While doggos are undoubtedly human’s best friend, they exactly are not like humans. They can sometimes get really naughty and do things like jumping on your guests, tearing your favourite cushion or rug or digging that can be bothersome for you as a pet parent. Therefore, there are some basic skills and training that your doggo should have to live in harmony in a domestic household.
Training your pooch improves both of your lives, ensures their safety and strengthens your bond with your doggo. In general, doggos are always keen to learn and establishing good communication is the path to take for success.
How to train your dog?
There are different methods and opinions of pet parents regarding the best way to raise and train your pup. However, it all comes down to two things that influence your doggo’s behaviour -
- Rewarding good behaviours
- Not rewarding bad behaviours at all
Doggos understand the language of love, but not the language of humans. They learn not through what you say, but by your immediate reaction to their behaviour. If they do something that gets them their favourite treat, kisses, belly rub or a session of the fetch game - your doggo will ensure to repeat that behaviour. But if they do something and see they are being ignored or not cuddled, they would try not to repeat their behaviour.
Here are some basic training tips that you can get started with to have fun training sessions with your furry friends -
1. Keep sessions short
Doggos generally do not have a long attention span, so short training sessions are the most effective. Keep training sessions 15 minutes or less, where your doggo can learn single or multiple skills. You can try teaching a skill/exercise in 5-10 repetitions and then switch to another set. The sessions can also be a mix of old and new skills. For example, show your doggo their favourite training treat but give it to them only if they can sit for a minute or as you instruct.
It is also important to end the sessions well, making your doggo do a skill he/she’s a pro at. Also, it’s better to complete the session before either of you get tired or bored.
2. How to train your dog
Our doggos don’t understand our language, they just manage to understand the meaning of certain important words like Sit, Down, Walk, Treat, etc. However, if you use these words in a complex manner, they may not be able to understand it and hence follow it. For example, if you’re training you doggo to sit by commanding “Mowgli, sit!” one day, and the next day the command is “Mowgli, down now!” - they would not be able to understand what you want them to do.
Ensure to keep a consistent command for each training and use it clearly and repeatedly. Moreover, all family members should also use that same command with their doggo.
3. Level up gradually
Your pup is a baby, and they have to take baby steps first before they can excel in the skill that you are teaching. So if you’re teaching your doggo to sit, try doing it for 5 seconds on the first day. Once the little one has successfully mastered the 5 seconds, increase the duration to 10 seconds, and then to 20, a minute, and so on. This gradual and systematic training will not only keep your doggo engaged at home, but they’ll also learn faster in the days to come.
4. Train at different places
As pet parents, we learn something and apply that knowledge everywhere we go when applicable. But the furry ones are very specific learners, and don’t tend to apply what they have learnt wherever they are. For example, if your doggo is taught how to sit only in the living room, they may not do the same when they are in the lawn or out on the road. So, make sure that you train your dog at different places for them to follow instructions everywhere they go with you.
Importance of dog treats in training
Often, we think that doggos will be willing to do what their hoomans say because it makes them feel happy. While this is true human approval and praise matters to them a lot, it cannot be as motivating as getting a favourite treat in return.
Dogs, like humans, are social species and both can benefit from the social aspect of training treats, which is a display of affection and love through sharing food.
The following reasons show the importance of dog training treats that also makes on overall impact on your doggo’s life -
Acts as a reinforcer
Though it is true that doggos are very good and interested students when it comes to training, getting a reward for it makes them work for it all the more. As their parent, your approval and praise make them very happy, but food can act as a reinforcement - something that causes your pooch to increase the frequency of their action. For example, if you reinforce your doggo to always use the washroom and in return give a little treat as a reward, the likelihood of your doggo always using the washroom will increase.
Food has always been a primary reinforcer, and it drives the willingness of doggos to work for it.
Easy to Use
Dog training treats are handy and can be easily given to your doggos in the process of training. It is also easier for them to gobble up a treat and move on to the next activity easily. For example, if you are teaching your dog to sit and every time they do so, you play a round of tug of war or frisbee, it becomes time-consuming and the training time gets reduced. However, if you’re giving treats as a reward, the training sessions will be faster and completed.
