There's a good boy!
We all love to give our dogs a treat from time to time, and it’s often an easy way to get control of them, but treats should be just that – and make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.
Most dogs are motivated by food, so while you’re in the early stages of training your dog, you may find that small amounts of food are the most effective way of rewarding him for the behaviour you want to see.
However, your dog also wants to please you, and will respond very well to praise and attention, and with the right training schedule (and patience!), you should eventually manage to reduce the number of food treats you’re handing out – which is good for sticking to the 10 percent rule!
The quality of your dog’s treats is as important as the quality of his main diet – when choosing treats for your best friend, try to find those that include real meat and high-quality ingredients, such as Yours Droolly Duck Tenders or VitaPet Chicken Tenders.
These meaty treats are made from pure, dried duck or chicken breast and are free of artificial colours or preservatives. They are naturally rich in protein and low in fat, and dogs love them.
Treats should be low in fat and have a low salt content.
If you keep the 10 percent rule in mind, too many high-fat treats could tip the scales and lead to weight problems.
Many dog trainers suggest working towards intermittent reinforcement. This is a process that involves gradually reducing the food treats, so you are rewarding your pet at irregular intervals. Breaking large treats into smaller pieces is also a good way to gradually reduce the number of treats. Your dog remains motivated to produce the desired behaviour, without relying on continuous food treats.
If you are successful with this, you will find you are able to reward your dog with many different treats – verbal praise, a cuddle, or even a few minutes of playing with his favourite toy.
Soon you won’t have to go around with pockets bulging with treats!
Your dog will be happy knowing that he’s pleased you, and that, occasionally, he’ll get a tasty morsel, too.
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