Can you train a puppy without treats?

Most professional dog handlers recommend that dog owners start obedience training with delicious treats and then wean their dogs. Treats are a powerful training tool, and while it's possible to train your dog without treats, starting with food rewards ensures that your dog is focused on you. Despite the ease and success of positive reinforcement training with treats, many pet owners still prefer to avoid treats during training. This may be necessary if your dog has health problems, such as food allergies or a weight management problem, or you simply prefer to find another way to reward your dog.

The good news is that positive reinforcement training is still quite possible even without treats. The key is to find a reward that your dog is willing to work for. Working dogs, such as police dogs and military dogs, are often rewarded with a favorite chew toy, which is effective and easy to carry and use for the trainer in the field. This principle says that a “low probability” behavior (one that the dog or other subject is less likely to perform, such as waiting quietly at the door) can be reinforced with a “higher probability” behavior (one that the dog prefers, such as joyfully running around the yard).

For example, to strengthen your dog's sitting position, ask him to sit down before giving him access to any of the things he really likes: running with his friends, swimming in the pond, or cuddling up next to you on the couch. This type of reward is easy to integrate into your daily life and can be especially useful for dogs that need help with self-control. So, you may ask yourself, what do I use to train my dog instead of treats? My answer is, use it. Use what I call natural rewards for a dog and for you.

These are praise, play and affection. They are not things; they are emotions and feelings that you and your dog have to take advantage of. It's a deep form of connection and reward. It's much easier and more effective when you don't depend on things and don't use objects.

Dogs are born naturally with the intention of playing, and all dogs love to be praised both verbally and physically. Dogs love it when you share your affection with them. Julia Preston writes for That Mutt about dog behavior and training, working dogs and life on her farm in Ontario, Canada. She has a sweet and relaxed boxer mix called Baxter.

She is also a blogger at Home on 129 Acres, where she writes about her country life adventures and the renovation of DIY. The biggest difference I found with Balanced Dog Training is the lack of constant treats and the use of corrections. Failure to obey your orders has consequences. A correction is not shouting or hitting your dog.

A correction can be a pull on the strap or a firm voice saying “no”. This is my training mode, but my Pittie is a tough alpha guy and even if he is given a tug or a tug, he just stands firm or pulls with extra force. Positive reinforcement training is a common training style and highly recommended for all ages and breeds of dogs. While treats may be the easiest way to train a dog, they may not work for every dog and every situation.

If you give in a little, it can make your dog return to the training process, so make sure you stick to your weapons. I have had to fix so many of these dogs over the years, in my opinion, it really does a disservice to the dog and the owner to train this way. To get alpha status in your backpack, you'll need to focus on all these aspects of training for a minimum of 2 weeks (it could be longer depending on how consistent you are and how your dog responds). Many pet owners worry that they will have to carry a pocket full of treats for the rest of their dog's life if they use positive reinforcement training.

Using games and toys as training rewards is a great way to motivate dogs who aren't interested in treats, and it's not difficult once you learn how to do it right. While training with treats didn't seem appropriate to us, I didn't actively seek out a coach who didn't use treats. While using the best dog treats during training can have many benefits, some pet owners worry that this isn't a good long-term solution for their dogs. Author of the book “The Five Essential Needs of a Dog” and creator of the YouTube channel Saro Dog Training, where he shares dog training tips and much more.

Cathy is a certified professional without fear, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild and the Dog Writer's Association of America. . .

Lillian Boiles
Lillian Boiles

Award-winning food ninja. Certified travel evangelist. General coffee expert. Certified music ninja. Lifelong coffee fanatic.

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