The happy little wag of your dog’s tail as they are about to get a tasty treat never seems to get old. It’s easy to see then that treats are a popular choice for use in positive reinforcement training, since the response is so… positive! As well as this TonicTreat is specially formulated using only ingredients with beneficial properties, so you get the extra feel good factor of knowing your treat supports your dogs health too! We suggest using TonicTreat in line with your usual recommended daily intake, simply chop up your treat into as pieces as needed for your training session.
To help make training time an enjoyable experience, we’ve combed the internet for expert advice and put a list together of the best dog training tips we found to help you and your dog get the best out of it.
Training Tip #1 Treats As One Of Many Methods
Most experts advise not to rely on treats alone for dog training but to use as just one tool from your training toolkit. Other methods include praise and affection, belly rubs, walks, toys and play.
Training Tip #2 Positive Reinforcement
A study published in 2020 by researchers in Portugal confirmed what many training experts advise based on experience which is that dogs trained using aversive methods involving punishment tend to have higher stress levels both inside and outside of training compared to dogs trained with reward-based methods. Positive reinforcement training therefore tends to be the preferred approach. This approach is considered by many to foster a loving relationship with our beloved pets.
Training Tip #3 Right Place Right Time
To start off it’s a good idea to find a quiet place away from distractions to begin training your dog, as your dog gets confident with commands you can introduce new scenarios such as around others or while on a walk. Experts recommend spending no more than 15 minutes focused on training every day.
Training Tip #4 Make A Good Experience
Begin and end a training session with something your dog already knows to help make the experience positive and something the dog enjoys doing.
Training Tip #5 This Not That
Sometimes it can be easy to accidentally fall into saying “no” or “stop it” especially when dealing with a new puppy, you’ll probably find saying these words alone won’t have the desired effect. Redirection and substitution are good techniques to get into the habit of. Redirection involves disrupting your dog’s attention such as when it starts sniffing for a place to dig and turning it to something else such as going for a run. Substitution can be used when you want to directly replace a behaviour such as replacing biting shoelaces with playing with toys.
Training Tip #6 Beware of Teenage Tantrums
Thought you were in the clear after the teething phase ended and your puppy was used to your home and routine? Think again! According to research from the UK there’s a teenage phase to consider at around 8 months old when your young dog regresses for a short while and becomes less likely to obey commands than when they were 5 months old. Stay strong and keep using your routine of positive reinforcement with treats.
Training Tip #7 All The Extras
If you are new to dog or puppy training there is a lot to learn and while you are busy ensuring your furry friend gets good at obeying commands, you might not think of the many things that will make a difference later on. For example, getting your dog used to being handled by vets, groomers and children. To help with this, get friends or family to handle your puppy and even leave them in their care for short periods of time. Reward with treats and praise.
Training Tip #8 Don't Forget About The Body
Dogs are tuned into body language we might not be aware of, perhaps the most common scenario where this comes into play is tensing up your grip on the dog lead when we see another animal while out walking, experts warn that this tends to cause your dog to feel tense too. One way of overcoming this is to take a deep breath and imagine the best case scenario, just thinking this alone will relax your body language and put you both at ease. Always remember to bring a couple of treats with you on your walk to reward your dog for positive behaviour along the way.
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