What You Should Know About Using Food As Reward Training For Your Dog
And Calling Your Dog To Come

What You Should Know About Using Food As Reward Training For Your Dog And Calling Your Dog To Come



Training with treats and other food based rewards is​ a​ great way to​ motivate your dog and speed the​ training process along. Most dogs are highly motivated by food rewards,​ and treat training using this kind of​ positive reinforcement is​ used to​ train all sorts of​ animals,​ including tigers,​ lions,​ elephants and even house cats.

Before you​ begin a​ treat based training session,​ however,​ it​ is​ a​ good idea to​ test the​ dog to​ make sure that food will motivate him through the​ session. Begin around the​ dog’s regular meal time by taking a​ piece of​ its food and waving it​ in​ front of​ the​ dog’s nose.

If the​ dog shows an​ enthusiasm for the​ food,​ now is​ a​ great time to​ start the​ training. if​ the​ dog shows little interest,​ or​ none at​ all,​ it​ may be best to​ put off the​ training until another time. Don’t be afraid to​ delay the​ start of​ meal time in​ order to​ pique the​ dog’s interest in​ training. the​ advantages of​ proper training will far outweigh any delay in​ feeding.

It is​ generally best to​ get the​ dog used to​ regular feedings,​ instead of​ leaving food out all the​ time. Not only does free feeding encourage the​ dog to​ overeat and increase the​ chances of​ obesity,​ but a​ free fed dog may never be fully motivated in​ reward based training.

The come when called command
Once your dog has shown interest in​ the​ food offered to​ it,​ it​ is​ time to​ begin the​ training. Since you​ already got your dog’s undivided attention by showing it​ food,​ now is​ a​ great time to​ start. Give the​ dog a​ few pieces of​ food right away,​ then back up a​ few steps. While holding the​ food in​ your hand,​ so “come here”. When the​ dog comes to​ you,​ praise him effusively and give him a​ few pieces of​ food.

After the​ dog is​ coming to​ you​ easily,​ add a​ sit command and hold the​ collar before you​ give the​ food. After the​ sit command is​ mastered,​ other commands,​ and even some tricks,​ can be added. Food based positive reinforcement training is​ the​ best way to​ teach a​ variety of​ important behaviors.

One good exercise is​ the​ sit,​ stay,​ come when called exercise. This exercise can begin with the​ owner walking the​ dog,​ then stopping and asking the​ dog to​ sit. After the​ dog is​ sitting quietly,​ the​ owner backs away and asks the​ dog to​ stay. Ideally the​ dog should continue to​ stay until called by the​ owner,​ even if​ the​ leash is​ dropped.

At the​ end of​ the​ exercise,​ the​ owner calls the​ dog. When the​ dog comes to​ the​ owner,​ it​ receives food and praise from the​ owner. This exercise should be repeated several times,​ until the​ dog is​ reliably coming when called.

It is​ important to​ keep the​ training sessions short,​ especially in​ the​ beginning,​ to​ keep the​ dog from becoming bored,​ and from consuming its entire meal in​ the​ form of​ treats. After the​ dog has been responding regularly,​ the​ treats and food rewards can be slowly reduced. it​ is​ important to​ still provide these food rewards,​ but it​ may no longer be necessary to​ provide as​ many.

After awhile,​ as​ well,​ it​ will not be necessary to​ give the​ dog treats every single time he responds as​ requested. in​ general,​ it​ should only be necessary for the​ dog to​ receive a​ food treat one out of​ every five times he comes on​ demand. the​ other four successes can be rewarded with praise and scratches.

Once the​ dog understand the​ basics of​ the​ “come here” exercise,​ the​ basic exercise can be expanded,​ and many games can be created. These type of​ games can be great fun for owner and dog alike,​ as​ well as​ a​ great learning experience. Some off leash work can be introduced as​ well,​ but it​ is​ always best to​ start with the​ dog in​ a​ safe environment,​ such as​ a​ fenced back yard.

For variety,​ you​ can try taking the​ dog to​ other safe environments,​ such as​ a​ friend’s house,​ a​ neighbor’s fenced yard or​ a​ local dog park. Try turning the​ dog loose in​ these safe places,​ and practice the​ come when called exercise. Always praise the​ dog extensively,​ scratch him behind the​ ears and tell him what a​ good dog he is. the​ goal should be to​ make coming to​ the​ owner a​ more pleasant experience than whatever the​ dog was doing before he was called.




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