Before you begin training your dog, you’re going to need to take a step back and evaluate them. Ask yourself what motivates your pup – high value treats and praise are a good place to start. A high value treat should be something your pet doesn’t get all the time – like chicken, liverwurst, or peanut butter.
When trying to figure out the ideal treats for training, keep the three S’s in mind… soft, small, and stinky! A training treat shouldn’t be a time-consuming snack, either, like a crumbly biscuit or a Kong filled with peanut butter, for example – you want your pup to be able to eat it quickly so you can move on to reinforcing the next skill. If you need some help determining what motivates your dog, you can check out our video.
Some other things to consider are:
- Does your dog favor a certain activity, like playing fetch or sniffing?
- How does your dog react when his ball rolls under the couch?
- Does your dog prefer playing with you, or does he take his toy away to play independently?
These factors are all more important than you may think! They may indicate your dog’s working instinct, cognition, and biddability, and knowing these things can be very helpful when it comes to training your dog in the most effective way possible. Check out our series What Does Breed Have To Do With It to find out why!