We will cover how to teach your dog how to take treats gently, but let’s start with a very common question, “Do I use treats in my dog training program?”
Now we are onto, what dog treats to use. It’s vitally important to use the correct treats when training. Each dog is unique, so you need to find an appropriately motivational treat for your individual dog. If the treat is too bland and does not interest your dog, they will ignore it. If the treat is of exceptionally high value, the dog will be through the room with intensity. This high level of excitement may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. Too much intensity prevents the dog from thinking clearly and impedes optimal learning. It also makes training more difficult because the dog is harder to control. Thus, we need a medium grade treat. Typically a soft and smelly treat works for most dogs.
Teach Your Dog How to Take Treats Gently
Being able to properly hold a dog treat seems like a no-brainer, but that’s not always the case. Some dogs have a tendency to get pushy and take treats in a rough manner, which hurts their owner’s fingers. Appropriate technique is essential for effectiveness and efficiency when training your dog.
We do NOT want to simply have the treat pinched between our fingers, as this sets us up for getting our fingers bit. Rather, we want to utilize an open palm, with the treat slightly tucked in the crease between our thumb and base of the index finger.
This technique allows the dog to nuzzle around in our hand while we lure them into our obedience commands. Once the dog completes the command, we can easily release the treat to reward. We are ignoring all pushy behavior and only rewarding for the completion of our desired command.
Do you now want to put this all together and train your dog so they will listen to your whenever, wherever and without always needing treats?