Training is not only important for enforcing good behaviour, but it also strengthens communication between you and your pooch. Doesn’t good food establish good mood? Well the same happens with your pooch. And when they are in a good mood, they will readily learn new concepts. Lure training, reward training or clicker training- all of these are different forms of training that need treats. So, how can you choose the perfect treat for an effective training session.
Well here are some tips that might just do the trick:
Choosing a treat
An ideal training treat should be delicious, easily breakable and quick to ingest. It is always better to go for softer breakable treats so that you can control the bite size. While training a dog, it is important to enforce the same behaviour multiple times. For instance if you are teaching your dog to turn you have to lure them into a turn a few times till they understand that ‘turn’ means one whole circle in the direction of their tail. This means that you have to treat them every time you make them turn. This is why the treat should be soft enough for you to break in small pieces. Ideally the treat should be pea size per serving and it should be irresistible for your pooch.
The right kinds of treats
With the sudden boom in pet product industries, there are now a wide array of treats on display. With so many options, shopping for dog treats has never been more confusing. But you can make your life simpler by going for products that are organic and made in small batches. If you have an adult dog (above 14 months of age) you can try our Whitefish Cake Bites. The bite size nature of these treats make them perfect for training.
Avoid products that have artificial colours and flavours. Remember, the treat you choose should ideally supplement a portion of their meals and should not exceed 10% of their daily intake.
Some human food work as irresistible dog treats. For example, bananas, carrots, unsalted peanut butter, boiled chicken, cheese, etc are delicious treat for your pooch. But remember to always do your research before giving them any human food. Some dogs are allergic to certain food items so, ensure that you have tried giving them dog safe human food in small portions in the past before you start using them as treats. Simple boiled chicken is the healthiest irresistible option for training. It can be broken into small pieces and is very easy to swallow. Peanut-butter and cheese work well as occasional treats but too much of it may not agree well with their stomach. Keep these things in mind before you start using human safe food as dog treats.
Mix it up
Just like humans, dogs like variety too. Some food items may be an absolute luxury for them, while others may be, well, meh… Once you understand your fur child’s currency, you can expect better results in training.
Try to create a balance between ‘low currency’ and ‘high currency’ treats. Low currency treats are something they like but is too common for them (like kibble) whereas high currency treats are something they absolutely adore and would do cartwheels for. Never use the same treat over and again. Give them a high currency treat when they have done something for the first time or have listened to you despite the distractions. This will encourage them to listen to you often. Keep mixing it up to keep them up on their toes and enthusiastic about training.
Lastly, remember that treats are not the only thing that dominates the mood of training. Some dogs are food driven while others are play driven. For play driven dogs, you might have to train them with their favourite toy. It is all about finding the right currency for them. Training can only be effective if it is fun. Therefore, you should mix it up with treats and toys. Keep challenging their minds and perk their interest. This will make for affective training sessions and both you and your pooch will have a great time learning together!