Ditching Treats for Meals in Training
Dogs are inherently selfish animals, focusing on their own interests. While treats may work initially, they eventually lose their appeal, leading to disobedience and frustration for both you and your dog. Instead of treats, try using your dog’s meals for training.
Transforming Mealtime into Training Time
- Remove the food bowl: Making your dog work for their food increases its value to them.
- Use daily food intake/rations: If food is only available during training, your dog’s motivation increases.
- Set a 10-minute window: Give your dog 10 minutes to eat. If they’re not interested, respect their choice.
- Delay the next meal: No food will be given until the next training session, up to 4 to 8 hours away.
Benefits of Meal-based Training
- Your dog learns to value food when it’s on offer.
- They can choose to work for the food or return to distractions.
- Food and the person dispensing it, you, become more valuable.
- Your dog thinks twice before choosing distractions over a full stomach.
- You will learn about the ‘Principals of Pressure’ in your lessons.
- It prevents overfeeding and obesity.
By using your dog’s meals for training, you create a healthier and more effective approach to obedience and learning.