Should You Use Dog Treats for Training?

Dog treats are often used to reward the dog or to offer him a snack. A lot of dog owners use dog treats while training the dog. The use of dog treats for training is recommended; however, used in excess, treats may raise some problems. Also, the use of inappropriate treats may hinder the training process.

Possible Problems with Dog Treats for Training

Using dog treats is a great way to make your dog feel rewarded. However, if you give your dog a treat every time he performs the requested tasks, you may end up with an obese dog. Treats may have a high calorie content and they may make your pet fat if you give him too many.

The treats may also slow down the training, as the dog may stop to chew the treats and this may take a long time.

It may also happen that the dog coughs back the treat (especially if this has a hard texture) and this may distract other dogs, if you are training in a group.

Consequently, you should alternate giving treats with giving verbal encouragement to motivate your dog and to avoid obesity. In addition, you should also find out what types of treats to choose.

Choosing Treats for Training

When training your dog, you need to let your pet know how he performs and giving him treats or verbal encouragement can be the perfect reward.

However, when choosing the treats you should look for a few things that are essential in treats:

  • Treats should be low in calories, so that the dog won’t get obese; the treats may contain proteins and fibers but should be poor in fats. Consult your vet or dog trainer and find out what are the suitable treats you may use during the training.
  • Treats should be small, suitable for your pet’s size; typically the treats shouldn’t be larger than a pea.
  • Opt for soft treats, so that the dog won’t have to waste essential training time while chewing it (cheese or cooked meat may be suitable soft treats).
  • The treats you choose should be tasty, so that your dog feels rewarded and motivated, so you can opt for meat flavored treats.
  • The color of the treats may also play an important role, so that when you ask your dog to perform a task and pick up a treat from the floor, this should be easily identifiable; choose the color of the treat depending on the color of the training room/space floor.

Using dog treats for training is recommended, as treats are a great motivator. However, your dog shouldn’t get used to getting a treat after each task, as this may make him overweight. Alternating treats with verbal approvals is a good recipe. You should also choose the treats carefully so that they are healthy for your pet and will facilitate the training process.