you that you are not alone. It’s something that many people never actually understand in their minds and yet it is one of the most powerful topics to understand. It is also very simple to master!
What I am about to tell you will almost certainly surprise you, but also it will make total sense. It will contradict some of the things that you have heard through the grapevine. However, getting tips from other dog owners at the dog park is not always the best place to get dog training advice from. After you have read this, I’m sure that you and your dog will both have a better understanding and appreciation for each other.
First of all, let’s look at the idea that you should never use food to get your dog to respond to you because your dog will then only listen to you if you have food in your hand. This is simply not true. Doggy Dan, the world famous dog trainer from TheOnlineDogTrainer.com, tells me his dogs listen to him whether he has food or not, yet he trained them all initially with food rewards. This is because once your dog has learned to respond to your command without thinking about it, you simply diminish the food doled out gradually. Diminishing the food gradually is a very important concept, and is also
referred to as using ‘random rewards’. In summary, you simply start giving your dog the treat from inside your hand so they can’t see it. Then you slowly start to reward only every 2nd time, then every 3rd time. Eventually you can
space out the treats until they become random rewards.
school” way – that dogs should just be obedient or else. But, the way I see it is this… How long would you work for nothing? Not for long I am guessing! And for many dogs that’s exactly how they see it. They get bored working so hard with absolutely no reward in return. Now not all dogs need food treats, some dogs are just happy to please and with them the rewards are optional. However, all dogs are different. There are those who’ll do anything you ask with a smile, and those who are always thinking about their next meal. With a dog who just wants to please there may be no need to use food rewards once they have understood what you want. On the other hand, dogs who do not care for pets, cuddles or toys when they are racing around the park playing with other dogs are the ones that will most benefit from some very tactical food training.
By now may be thinking that you always end up giving your dogs food treats, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! As I mentioned earlier, when you understand how to reduce your food treats and use a boost effect to maximize the use of your treats, you too will find your dog responding lightening fast every time.
Hopefully this helps clear up a few things about the use of food. It’s always going to be the number one reward for most dogs.
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