How To Avoid The Top Training Mistakes: Part 2

Part 2 – How to Reward Good Behavior

Four ways to reward your dog in addition to food rewards. clickerdog

Food treats are an easy and effective reward for a dog when training, but can used in conjunction with many other types of rewards/motivators. There may be times when you cannot use food, and there may be times when the best reinforcement is something other than a hot dog! Here are four great other ways to reward your dog!


1) Play with your dog! Anyone who has trained for an active sport like agility or flyball knows the value of using toys, games, and play in training. But toys, games, and play don’t apply only to the sports-minded. Playing with your dog can be a powerful relationship-building tool, as well as a potent reward. Tugging and retrieving may be the most obvious play rewards, but playing games with your dog is limited only by your (and your dog’s) imagination.

2) Use “life rewards.” These are things that your dog enjoys in his daily life,  such as going for a walk, running in the backyard, or splashing in a sprinkler.

For example, ask your  dog to sit before giving him access to any of the things he really enjoys – running with his pals, swimming in the pond, or cuddling next to you on the couch. This type of reward is easy to integrate into your daily life, and can be especially helpful for dogs who need assistance with impulse control.

3) Offer a warm word. Praise, “happy talk,” or a simple “Good dog!” may be the most common type of reward there is!

4) Touch him where he likes it. Touch can be a wonderful reward for some dogs, but it is also a tricky reward to use. Before using petting, rubs, or massage as a reward, first consider whether you dog enjoys petting.  If your dog shies away from your hand, or shows any signs of stress consider using the rewards above!

These are just some of the many ways you can reward your dog when you want to use other rewards in addition to food or treats. Remember, when you are thinking about rewards, you can consider anything your dog finds valuable

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