3 Common Myths about Using Dog Treats as a Reward for Good Behavior
Everyone loves a dog that knows a few tricks. But teaching your pup tricks is about much more than just showing off. Having a well-trained puppy helps curb unwanted behavior and create a happier, less stressful home. Training also helps keep your puppy safe. When she knows to stay or come here, you can help keep her near you and away from potential danger.
But before we talk about how to train your puppy using treats, let’s chase away a few common myths about using treats as rewards for good behavior.
Using treats teaches a dog to only respond to “bribes.” Bribing and reinforcing behavior are not the same thing. Reinforcing always follows the pup’s performance of a trick—a bribe is used BEFORE to induce behavior.
If you use treats, your dog won’t obey without them. Nonsense, plain and simple.
Pups are happy enough with just praise. Most puppies would much rather receive a treat as reinforcement instead of just verbal praise, a hug, or a pat on the head. There will come a time when praise is enough to make him behave. Until then, treats during training are highly effective.
A few treating tips:
- Give your pup a treat every time he performs good behavior for continuous reinforcement.
- Be sure to give him the treat immediately after the trick is performed so that he makes the connection.
- Couple your treats with verbal reinforcement, such as “good dog” or “yes!”
- Bil-Jac® Little Jacs® Training Treats are smaller in size and have a taste dogs love. They can make the training experience even more rewarding for your pup.
Here are some additional ideas that can help you hold effective training sessions with your puppy:
- Focus on teaching her one trick at a time until she has it down.
- Never use force or punishment—it can make your puppy have a negative training experience that may make him avoid performing.
- Keep training times short—5 to 15 minutes max so you don’t have a tuckered out pup.
- Be patient and consistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Just like humans, it takes time for pups to learn tricks and good behavior. So relax and enjoy your training sessions as your puppy learns and grows!
A final thought…
Treats will only work if your puppy likes the taste of them. Bil-Jac offers a nice variety of treats to try so you can see which ones your pup likes best.
Not sure how to get started? Check out our training videos from Hollywood Dog Trainer and TV Show Host, Joel Silverman.