In a traditional outlook on dog training, treats were seen as a cheat to dog training. Traditionalists believe that dogs should follow your commands out of fear, respect, and love of their owner.
In today’s world though, that way of thinking isn’t true anymore. In today’s day and age, majority of dog owners and trainers are utilizing dog treats as rewards.
Most experienced trainers nowadays do not require food to train dogs. With their years of experience, they can train dogs without it. Despite that fact, most trainers today still choose to use these treats when training dogs.
Here are three reasons that explain why dog treats are used when training dogs.
Out with the Old, In with the New
The transition to this new way of training dogs is coming along fast and furious. Trainers and organizations are switching sides en masse, leaving their old ways behind.
One reason why they made the switch is because they didn’t want to go back to their old methods. The old methods relied heavily on a dog’s fear when they messed up a certain action. Punishments are relied on to rectify
The new way of training as brought about a huge and noticeable change in the dogs. Instead of fear, these new methods use positive reinforcement and emotions to train dogs.
The general sense of the movement seems to be going away from negativity, and straying towards positivity in training.
In truth, there are so many other things that can be used as a reward. These all depend on the different breeds, personalities, and likes of the dog. A ball for example, can be used as a reward to retrievers.
Food though is a special treat. It is special because of its fast effect on the dog. Using food in training your dog will ensure that the whole process happens faster.
Feeding a dog a treat is way faster than waiting for a dog to fetch a ball.
With this speed, the reinforcement and repeating cycle can be done faster than usual. After a dog eats his treat, it only takes seconds before they are up and ready to do their task to get more treats again.
Ease of Use
Finally, a really good reason as to why treats should be used to train a dog is in how easy it is to do. This is particularly important to those who are not able to act physically for giving out rewards or correcting a dog’s action.
For instance, people who are bound to wheelchairs will find it way easier to train a dog with the food method. It aids them in training their dogs despite their disability.
The treat method is still disputed nowadays. There are a number of pros and cons to using treats in dog training. If you were to volunteer with us at Texas Service Dogs though, we’d show you how we do it. Once you see it, judge for yourself what the best methods to use are.