Builds a better relationship
We are all familiar with the saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, the same goes for your pooches too. As a pet parent, you would always want a perfect relationship with your doggo and training treats will ensure that unbreakable bond. This is also because, in your doggo’s eyes, you would be a person who provides good things that will make the training sessions easier and fun.
It may sound surprising, but using dog treats for training puppies can actually help build confidence in your doggos. This is because when they start training, it is natural for them to feel nervous, just like humans. For example, if you’re starting agility training with your doggo that involves a lot of obstacles, initially the training will make your pooch nervous. However, if you do slowly with one equipment at a time and reward your pooch with treats once they overcome the challenge, it will work as encouragement and boost their confidence.
In the long run, your doggo will be able to fight their fear and look forward to the training sessions with the confidence to overcome every challenge you set for them.
According to The Dogginton Post, 10 minutes of mental exercise for your doggo is the same as 30 minutes of physical exercise. And what if treats can be a part of both?
Dog treats for training puppies can foster brain development and make your doggo intelligent. For example, putting treats in different places and making your pooch find out a way to reach them can be a mental exercise. There are many interactive toys like IQ treat balls that can be filled with small treats, which needs to be retrieved by your doggo.
Another way to use treats to increase IQ would be to hide them in different corners of the house and encourage your doggo to find them out only by sniffing.
Myth Busters about Training Treats
Surprisingly, there has been a lot of speculation and myths about training treats and whether they are a right choice for doggos. As pet parents, you always have the best interest of your furry friends at heart and therefore, differentiating myths from facts is important before you arrive at a decision.
Here are 3 common myths about training treats -
Treats mean bribes
As mentioned earlier, treats are reinforcers, not bribes. It is something that is given after the desired action/behaviour, unlike a bribe which is generally given before the desired action. If you give a treat before the action has been completed, it would indicate a wrong way of training.
Once treats have been used, doggos will not listen to anything without them
For a doggo to learn a complete skill, it requires a lot of practice and repetitions in various surroundings. Hence, initially treats are important to teach them the skills. Once they have learnt a skill, you can give them a treat once, skip it for the next three times and again treat them. This way, your doggo will be able to perform that particular skill even without treats.
Treats work for tricks, not proper training
Your doggo will not differentiate between learning a trick and a behaviour. They will not take one thing lightly and the other one seriously. Treat is just a food, or a tool to reinforce positive behaviour in your doggo to stay in a human household.
The Right Way to Use Training Treats
The use of treats while training your doggo can get you a positive response every time, but it is important to use it in the right way. Food or treats during training can be used in 3 different ways and there is a clear distinction between them -
- Bribe: If you show a treat to your doggo first and then give them a command to do something, the treat acts like a bribe to get the desired action. It means you have to offer food first, and then ONLY your command will be followed.
- Lure: Presenting the treat in front of your doggo to entice them to perform an action would be luring. This means that your doggo has to be lured to perform that skill every time, and not trained.
- Reward: Training your doggo to follow a command and rewarding them with a treat after completion of the activity is the right way to use training treats.
Basic Commands to teach with Training Treats
Your pup can start basic training from the time they are 8 weeks old. Gradually, doggos will learn several commands but there are some basic but important ones that they need to learn to live in a human household.
Here are some basic commands that you can teach your doggo by using dog training treats as rewards -
- Start the training indoors or in a quiet place. Tell your puppy to come either by calling out the name or saying the word “Come”. Keep a treat in your hand and wait for your doggo to take it.
- In the next step, drop the treat on the floor and give the “Come” command. As your pup takes the treat, call them again and drop another treat.
- Repeat the process by tossing the next treat a little further.
- Stand in front of your doggo and command him to sit. Once your doggo follows the command, reward with a treat.
- Step back or move a little, and your pup will stand up again. Give the sit command again and provide a treat once it has been followed.
- Practice in a few repetitions regularly.
- First, teach the release word. It could be ‘free’ or ‘okay’ or ‘move’.
- Stand/Sit with your pup and toss a treat. As soon as they go towards it, give the Stay command.
- After sometime, release your pup with the release word and let them have the treat.
- Once your doggo learns this, give the stay command first, release them and then toss the treat.
- Give the ‘Down’ command to your pup and provide a treat once they oblige.
- Give the release cue and again command them to lay down while giving a treat.
