Sometimes less is more – especially when you use treats as a motivational tool. But in order to achieve success, the timing must also be right.
Education with the help of treats
Dog training methods are a bit like women’s diets: there are countless of them and every year a new “guru” appears who claims to know how it really works. Forget all those guys and make sure your daily calorie count doesn’t exceed a certain limit. This applies to you and, of course, to your dog as well: Giving treats as a reward and for motivation is a popular training aid that can get on your hips without the necessary sensitivity – that of the dog, of course.
The right timing is crucial
The principle of this method seems simple: positive, i.e. correct behavior is encouraged, wrong behavior is not punished, but simply ignored. But there are a few things to consider here too. Or do you know the correct answer to the question: When do I give my dog a treat? The point in time is crucial and catching the right one is not that easy in practice!
Example: command “sit”
Let’s take the “Sit!” command as an example. and assume that the dog does not yet understand any commands, i.e. it is still in the learning phase. The first thing to do is get him into a sitting position. One trick is to stand in front of him and direct his attention up to your face. He will automatically sit down to get a better lookup. Now the treat is used. Two things are important here: First: the command “Sit!” for the dog to associate with the act of sitting down, and second, to reward the act as correct. This works as follows: While the dog sits down of its own accord, the appropriate command is given. As soon as he sits, e.g. a high-pitched “Fine!” praised and immediately (!!) given a treat.
Treats become motivation
After repeated repetition, the dog will usually understand what his human wants from him. He recognizes the command and he knows it’s worth doing. So the treatment is motivating the dog to obey. This is also a point that you should never forget. He doesn’t do it for you, he does it for the sausage. Therefore, treats should be used as an educational aid mainly in the learning phase and combined with praise as motivation. This is the only way you will ensure that he also follows without giving him a treat in return.