Text Transcript – Treat Training Video

Hi, I’m Audrina Wilhelm from Canine Companions for Independence.

Today, we’re going to learn how to train your dog using treats. Rewards work better than punishment when you’re training because the reward makes them more likely to repeat the behavior. Positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog’s behavior. So, the first thing you’ll need are some treats, like these. The best dog training treats are small and something your dog really enjoys. Keep in mind that treats should only account for a small portion of your dog’s diet. Too many treats may lead to obesity in dogs and other health problems. Correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement. The reward must occur immediately within seconds, or your pet may not associate the proper action. For example, if you have your dog sit but reward him after he stood back up. He may think that he’s being rewarded for standing up. Dogs don’t understand sentences. Daisy, I want you to be a good girl and sit for me now. This will likely earn you a blank stare. Keep command short and uncomplicated.

The most commonly used commands are SIT. STAY. Down, which means lie down. Off, which means get off of me or get off of the furniture. Stand. Come. Heal, which means come close to my side. Leave it.

Everyone in the family should use the same commands. Otherwise, your dog may be confused. It might help to post a list of commands where everyone can become familiar with them. Consistency also means rewarding the desired behavior and never rewarding undesired behavior. Positive reinforcement is great for teaching your dog commands. It’s also a good way to reinforce good behavior. You may have your dog sit before letting him out the door to prevent door darting; before petting him to prevent jumping on people; and before feeding him to teach good mealtime manners. Give him a pat or a good dog for lying quietly at your feet or slip a treat into his toy when he’s chewing on that, instead of your shoe. Be careful that you don’t use positive reinforcement to reward unwanted behaviors. For example, if you let your dog outside every time hears a noise in the neighborhood, you’re giving him a reward. Access to the yard, for a behavior you want to discourage. Treats are a great way to provide positive reinforcement to the good behavior you want to see from your dog. Be sure to talk to your vet and trainer before you get started. Now let’s recap. Rewards work better than punishment when training. Timing is everything, reward immediately after a proper action. Keep your commands short and sweet. Be consistent with commands and rewarding. And lastly, use treats to reinforce good behavior. On behalf of IAMS, I’m Audrina Wilhelm for Howdini. For more information and offers, check out the Web site.