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Doggy Treats or Pet Training Treat - Do You Know the Difference?

Aug 30, 2007
When you are trying to train your pet you will need a ready supply of canine motivational incentives, otherwise known as treats. The use of dog treats as a training motivator is nothing new to pet trainers, and for good reason. To your dog these tasty treats can be quite an effective training tool. Unfortunately there does seem to be some confusion over the difference of what is classified as a doggy treat and a dog "training" treat. Let's take a moment to clarify the difference.

First thing to keep in mind is that anything your feed your dog outside of their normal feeding time can be considered a treat. Whether your feeding him Twinkies (not good), or beefy chews (good), extra food is looked at as a reward. What makes a dog training treat special is that you should only use those specific treats during training sessions.

If you are rewarding your dog for normal daily good behavior, or when you simply feel the need to give your pet a tasty treat, then by all means give them a treat they will enjoy, but be careful, as too many rewards given for no effort diminishes the effectiveness of each reward.

But when you are actively training your pets, you will want to use a superior quality treat. Pick something that they will absolutely go nuts for. Simple generic biscuits might just not be enough to get your dog to do stuff. Break out the dried liver treats or the chicken jerky. You want you pet's undivided attention when you're training them, and what better way then to use treats they gobble right up. Make sure that your pet is performing the required tasks before he gets this treat.

I keep a jar full of regular treats, much about the consistency of their normal food. They get these for going in their crates at night or as a simple reward. When training I will use a single piece of human quality jerked chicken. One piece can be broken into smaller pieces and will last an entire 30 minute training session. The response is often enough to cause the dog to forget about additional distractions, like the other dogs in the kennel.

We're not talking keeping an entire cupboard of separate treats, but you should separate them so your dog can learn the difference between them. When your dog is getting rewarded all the time from normal treats, you have to step up the treat for better responsiveness during training sessions. This is not rocket science; just have two sets of treats, one normal and one of a much higher quality.
About the Author
Derek Wood breeds and trains large breed dogs through the use of healthy and humane techniques. He is a life-long pet advocate and animal friend.

Get free pet training tips by visiting: Http://German-Shepherd-Obedience.com
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