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How To Use Treats To Train Your Dog

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When it comes to training your puppy or dog, training treats are an excellent tool. Even if your pup can’t see the treat, he can smell it – and he wants it! By keeping a few delicious morsels of food in your pocket during training sessions, you’ll be sure to have 100% of your doggy’s attention.

Remember, treats are intended to be used as POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, so be sure to only reward your pup when he does what you ask him to do!

Here are some handy tips for using training treats the right way!

Start From Day One

If you’re about to welcome a puppy into your home for the Holidays, take it from some experienced dog parents at PetFlow – it is harder (though not impossible) to teach an old dogs new tricks! The sooner you begin your training program, the better.

Keep It Simple

Dogs tend to get confused when we command them in long sentences.  “Lulu, please be a good girl and sit right now,” will likely earn you a blank stare. Try a simple command like “SIT,” instead.

Other Simple Commands:

Stay.

Down.

Come.

Heel.

Leave it.

Watch me.

Consistency is key, so when you pick a command, stick with it! This will help to not confuse your precious pooch.

Don’t Overdo It!

When your dog is learning how to obey a new command, reward him every time he performs the behavior. This is called continuous reinforcement. However, once your dog learns the behavior, it’s time to switch over to “intermittent reinforcement.”

Reduce The Treats As He Learns

Let’s talk a bit about intermittent reinforcement. Now that your pup has learned how to “SIT,” he certainly cannot expect a treat from you every time he does! That would bankrupt you and cause him to gain too much weight. Continue to praise the dog every time he performs your command, but only give him a treat once in a while. Gradually reduce the number of treats you give your dog for listening to your command until you no longer give him treats for performing that behavior.

Never “Treat” Your Dog With Unhealthy Human Food! 

Resist the urge to treat your dog with bits of hot dog or leftover roasted chicken from last night! Instead, opt for Hill’s Science Diet Soft & Chewy Beef Training Treats, or Hill’s Science Diet Soft & Chewy Chicken Training Treats.

Hill’s delicious morsels made with real meat make perfect little rewards during training. Plus, Hill’s Science Diet always makes sure to keep excellent taste and great nutrition in perfect harmony. With beef or chicken as the first ingredient, and only 3 calories per serving, you’ll feel good about using these yummy treats as training tools.

We wish you many wagging tails and slobbery kisses in your training adventure with your dog!!

XOXO,

The PetFlow Team

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