Nationally Accredited Canine Trainers

The Scoop

20 February 2019

How You Can Reward Your Dog

WIN WITH FOOD

Most dogs like food treats. When using treats as a reward for your dog make sure you do not feed your dog beforehand. Your dog will be more eager and better focused if your dog doesn’t have a full stomach.it is also easier if you use a treat pouch so you can hold multiple rewards and be ready to reward when your dog is doing great things.

It is also important to have small treats so their tummy doesn’t fill up too quickly and they are nice and easy to swallow. Having small treats will allow your dog to have a taste and swallow quickly ready for the next task you ask of them. When you find out which food treat your dog loves the most this is the food you use as your reward and don’t allow them free access to this treat at any other time of the day. Remember if you are using a food reward for your dog make sure you adjust their daily intake of food and count the treats in their Calorie intake.

PAY WITH TOYS

Some dogs who aren’t food motivated love toys. Using toys for a reward can be fun. You might have to try a few toys before you find the one but when you do toys can be as motivating, if not more motivating for some dogs than food. It is always best to find a toy where you can be apart of the fun as well. An example of an interactive toy reward for a dog would be a tug or a tennis ball on a string. Toy reward can be a better option than food if your dog has weight issues. This can be a game of tug or a throw of a ball so training can become part of their exercise routine. This will only work if your dog does like the toy. Remember when you find the toy your dog likes don’t give your dog free access to it at any other time of the day.

RELEASE FOR PLAY

Sometimes your dog’s rewards can change at times during training. A sniff of the ground, a free run or a play with another dog can be a perfect reward for great behaviour. You can use this at the dog park or on a walk. You don’t always have to reward with food or a toy. A dogs reward is what your dog wants at that time.

TONE AND TOUCH

Never underestimate how much of a reward your voice can be. There is no need to shout at dogs when asking for a command they can hear quiet well. dogs like to get told how good they are and usually respond better to a high pitch and excitement. Some dogs that are anxious or nervous may need the tone lowered to suit their needs. Your voice can always be used as encouragement for good behaviour.

Touching and patting your dog is another way you can reward you dog. It is important that Your dog enjoys being patted before you think this is a reward for your dog. Some dogs also like to patted gently and some dogs like a rough pat. These must be considered when using touch as a reward. When you get it right patting can be a really effective way to reward your dog.

By Trish Johnston