whole Prey treats from Orijen. Rewards don't have to be in the form of food, the interaction between you, as the owner, and your dog, like a pat on the head or a big hug, can also be a form of a reward. Some dogs might not consider a reward to be a reward, for example, they might not enjoy being hugged, so make sure you find out what works best for your dog.
Russian researcher Ivan Pavlov, proved that conditioning dogs works. His most renowned work included the ringing of a bell before letting dogs see, smell and eat a treat, which made them drool. After repeating this for a couple of days, the sound of the bell was enough to make the dog's mouths start watering. This is the same method as dog training, but the bell is replaced with commands such as "sit", "down" or "paw" and the dog knows performing the command/trick means getting a treat.
Every dog loves biscuits and they are easy to take with you, so these would be a sensible treat. When choosing dog biscuits make sure you get ones that have a healthy and balanced composition. Remember to take the biscuits with you every time you go for a walk to ensure that you always have something with you to reward good behaviour and show your dog that behaving properly and listening will be rewarded! You will be surprised how much your dog will be able to learn and do in exchange for a tasty snack. Dogs will look forward to their biscuit every day and, as such, keep trying their best every day. Once your dog has mastered the new trick or command, it is not necessary to reward them every time. It is sufficient to give them a reward approximately 25% of the time to make sure that he will continue with the desired behaviour.