Why A Food Treat?

By admin Posted in FAQ's /

Q: Why food treats?

A: Rewarding your dog for good behaviour helps to keep him happy and sharp. Food treats can be a very effective aid in dog training if used responsibly as part of a properly planned obedience programme. This is especially true of puppies. Using food treats work because you do not have to convince a dog that he loves food. Since you control the dog’s food, you become more powerful when it comes to motivating your dog to work for you. The choice is between giving the food for free or make him work for it.

In order for a dog to learn a particular task, the trainer needs to show the dog not only how to perform it correctly, but above all, to encourage it to continue performing that task correctly through positive motivation. Thus, the exercise must be broken into its most basic elements and the dog must willingly and happily co-operate with the trainer as they progress through each section. Most professional trainers have found that food works best because dogs will respond favourably and consistently to rewards or treats and also because food can easily be eliminated in the training process. Food helps to take the stress out of an exercise as well as ending it at the right time. It is important to note that the food/treat must not replace the trainer in importance.

Dogs learn through repetition of actions, commands, corrections and praise.
If a trainer wants to teach a pup the recall or “come” command, he will ask a helper to hold the dog because the pup does not know the stay command. He will then let the dog smell the food in his hand and run away some distance, sit down and call the dog. The puppy by now is straining against the leash in order to get to the trainer. So, when he hears the “come” command and is released, he happily runs to his trainer who rewards him with food, hugs him and praises him enthusiastically. This exercise is repeated a number of times over the following weeks over gradually increasing distances until the dog runs willingly to the handler at a fast speed.

Here we need to point out that the enthusiastic praise of the owner is of the utmost importance because the owner/trainer must be the main focus of the dog and not the treat/food. After giving the treat the enthusiastic praise and physical contact by the trainer must be such that the dog will experience a love greater than the food so that the treat/food can be eliminated at an early stage in training, unless of course the trainer has not yet learnt how to praise “from the heart”.
Some dogs, especially timid or nervous dogs often do not respond to treats at all.

It must be remembered that treats must be earned. Nothing in life is free, so if the dog wants something he must first earn it! Too many treats can upset a dog’s nutritional diet. This is especially true of puppies.
NEVER, under any circumstances use chocolates or sweets as a treat! They can be harmful to the dog’s health. Caffeine products can cause heart failure in dogs because their system cannot process the chemical.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2002 - 2014 Jan Meyer (all rights reserved) | Website by : imediate.web.