Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why Train with Food?

We'll start with the premise that dog's get paid for behaviors that we like and want repeated.  Why this is? - that's another blog post!

Here are a few reasons to use food for training:

1.  If you use small, soft treats, then your dog can consume the reward and quickly be ready for another. 
Pea-sized is great for most medium and large dogs.

 2.   It's easy to deliver.  Pop one treat in the mouth - you're done!

3.  Combine #1 and #2 and that means a lot of repetitions in a short time frame are possible.

4.  You're feeding your dog everyday, 1-2 times daily, and training is best done in frequent, short sessions.  It's a match made in heaven.  Make feeding time a training moment.  Better yet, measure out your dog's daily ration of kibble and use it throughout the day.    

Check out this video to see an example of a "commercial" training session - that means it's short enough to do during a commercial break.  In a little over a minute, you see stay with distractions, down, sit, stand, recall, and left finish.You can also see how quickly the tiny pieces of kibble are eaten, and how quickly my dog is ready for another treat. 

All dogs must eat - most even love it!  Most dogs will happily work for food in low- to moderate-distraction environments.  Many will work for food in any environment.  If your dog doesn't - well, that's another blog post!