How to Cut Down on Dog Treats when Puppy Training | Dogs and Puppies
During puppy training, it’s important to cut down on the amount of puppy treats you provide as a reward over time, as the puppy needs to learn to follow basic commands without the need for an incentive. To learn more about training puppies without treats, read the guide below.
Puppy Training – Reduce the Use of Dog Treats Over Time
- Although it may always provide a favourable responsible, offering up too many treats for good behaviour to your puppy during early training can actually prove counter-productive in the long run. Dogs can be incredibly intelligent, and are likely to use a treat as a bargaining chip to follow a command if they are used to this being the natural order of things. Therefore, it’s essential to gradually reduce treats on a week-by-week basis when training puppies.
- In the early stages of training, you can be relatively liberal in your use of dog treats. Obviously, you don’t want your prized puppy to pile on the pounds, so it’s a good idea to offer small treats, often. However, don’t be too quick to offer treats – for instance make sure the dog is sitting still (even if he requires a little assistance) before offering the treat when you’re training a dog to sit.
- The best way to wean a dog off the expectation of treats is to intensively practice different skills, but only offer rewards every 3-4 times the dog follows commands. This’ll ensure the dog follows the command as if a reflex reaction. Shift the reward from treats to affection – over time, the dog will appreciate this just as much as a tasty snack.
- Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that the rationing of treats needs to be relative to the amount of experience a dog has with a skill. For instance, the dog may excel at sitting but struggle with the ‘stay’ command. If this is the case, you should offer less dog treats for sitting and more for staying.