As we discussed in our best dog training treats post, these tasty morsels form the primary basis of positive reinforcement training. The idea, as you can probably guess, is to keep a stash of treats on hand to reward your dog either for following a command or for behaving properly. The real key is to make the treat â and by extension, the interaction with you â the main component of the training, regardless of where you are.
For example, if you only work with your dog in a specific room of your house, your dog may only retain that context in that environment. Once you go somewhere with new smells and sounds, your dog might be much less inclined to heed your commands. When training, you want to reinforce the lines of communication everywhere you go, and the easiest way to do that is to combine treats, pets, and firm but friendly tone of voice into each action.
Itâs true that you can train your dog without treats , but they confer other benefits beyond just something tasty your pup enjoys. The smell can help distract your dog from fixating on distractions and gives them something specific to focus on. They can be tossed or held in such a way that encourages your dog to complete a certain action, too. As someone with three dogs, I certainly recommend at least giving treats a whirl.
In addition to commercially-available dog training treats, you could also try cheese, cut up hot dogs, or whatever your dog likes to eat. Mind you, whatever you choose, youâre going to need a lot of them. Positive reinforcement training requires a constant stream of command-and-reward. That begs the question, then: how should you transport them on your training missions?
You could tote around a plastic container, or even the bag the treats come in. Both require two hands to operate, which wonât work when trying to work with a rowdy young pup. In fact, my young husky mix requires two hands just to keep him from bolting toward whateverâs caught his fancy at that moment. Purpose-made dog treat pouches are the best option.
There are different designs, naturally, but most dog treat pouches have an easy-open main compartment, a convenient attachment mechanism, and are typically made of a hard-wearing, machine washable material. Some have multiple pockets or pick-up bag dispensers built-in.
Tame your wild beast by keeping treats handy with the top ten options for the best dog treat pouch for training: