Teaching your dog obedience commands is beneficial for both you and your canine companion. For starters, it gives you control over his actions. If your dog begins to bark when someone knocks on your door, for instance, you can use the “quiet” command to stop this behavior. Furthermore, studies have shown that dogs enjoy listening to their owners and obeying their commands.
Of course, the secret to training a dog obedience commands is to use positive reinforcement. If you reward your dog with treats and affection for obeying your command, it will increase your chances of success. This is in stark contrast to punishment-based training, which can actually hurt your efforts to train your dog.
So, what's the best dog treat for training? The American Kennel Club (AKC)recommends using a three-stage hierarchy of treats. This includes low-value treats like kibble, carrots, green beans and dry biscuits; medium-value treats consisting of commercial dog biscuits and jerky; and high-value treats like dog chews and baked chicken.
The general idea is to use low-value treats when training your dog at home, medium-value treats when training your dog in your yard, and high-value treats when training your dog in the park. Because of the relatively distraction-free nature of your home, you really don't need to use particularly savory treats. Something as simple as baby carrots will suffice. When training your dog in the park, however, the presence of other people, dogs and animals can distract your canine companion, which is why the AKC recommends using more savory treats.
Why Use Dog Treats?
When choosing dog treats, consider its nutritional value and whether it's safe for your dog to consume on a regular basis. Dog training is all about repetition. If you ask your dog to perform a command enough times – and reward him when he does – he will eventually learn the concept of what you are teaching. As a result, your dog will probably be consuming plenty of treats.
Good dog treats for training should offer at least some nutritional value. Whether it's protein, vitamins, etc., they should supplement your dog with beneficial nutrients to help him meet his nutritional needs. Additionally, dog treats shouldn't contain high concentrations of sodium, saturated fat, sugar or “filler” ingredients.
Keep in mind, however, that treats are just one form of positive reinforcement. There are other ways to reward your dog for obeying your commands. Petting and telling your dog “good boy” is another form of positive reinforcement. Combined with treats, this will help you succeed in your training efforts.
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