When And How Should You Use Treats For Dog Training?

a dog in the doorOne of the greatest things about a dog is how well they can be trained. If you can find the right way to train your beloved pooch, then you can get them to do a huge number of things. Sure, some dogs are smarter and more easily trainable than others, but they’re all born and bred to be domestic.

One of the tools people often use to train their dogs in obedience training is snacks and treats. They get their dog to do something; they give their dog a treat, and the dog gets the idea that they should do the thing you’ve taught them to do also to get a treat the next time around. We habituate them to do what we want and reward them for good behaviour.

Dogs, of course, love food, so rewarding them in this way is going to be especially effective.

However, there is a problem with treats and snacks. If you’re not careful, your dog might decide that there’s no reason to do the trick without getting that treat!

Obviously, that defeats the purpose of training the dog. So how can you use the treats correctly? In addition, what are the best treats to use?

Using the treats properly takes care and attention to your dog’s reaction to what you are doing. To start, you’ll need to use them every time. Often times, you’ll need to walk your dog through the thing you want them to do step by step.

Something as simple as “sit” or “heel” is easy enough. But if you want them to fetch your slippers or close the door, for example, you might need to start by holding the slippers out for the dog, telling them to get your slippers, and then they pick the slippers up in their mouths, giving them a treat.

In the example of training your dog to close the door, simply place the treat behind the door so the dog sees exactly where you put it, but at the same time, command him to “stay”, while you put the treat in place. Then, after getting your dog to wait for a minute or so, train him to react to the command, “Close the door”, which lets the dog know he can go to more the door out of the way with his paw in order to get the treat.

Here is a more detailed video showing you how to teach your dog to close the door.

Essentially, in the beginning, they’ll need constant reinforcement. Once they start indicating that they have a grasp on what they’re supposed to do, you should begin giving them fewer treats. Maybe start with every other time, and then after a week or so switch to every third time.

However, dogs also respond very well to praise as they often want to please their owner. So, as you begin giving your dog fewer treats, you should increase the praise with a “good boy” and a pet to let your dog know he’s done well.

Eventually, you’ll want to give them a treat for generally being a good dog, instead of specifically doing that trick. Otherwise, they’ll equate doing the trick with getting the treat, and may not do the trick if you don’t provide your part of the bargain.

As for what treats to use, go for something small and healthy. You don’t want to replace their meal with a treat, after all. It should also be something your dog recognizes as a treat. So perhaps something special, that you don’t usually give your dog but your dog knows it’s okay to eat and wants to eat. Once you get that under control, you’ll be well on your way to training a good dog.

4 Ways To Determine The Best Foods For Your Dog And Why They’re Good

dog eating foodIf you own a dog, then you know that the phrase “owning a dog” is actually quite misleading. Your four-legged friend is not someone you own. He’s a member of your family, and one of your best friends, always happy to see you and play with you.

Unfortunately, dogs don’t live as long as people, so to get both the best years out of your pup, both in terms of quality and quantity, you need to give him the best diet you can. Keep reading to learn four ways to determine the best foods for your dog and why they’re good for him.

1) Talk to your veterinarian

No one knows more about animals than your vet, and he or she should be your first stop for practically all concerns and considerations regarding your four-legged, furry friend.

Your vet not only knows what foods are ideal for your particular breed of dog but can also provide specific recommendations based on what specifically what your dog could use for better health due to his unique requirements. Even if you get ideas and suggestions from the rest of this list, run them by your vet before trying them with your dog.

2) Chat to other dog owners

Very few dog owners don’t know any other dog owners. It’s too easy a subject of conversation or small talk when you’re out walking with your dog, and they’re millions of dog owners out there.

Taking your dog out for a walk or engaging in any other activity with him means you are likely to bump into another dog lover at some point. Taking care of dogs is part science, part art and all love. However, getting ideas and suggestions from other dog owners about the best dog food is always a welcome opportunity, especially if they have the same breed of dog as you.

3) Look things up online

While getting ideas and suggestions from other dog owners is always a great source of information, you have to be careful. They might be flat out wrong, or they might be saying something that is true for their breed but not yours. Double check everything you ‘learn’ by confirming it through both online research and consulting with your vet.

4) Hit up a bookstore

Much as there’s a whole cooking section for human eating, there’s a pet section for taking care of domesticated friends as well. You’d be shocked at the texts you can find dedicated to not just dogs, but even your own specific breed.

It only takes two or three good books and a weekend of reading to turn your dog’s life into something amazing.

5) Check Out YouTube

YouTube is one of the greatest things to ever happen to the internet. There’s practically a video on every subject you can imagine. So too, there are loads of videos for dog lovers, including useful videos on training, walking and doggy nutrition.

Be sure to tap into this great resource and also do some searches for your specific breed of dog as well. You will most likely be surprised at how many videos there are out there about your breed of dog and how best to take care of them.

Since we’re talking about YouTube videos, here’s a great one on choosing the best dog food for your favorite companion.

Dog Food Tips, Guide and How To’s

dog with a food treatDogs are wonderful animals, truly man’s best friend. Looking after and nurturing our animals is so important for their health and well-being, and in turn they reward us with so much love and affection.

Many dog owners get into the habit of giving their dogs just the run of the mill canned dog food, which is fine, but there are a variety of different options that you can also choose, which may be better for your dogs health and digestive system.

Have you ever thought about making your dog food yourself? One of the best ways to feed your dog is to make natural, homemade food for your fury friend. It is of course important not to give your dog most foods that are made for humans, especially the processed kinds. So when making your dog food, always pick natural, healthy ingredients.

Beef is always a good base for dog food as dogs do need a good amount of protein, being carnivores. Be sure to remove as much fat as possible from the beef to help keep your dogs cholesterol down.

Adding additional proteins in the way of animal organs, such as beef kidneys, liver, heart or even lungs is also highly nutritious for your dog. Make sure to cut them into good bite-sized pieces, depending on the size of your dog. If you have a medium to large size dog then they will welcome larger cuts of meat. However, if you have a small breed then be sure to cut them into pieces that he can manage. Again, be sure to remove any excess fat from the organ meet before adding it to your dog food mix.

Adding vegetables to your mix is also very beneficial, such as broccoli, celery and cabbage. It is definitely preferable to add all the ingredients to a meat grinder to mix it all together well.

There are several other ingredients you can also use, such as chicken, lamb or turkey. Be weary with meats like duck as they can be very fatty and can be too rich for a dogs digestive system.

Here is a great video showing you how you can prepare natural dog food yourself at home if you have the time.