- You can also hold a treat in front of your doggo’s nose while standing/sitting and slowly bring it down to the floor. Give the treat once they are in the lying position (when the elbows touch the floor).
- After a few practices, you can bring your empty hand in the same way to the floor to make your pup lay down, and show the treat after they have done the same.
Choosing the Right Training Treats for your Doggo
Learning new skills requires a lot of time and patience, and it goes without saying that the right treats can make the sessions fun and enjoyable. Moreover, these sessions can also help create a great bond with your doggo.
Before choosing training treats for your pooch, it is important to keep in mind the following factors -
Identify the high-value treat
A high value treat will be the one that your doggo will love the most, and it can be used as a great incentive during the training sessions. It may take so time to understand what your pooch’s ‘high value treat’ will be, as they’ll have to try out different ones to decide on the best. Normally, high value treats are mostly ones that are freeze-dried and are given only during training.
Training treats should always be small in size so that your doggo can have it quickly and continue with the training session. A big size treat would take more time, and your doggo can be distracted from the main motive - training.
Small size treats would also mean that they end up getting more treats as rewards, but it’ll be fewer calories and less chances of feeling sick.
Training treats may serve as snacks, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy. Single ingredient healthy dog training treats are the best choice as it provides wholesome nutrition along with great taste. Also, choose treats that are natural and human-grade. Avoid artificial flavours or colours as it may have an adverse effect on your doggo’s health in the long run.
We always want our food to taste good, and the same goes for our doggos. Therefore, treats that have rich flavours not only hold their interest in the treats as well as the training sessions, but also help maintain fresh breath.
Like us, doggos too can get bored of having the same treat everyday. Switching between different flavours will keep them both interested and motivated in the training sessions. For example, if you’re giving your pooch fruit or veggie treats, give them an apple flavour one one day and maybe banana flavour on the next.
Dogsee Training Treats
Dogsee treats are completely natural, grain and gluten-free healthy dog training treats - which are handcrafted, and not mass-produced. They are human-grade and sourced directly from the Himalayas and every Dogsee treat retains the purity of the hills.
There are two types of training treats available for your doggos -
Dogsee Crunchies - soft cheese treat
Dogsee Crunchies are soft treats made from the finest cheese from the Himalayas and smoke-dried to perfection. The crunchy texture makes it a favourite among the doggos. Apart from being ideal for training, Dogsee Crunchies also help avoid plaque and tartar in dogs and keeps their breath fresh. These dog training treats are rich in protein and calcium, which helps keep your doggo’s coat shiny and their skin healthy.
Dogsee Crunch - real fruits and veggies treat
Dogsee Crunch is fresh, tasty and crunchy training treats that are completely natural, without any additives and preservatives. It is one of the best ways to incorporate fruits and veggies in your doggo’s diet without any fuss and mess. Dogsee Crunch is made from real fruits and veggies that are sourced from the freshest farms, handpicked with love and freeze-dried and fat separated to retain all essential nutrients.
Dogsee Crunch single-ingredient training treats are available in 4 flavours -
- Apple - Apple dog treats contain Vitamin A and C that keeps your pooch’s skin healthy and coat shiny. It also aids in digestion and helps boost immunity.
- Banana - Banana dog training treats contain Vitamin B6 and potassium that helps build proteins and hormones and contributes to bone and muscle growth. Also being a source of natural antioxidants, these treats are extremely healthy and safe and serve to be a great training treat.
- Beetroot - Dogsee Crunch Beetroot treats are rich in iron that helps create red blood cells and haemoglobin. This treat also contains potassium that acts as an immunity booster.
- Coconut - Made from only real coconuts, the Crunch Coconut treats are rich in natural antioxidants and fat separated to provide the best nutrition and keep your doggo in good health. It is also rich in dietary fibres that help maintain a healthy gut.
Treats do have an important part to build good habits in your furry ones. The only thing that you have to ensure is to choose the best dog treats that are healthy, without any chemicals and preservatives. Dogsee Dog treats are completely natural dog treats that do not contain any chemicals, preservatives, artificial colour or flavouring. The human-grade treats are handcrafted from Nature’s best sourced ingredients. Dogsee treats don’t just keep your doggo happy, but also healthy . Because as pet parents, when it comes to your pet, you would want nothing but the best!