Having Trouble Training Your Dog? Hint: You May Not Be Adding Enough Value

When our dogs are doing something we don’t want them to do, we need to understand that they are not being “bad.” They simply don’t understand what we expect of them.

Educating Your Dog

It’s our job to educate them. The responsibility is ours, not theirs. Shouting “No!” or “Bad dog!” may be our natural reaction but it rarely works.

A great way to educate a dog is to use high-value treats to reward them for the behaviors you want to see. A high-value treat is a food item that your dog really, really wants. What is high value to your dog may not be high value to your neighbor’s dog. Foods To Try Some foods to try include:

· cheese

· chicken

· dried calf liver (yum, right?!)

· carrots

· green beans

· broccoli

· cantaloupe

Food TIps

If you try a food and your dog does not care for it, don’t give up. Keep trying new foods. Just be sure the foods you choose are safe for dogs.

It also helps to train your dog with treats when they are hungry. If they’ve just eaten, they will be less food motivated.

You also don’t want your dog to become overweight, so if you’re going to be using a lot of treats, use them as a substitute for one of your dog’s meals or cut back on the amount of food you serve him per meal.

Pro Tip: Even high-value treats can be ranked by your dog. Keep a variety of treats on hand so you can be selective as to which you reward your dog with.

Save the best of the best for when you're training him on something new, when asking him to do something he finds particularly challenging, or if he makes a particularly spectacular effort.

My Dog's Not Food Motivated

So what do you do if you try multiple food treats and you train when your dog is hungry, yet they’re just not food motivated?

Find your dog's sweet spot. It might be toys, praise, or being touched, petted or rubbed.

Stay away from patting, as dogs can interpret this as aggressive behavior.

If you'd like more tips like these for your dog, hop on over here and join this community of fellow dog lovers: http://bit.ly/PetChampion.

Together we’re a community dedicated to better understanding our dogs. The result? Better relationships, deeper bonds, and fewer unwanted dog behaviors.