How to Use Dog Treats in Positive Reinforcement Training

How to Use Dog Treats in Positive Reinforcement TrainingPositive reinforcement training is a time-tested method of helping man’s best friend learn how to behave properly. By providing tasty treats and lots of praise, you can teach your dog how to follow simple commands like sit and stay or how to do tricks like shake hands.

Selecting Treats for Positive Reinforcement Training

In positive reinforcement training, the type of reward you’re giving should be irresistible to your pet. You should also consider having a variety of treats on hand so that your dog does not get bored with the same reward every time.

When using treats for positive reinforcement training, remember that you need to give your dog the reward immediately after the behavior that is being rewarded. If the reward doesn’t follow the correct action, your dog will misinterpret the lesson you are trying to teach. For example, a dog that gets a treat for sitting once he’s already stood up is going to think the reward is for standing up. You can also use a clicker to mark the correct behavior, which will help your dog better understand the connection between the treat and the desired action.

What If Your Dog Won’t Cooperate?

If you’re having trouble getting your dog to cooperate, you may be using commands that are too long. A simple, authoritative command like “Heel” is better than saying “Walk close to my side.”

If more than one person is using positive reinforcement training with your pet, make sure the commands and the methods of rewarding the desired behavior are consistent from person to person.

For more complex behaviors, positive reinforcement training should be paired with a process called shaping. This means that you are reinforcing behaviors that are close to the desired action and gradually requiring more from your pet in order to earn a treat. For example, if you want to teach your dog to shake hands, you would reward your dog for mastering each step of the process. These steps include lifting a paw off the ground, lifting it higher, touching your hand, letting you hold the paw, and then actually performing the shaking action. This process takes time, but the results are well worth the effort.

Treat Your Dog to Max & Ruffy’s

Max & Ruffy’s mini bites are perfect for positive reinforcement training. They are made with 100% percent organic, human-grade ingredients and come in tasty flavors like 327 B.C. (Banana & Coconut), Tree of Life (Coconut, Molasses, & Flax), and 24 Carob Gold (Strawberry & Carob). With a wide selection of Max & Ruffy’s treat, your dog will be eager for each training session.

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