In a previous post, we discussed the topic of “Teaching any dog a new trick,” especially when it comes to using positive training techniques. The dedication we take to ensure our dog’s ultimate health and well-being also means monitoring their diet, exercise and behavioral methods. This includes making sure that treats are considered as a part of their daily food intake when it comes to daily calorie requirements.
There needs to be a balance between positive rewards versus treats. Making sure that we’re making an effort in delivering other, non-food related substitutions as a part of their training process is beneficial to their training success.
Replacing Treats With True Rewards
Praise, toys and playtime can be just as effective as other food-related rewards. Ultimately, this will make sure that we’re being effective in the long-term behavioral process when we’re training them for successful behaviors that last longer than a quick, food-related incentive.
Think of it this way, using food as a lure or bait is better utilized as a way to capture, trap or get rid of a wild animal and not as a method of training a domesticated companion. Imagine a stubborn dog that simply refuses to come when they’re called. Using food to get them to come to you only works a few times before you’re “crying wolf” when you don’t have a treat available every single time.
The Positive Path
If you offer them a food-related reward, every time it’s associated with a command, what happens when you don’t have a handy snack readily available for them? Eventually, you won’t be able to consistently give them their treat and they’ll understand the concept and not perform. That being said, let’s look at some ways positive training techniques are best used in a beneficial way when it comes to achieving desired results and behaviors from our best friends.
Check out this infographic on “30 Positive Reinforcement Training Tips For Your Pet.” These examples will ensure you’re on the best possible path when training and rewarding your pet.
About the Author: Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.