Picking the right training treat is vital when training your dog. It could make a massive difference between an unsuccessful training session and a successful one. Expert trainers have mainly used treats to teach new behaviors in dogs.
An American psychologist by the name of B.F. Skinner, who evolved the principle of operant conditioning. This principle states that behavior, which is followed by pleasant consequences, is highly likely to be repeated vs. behavior which is followed by unpleasant consequences. Dogs, in particular, respond to a treat that is much liking to their taste. The critical question is, “How to choose the right training treat?
This article aims to answer this question and provide you with information to help you search for the right treats for training your dog.
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Size of the Treats
Choose a small treat, and that can break into smaller pieces because you can use the pieces as treats. Keeping treats small also means fewer calories consumed. This way, your dog gets more treats during a training session without over-eating and becoming a chubby pup.
Find treats about the size of a pencil eraser or a dime; those are a great size. You want something that will keep the training session moving at a good pace.
When you first begin to train your dog for new behaviors, you want to make sure your dog is attentive and motivated. An easy way of accomplishing this is with a high pace of reinforcement (referring to how often you give rewards). This is why it’s important to give your dog tinner pieces of treats so you can provide more treats in a shorter period of time.
Once your dog gulps his treat immediately, then you can move on to the next repeated behavior immediately as well. The goal is to make sure your dog remains interested and gets a lot of practice in a short amount of time.
If your dog spends more time eating his treat, this creates more waiting time between repeated behavior sessions. This will result in either increasing the length of your training session, risking your dog losing interest and focus and fewer teaching sessions.
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Keeping your pocket filled with treats
Often you might want to consider keeping your pockets filled with treats; this helps with impromptu training. For instance, if you’re at home, and you want to reinforce positive behavior, then having food in your pocket or even a treat bag around allows you to give your dog an immediate quick reward. Take a look at Solo Treats from Rogue Science; they are the perfect small size treats to fill your pockets with.
Related: Active Nutrition for Your Dog
Switch things up
Dogs are just like any other being on this planet; they may prefer some treats more than others. Therefore, switching things up is a great idea, mostly to keep them motivated and interested in their training sessions.
If your dog becomes bored with the same treats, then he may lose interest in repeating the positive behaviors he has already been taught. Once you notice this change of behavior in your dog, then give your dog a few different treats during your training session; this way, your dog does not know what to expect of what’s coming next.
Also, switch up places and areas for your training session with your dog; that way, he can learn to repeat good behaviors regardless of the place. For outdoor gears for your dog, check out this article on The Best Dog Gear for Your Puppy.
Soft treats are great for training because they are faster and easier for your dog to gulp. You want to make sure that once your dog is rewarded for a specific behavior, he quickly repeats it.
For instance, if you were to give your dog a biscuit, he focuses on finding every piece of crumbs; this will take away time from his training session. The goal is to maintain a high pace of reinforcement with success.
Dogs have a strong sense of smell; therefore, using softer smellier treats is a great way to keep them attentive. Because they already know the scent of the treat. Find a smelly treat that your dog loves; for instance, check out KC Strips by Rogue Science. They are the perfect soft treats that are healthy and nutritious for your dog.
Depending on the type of behavior you are teaching, sometimes have a treat that lasts as long as possible is helpful. For instance, if you train your dog to love his crate, you want him to enjoy his time being in the crate. You can teach him to enjoy being in the crate by helping him pass the time by giving him a treat that is a slow eating treat.
This will take a long time, and he will know that he is enjoying something pleasant while he is inside his crate. Or even when you are watching T.V., and you want your dog to come and sit beside you quietly, you can give him a slow and long-lasting treat then as well. Look into the Yak Stick, made from milk and other nutritious ingredients, is the perfect slow eating treat for your dog.
Some people may choose to give their dogs hot dogs or scraps leftover from their meals; however, it is in your dog’s benefit of health to get snacks that are specifically good for them.
Make sure to look at the ingredients and avoid any preservatives (propylene glycol and BHT), artificial flavors, and colors. Make sure to purchase treats that contain healthier ingredients such as peanut butter, ground rice, chicken, fish, barley flour, etc.
The overall picture of how to choose the right training treats
Training your dog and for your dog to learn new behaviors requires patience and time. Keep it fun for both of you; that way, you are more likely to stick to the training sessions.
This time spent together could be an excellent way for both your dog and you to bond, and the best treat of all time is the admiration and praise coming from you.
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