We love to treat our pets. Whether it be for their dental hygiene, for training purposes, or simply because you love them, treats are an important part of a dog’s diet, so much so they can actually make or break your dog’s diet. If you’re training a new puppy, or trying to teach an old dog new tricks, natural pet treats are a great alternative to store-bought treats. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of training a dog, and before you know it they have consumed half the bag of treats, when they’re meant to be exactly that: a treat for your dog. By choosing natural pet treats over supermarket pet treats, you can be sure these ‘treats’ are actually full of vitamins and nutrients, and aren’t going to upset your dog’s tummy, or flare-up any allergies. You can read about how natural pet treats can eliminate allergies in our recent blog post. Think of it like when you choose to treat yourself with a piece of dark chocolate over milk chocolate. You’re still getting a treat, it’s just better for your health and that lactose intolerance you keep ignoring.
But training your dog with natural pet treats isn’t as easy as saying a few commands and allowing your pet to indulge in their favourite natural dog treat from Drool Pet Co, we wish it was that easy!
We have listed a few tips and tricks on how to train your dog using natural pet treats because, at the end of the day, the healthier the treat, the more your pet can enjoy!
USE SMALL TREATS
Even when using natural dog treats, if you engage in an extensive training session we recommend ensuring your dog treats are as small as possible. If you use a large piece of food or chew treats, your dog will be disinterested and full within minutes. While we love our raw pet food, we don’t think it should be wasted on training. That’s why we designed treats such as our dried sardines, carob drops and kangaroo liver. Their size makes them ideal for training.
CHANGE UP THE TREAT CYCLE
Training can be exhausting; you want to keep your dog interested and entertained! Once your dog has performed ten commands and swallowed ten carob drops, they will probably start looking for something different. Make sure you have a couple of different tasting natural pet treats so your pet doesn’t get bored too quickly!
BUILD THE FOUNDATION
When training your dog, you don’t want to set yourself up for a loss! If you build a foundation before you start training your dog, you are less likely to come across difficulties. Firstly, make sure you have identified your dog’s favourite natural treat. This way they are not learning something new while trying to get used to something new. Also, train them in an environment they won’t be easily distracted. Once you have built this foundation, you can perform your training anywhere.
REWARD, DON’T BRIBE
A common mistake dog owners make when training their dog is bribing their pet to perform a new command. If you use a natural pet treat as a bribe before you dog performs a command, you will find it impossible for your dog to ever perform a command or trick without a treat in front of them. Instead, try rewarding your dog with a natural pet treat AFTER they follow a command – this is known as positive reinforcement. This way, your dog will no longer need positive reinforcement to perform a command.
NATURAL PET TREATS, PETTING AND PRAISE
Positive reinforcement cannot only be achieved through treats. At the end of your day, all your dog really wants is your love and acceptance. Your best friend is truly only interested in making you happy (and maybe natural pet treats!). Using petting and praise in conjunction with treats can help wean your dog off treats as they learn the command more and more. Therefore, when you wean off treats, you are still rewarding good behaviour with a scratch and a ‘good boy’!
This tip strongly relates to rewarding good behaviour rather than bribing with natural dog treats. If you start training by bribing your pet, you may find your pet will act up by jumping on you for the treat or getting extremely excited. While this is a great time to discourage this sort of behaviour, stay patient and try your hardest to reward good behaviour instead of scolding bad behaviour.
STAY AWAY FROM HUMAN TREATS
This one might be obvious, but human treats are not puppy treats! What may taste good to us, will be high in fat, salt and sugar and will make your dog’s metabolism very angry! While supermarket treats can be harmful to your dog, human treats can almost be poison. Natural pet treats are the best option for treating your pet.
DON’T TREAT TOO EARLY
Treating too early can lead to rewarding incorrect behaviour. Try not to reward your dog until they have completed the command, and are completely calm. If you reward them with too much excitement as soon as their fluffy butt hits the floor, they will assume good behaviour is just doing a quick sit and they will get a treat.
Training your dog can be an exciting and rewarding time for both you and your pet by building a trusting and honourable relationship. The best bit is that your pet will learn to respond to your commands while enjoying the best treats available on the market: natural pet treats. As always, Drool Pet Co’s natural pet treats are always 100% natural and preservative-free. You will not find any nasties in our natural pet treats – no steroids, gluten, grains, by-products, chemicals – the list goes on! They are also great for your dog’s dental hygiene.
Good luck training your dog, and enjoy the experience!