Thereâs nothing wrong with a well-deserved âGood boy!â and tummy rub, but theyâre simply not as rewarding as that coveted, freeze-dried liver or another delicious doggie treat. You just need to find out what treat your dog will go crazy for when performing new or preferred behaviors. âExploring your dogâs high-value food rewards is a lot of fun and part of the process,â says Russell Hartstein, certified dog behaviorist and trainer and CEO of Fun Paw Care. âAlways carry a pouch or bag with your puppyâs daily allocation of food and lots of treats in it to teach your dog appropriate new behaviors.â Just be sure to consider these treats as part of your dogâs daily food allotment, or you may wind up with an overweight pup on your hands. Got puppy fever? Find out how much a pup could cost you.
Ever try teaching your fur baby something new at the dog park or while interacting with people? It probably didnât go as well as expected. Hereâs why: Too much distraction. âInitially, as with any new behavior, you want to start in a boring, non-distracting environment, typically a room inside your home with no toys, with your dog on a leash,â says Hartstein. And keep those high-value treats handy for rewards. Donât miss these 50 secrets your pet wonât tell you.
Are you walking with your dog or is your dog walking you? If itâs the latter, forget about yanking the leash. It wonât work. âDogs have an opposition reflex. You pull back, and they pull forward. They are not being stubborn or difficult. Itâs built into the way a dog is designed,â says Hartstein. In other words, if a dog pulls and gets to where it wants to go, the dog is rewarded and will continue the behavior. The solution? Head back inside for some walking on the leash. âAfter your dog has walked successfully next to you many times in your home, advance to the backyard, then the front yard, then a few houses down, and etc.,â suggests Hartstein. Reward them for walking close to you.Â Find out theÂ 53 mistakes every dog owner makes.