All dog lovers know that adage of dogs needing to be trained with a series of command/treat exercises. However, in reality, training shouldn’t always be done with treats. Treats and award foods are great some of the time. Of course, that assumes that your dog is not an aggressive eater and not being fed treats on a constant basis outside of training. The reward system should be more of positive reinforcement than anything else since your dog already wants your attention. Giving it to them will make them recognize it as a reward, instead of relying on treats.
There are a lot of trainers who say that treat training does not work. They believe it will instill a habit of begging in your dog. That can be true to some extent. Prior to teaching your dog the command/treat relationship, they may not know that a command necessarily will mean food. Some dogs will naturally avoid learning commands because they’re so focused on doing whatever they need to do to get the treat. Symptoms of this include them doing commands without prompting or doing a random action instead of the one you commanded.
Not all is lost though, even for older dogs. Making the switch from command/treats to command/affection may be a frustrating change for you. The dog may not respond without the treat at first, but by the end of the second training session, you should see improvement. All dogs are innately affectionate. So, even when they want that treat as a reward, affection may come as a different, but welcome surprise. Just make sure that you also give them time and affection away from training, too. They are animals and they need social interaction to stay happy and healthy.
One option you have available to you for your dog training is to give us a call. Dog Training Now Charleston is the most complete training service for you and your dog in the area. We offer training options for everything from one on one time to boarding and training your dog for you. Call us today to find out how we can help you and your dog.