For considerate dog owners, training our dogs is an important responsibility. Teaching our dogs how to behave – both in public and at home – allows them to join in with day-to-day activities and become a “proper” member of the family.
How we train our dogs is just as important as what we train them to do. If you use the wrong training methods, it can lead to dogs becoming more anxious or even scared of us. However, the right training techniques can help to strengthen our bond with them and allows them to feel happier and more relaxed.
Using treats for training is an example of “reward-based training”. This involves teaching your dog to behave in the way you want by rewarding them when the dog – rather than punishing them when they don’t. The food treats act as a reward for good behaviour.
Reward-based training is more effective than other punishment-based types of training and can help to strengthen your bond with your dog. Most dogs will enjoy the chance to spend some one-on-one time with you during the training process, especially if there are a few dog training treats involved! Many will also enjoy learning something new, as mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise for our dogs.
Once your dog learns that you are carrying training treats to reward their good behaviour, this can help them to focus on you when you are out of the house. This should mean that they are more responsive to your instructions and may also be more relaxed as they are focusing less on the world around them.
The best dog training treats are delicious without being difficult to chew and are gentle on our dog’s digestion. All of these aspects are important for different reasons
Dogs need to enjoy their rewards, or they will not be motivated to train and behave in the way we want. When we are using treats as rewards, this means that they need to be very interesting to our pets in order to work.
Training often involves teaching our dogs to do a series of small steps that add up to a larger goal. We may need to reward our dogs for each of these small steps as we work towards the goal behaviour. This means that dogs need to be able to eat the training treat quickly so that they can focus back on you and continue the series of steps that you are trying to teach them.
Large, chewy rewards are not suitable for training, as the process of eating them can interrupt our dogs’ concentration.
You may need to feed your dog quite a few treats during their training sessions, or whilst out on a walk. This can add to their total calorie count for the day, and if we are not careful, can lead to them gaining weight.
Try to use treats that are as low in calories as possible when you are training regularly. You may also need to reduce your dog’s regular food – but make sure that the treats are not making up more than ten per cent of their diet.
Many training treats for dogs are made with a rich mixture of meats and fats, in order to make them as appealing as possible. However, this can sometimes cause digestive issues (vomiting and/or diarrhoea), especially in dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Some dogs find certain proteins more difficult to tolerate than others, so it is best to choose a single protein source treat that is made with ingredients that are known to be acceptable for that dog.
Pet Munchies training treats are:
Training is especially important for puppies, but we need to make sure we use appropriate training treats for them. Puppies’ teeth are still developing, and their digestion may be more sensitive than adult dogs.
Be sure to pick a treat that is specifically designed for your puppy’s age and size. You also need to be particularly careful not to over-feed treats to puppies or it can affect their development. Remember, no more than ten per cent of their diet should be treats or snacks – the rest should be a complete and balanced puppy food.
Training is not always a smooth process, and it is easy to make mistakes or become frustrated. Try to avoid these common pitfalls with treat training.
It is important that all the humans in the family have the same approach to training. This means using the same commands, and consistently rewarding good behaviour. It also means that everyone avoids getting cross or using other negative methods (such as water pistols)
If your dog is being “naughty”, it is important not to get cross with them. They are not doing this deliberately to annoy you – they are simply behaving in a way that seems natural to them. Instead, try to get them focused back on you by making them aware that you have a treat, and then giving a simple command (such as “sit”) that you can then quickly reward when they do it.
Treat training is a fun and effective way to train your dog and can deepen the bond that you share. Be sure to choose the right treat for your training sessions so you can focus on teaching your dog. Pet Munchies’ all-natural training treats are a delicious, practice choice for you and your dog, and can help to make their learning process simple and rewarding.
By Ruth Cawston