Training your pup can be the most challenging and stressful experience you and your canine friend may undergo. However, because it offers several benefits, you will never regret investing time and effort in the whole process.
When you train your dog, you develop a bond with your pet. You get to understand his personality and needs on a deeper level, which will make you a better fur parent.
A whole training process is also a great form of exercise that can open up new possibilities for you and your pet. Once your dog knows how to behave, you will have an easier time taking him along wherever you go.
Another benefit of training your pup is that he will learn to follow your voice commands. Because of this, you will be able to protect him whenever he is unrestrained. An untrained dog is more likely to run out of an open door or gate and get hurt.
Your dog will learn to be more sociable as well when you train him. Your pup’s experiences will teach him to behave correctly in social situations and respect boundaries.
As a result, other pets and people will be more comfortable around your canine. He, in turn, will be happier and more relaxed whenever he is around others, even the ones he is meeting for the first time.
With all these benefits, dog training should be part of every canine owner’s responsibilities.
Dog Treats and Training
Buying dog treats online is one of the first things you have to do when you decide to train your pup. Food is the most effective reinforcement tool you can use when training your dog. As a reinforcer, it increases the frequency with which an action or inaction will be repeated.
For most dogs, their number one choice for motivation and reward is food.
Food drive or the willingness to work for food is high in most dogs since they know that they need it to survive. As such, using it as a form of reinforcement can make training your pup easier and more successful.
Additionally, treats are quick to give to your pup when he follows your command or performs an action. Because of this, you can do it repeatedly within a short amount of time during training, which is crucial when you are introducing a cue.
Choosing the Right Dog Treats
Not all dog treats are the same. As such, you can’t simply buy any product from the pet store.
Below are some tips that can help you choose the right dog treats for training:
1. Consider the size of your dog.
Dog treats come in different sizes. Because of this, you have to choose a product that is right for your pup. Otherwise, you will end up hurting your pet.
Keep in mind that tiny treats can be choking hazards for large breeds while big ones can be difficult for small pups to chew, swallow, and enjoy.
When shopping, it is always best to go for medium-sized treats since small and large dogs can eat them. Another simple tip to follow is to never get nibbles that are so small that your St. Bernard could inhale them, or so huge that they are larger than your Shih Tzu’s head.
2. Check the product label.
Many dog treats contain unhealthy ingredients that are not good for pups. Due to this reason, you also have to take a close look at each product’s label.
Start by checking if the product contains large amounts of sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavours and colours. To be sure you are feeding your dog something healthy and safe, look for ones with natural ingredients or that have low levels of these unhealthy substances.
Also, try to avoid dog treats with low-quality ingredients and unhealthy carbs such as meat by-products, meat meal, and corn.
Look for products that contain fruits, vegetables, and real whole meat. If they have sugar or salt, make sure the levels are not unhealthy for dogs.
Lastly, check the calorie content of the recommended serving size of the treats. It is best to look for a low-cal product so that you won’t run a higher risk of overfeeding your pup, which can lead to different health issues.
3. Choose a high-value treat.
Getting a treat that your dog likes will go a long way in motivating him during training. When your pup likes fragrant, high-protein food, you won’t go wrong with using a product that has these qualities.
If your pet is a bit picky, you have to find a high-value treat that he can never ignore or refuse.
Buy one or two products first and give it to your pet to taste. Check if he likes both treats or if he prefers one over the other. You can use the one your pup likes the most to reward him during training.
4. Vary your dog training treats.
Like humans, dogs can also get bored if they eat the same treats daily after following commands or learning new tricks. Because of this, you have to switch their snacks regularly.
Once you have figured out which treats your pet likes, rotate them every two or three days. By doing so, you keep your pup interested in your training and keep him motivated.
Although stocking up on several packs of treats at a time may seem costly, you won’t have to overspend if you know where to buy affordable dog supplies. You can get several of your pup’s favourite nibbles from online pet stores that offer dog food and snacks at discounted prices.
A Word on Giving Your Dog Treats
Whether you are still training your pup or already done, you have to monitor his caloric intake when giving him treats since dogs can pack on the pounds quickly. When he is overweight, he will become more prone to different health issues.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that training treats should never be more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily food intake. If you have been handing out treats heavily throughout the day, reduce the size of his next meal a bit to account for the extra calories.
Dog treats are essential for canine training. However, make sure you choose the right ones to give your pet and be careful about using these. Otherwise, you will have more problems to deal with than an untrained pup.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.
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