Having a dog as a pet is a massive responsibility for any owner. But if you wish for your pet to be a member of your family, training them is absolutely necessary. If you've never owned a dog before though, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of training them. How exactly does one go about properly training a dog? While there's no clear cut answer that will work for every pup, some things do work for all.
More and more research has come out to show that the best way to successfully train your dog is with food. That's right- you need to reward your dog with a treat every time they do whatever it is you're asking of them. If you don't believe it, then allow the experts to prove you wrong.
"Using treats during training is the best way to guarantee that your dog will repeat the behavior you want," the American Kennel Club confirmed in a recent statement.
Experts explain that using food as a reward during training is the equivalent of using either petting or verbal praise as that reward. A study that looked to see what dogs preferred found that they mainly chose food over petting or verbal praise. Dogs, as it turns out, work more to receive food than any praise. In fact, dogs respond to verbal praise the same way they would if they were being ignored. Also, "life rewards" (i.e. going for a walk if training is successful" and hoping your dog will listen out of love don't work either.
"If only it was like that!" exclaimed Zazie Todd, author of the forthcoming Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. "If your boss stopped paying you, you'd probably stop going to work pretty quickly. You need to motivate your dog too."
With that in mind, food is a great way to help train your dog well. As long as they're not overfed, they'll want to consume it. Also, don't just give them plain old dog food- give them a treat they'll love, such as cheese or a dog cookie you know they love. This will make training your dog easier and more effective.