Dogs: Treats & Training (Guest Post)


                                                    Image by airwaves1, used under Creative Commons license
Dog Training - Jan 2009
I know I am a walking stereotype—treating my animals like my kids. But we are all stereotypical in one way or another so I am just going to embrace it and say, for now, my pets are my babies!

Of course, that means I run the risk of spoiling them even more than the average pet owner. I do lean a little too far in one direction when it comes to dog treats. I assume it’s a bit like a mother in a supermarket giving into her toddler who is begging for chocolate just to get him to behave while she finishes shopping.

This said, I am aware that dog treats are meant to be used sparingly while we train our dogs to listen and learn the rules. I would definitely recommend a local dog training class for new puppies or older dogs, as they will advise you on treating your dog once a new command has sunk in. If in doubt, save your best chewy treats for the end of the session, as it’s good to end on a positive note!

It’s just as important not to go too far the other way however; try not to shout or tell your dog off if they make a mistake. Dogs are liable to get bored or tired when training for long periods so make sure you stick to short bursts of around 15 minutes at a time. We all know how easy it is for dogs to become distracted around other people, smells and fellow dogs, so try to train in a nice quiet area to avoid chasing after your dog every few seconds!

I know I saw the best training results from my dogs by taking it slow and not expecting too much from them at once. Dogs can be a great addition to any household and if we teach them well and show them love, everyone will benefit more from these sociable and loyal animals.

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