Dog treats are a wonderful way to bond with our pets, to pamper them and also to train them. Training a dog with treats is very easy, the tricky part is to teach your pooch to respond to you even when you don't have any treats.
The correct use of food treats in dog training will help you have an obedient and happy hound. Using food for teaching your dog commands is based on Classical and Operant Conditioning, two well established learning principles.
I will be honest with you, you will need to give food rewards to your furry friend very often to keep him motivated. However, because of this, your pet will respond to you in any situation, even if you do NOT have treats with you!
Find out what your furry friend likes most. Try different meats, organ meats, vegetables and fruits. I know some dogs that will work wonderfully for apple or carrots. Having variety keeps your dog motivated and you can also provide him with a more balanced diet.
Dogs don't care much about size, they do care about quantity. It is a lot more rewarding to a dog to give him 5 little pieces in a row, than one big one. Since treats for dog training are used a lot, they need to be small, about the size of a pea (no matter the size of your dog).
You must give the treat to your dog as soon as he does something right, if you wait more than a couple of second, you will most likely be rewarding something else. A Marker word can help you with timing.
When you start teaching your dog a new command, it is important to reward EVERY single good response. This will help him learn to respond much better. Do not start cutting down on treats too soon, or your pooch may give up.
Once your dog responds to your command reliable (more than 80% of time), then you can start giving him treats randomly. Sometimes you give him a treat, and other times you forget about it. It must be completely random. This schedule of reinforcement will keep your pooch guessing and wanting to keep playing the training game.
Most dogs go crazy about any scrap of food they can find but there are also many dogs that are not motivated by it.
If your pet does not get excited about food treats learn all about "Dog rewards without food!"
Even if he does go crazy about food read it! You will find great information on how to motivate your hound and keep training sessions fun and full of variety.