I’m delighted to present this guest post by Wendy Lipscomb who is the Founder of www.totallygoldens.com, in which she talks about ways to train your dog with positive reinforcement without resorting to giving him or her treats.
Your dog possesses a lot of energy do not get it wasted by just allowing your dog to roam around home aimlessly. Instead of this try to keep him engaged in a productive activity such as training. Well, dog training is a lifelong process. If your dog knows few basic commands it is easy to tackle behavioral issues. Training a dog with patience and positive attitude is important because if they are negatively enforced they may develop fear or adopt rebellious behavior.
Mostly pup parents use treat as a reward for positive reinforcement. If you are tired of rewarding your dog with treats or your dog does not turn up to treat? Do not worry! Try following other ways mentioned below in order to reward your dog but, without treats!
So, instead of rewarding your dog with treats you can also reward him by praising him verbally. Dogs are so good at understanding human behavior. They can easily understand when they are praised for your tone and body gesture. Calling your “good boy” will automatically lead them to behave according to your command. Whenever your dog performs a trick, be sure to quickly praise your dog and exclaim how much you are proud of him. You can notice how your praises will bring wag to his tail and joy in his behavior.
Dogs are attention seekers and tend to behave oddly when they want their parents to give full attentions to them. This attention seeking property can be used in a productive way to train your dog. Your dog probably loves touching and patting, almost every dog does. Just be attentive and notice what your dog’s favorite scratch zone is and when he likes to be touched. He may like long and short strokes on his back when he settles beside you but he would probably get annoyed when he wants to play with you instead of just being touched. Therefore, a good play time can also turn as a reward for your dog.
Toys are another type of lure to that can be used to facilitate training sessions. It may take time and a bit more effort to recognize your dog’s favorite toy but believe me the dog will turn up to his favorite toy and would obey your command. Once you identify your dog’s favorite toy do not allow him free access to that toy. Keep it tucked away and use it as a reward while training. You can find some best chew toys options here.
Hopefully, your dog loves going out, mine too. He knows well when we have to go out; he is always waiting for me at the door as soon as I pick up the keys. If your dog loves going out for a walk, outdoor activity, a ride or even running in the backyard you can ask him first to show the trick you want him to learn and reward him by taking him out with you. This trick is called Premack Principle where you ask your dog to show low probability act (the desired action) before you give him access to high probability act (the act he loves to perform).
If you are a pup parent of a dog that is overweight or a dog that does not turn up for the treat you can apply the above tricks to train your dog without using treats.