How do you motivate your puppy?
I hope this new Puppy Tip finds both you and your puppy happy and healthy.
Let’s get right to it today…one of the first steps in training your puppy is to develop a little insight as to what and how your dog is motivated.
To ‘train’ your puppy using a rewards system, you need to determine how your dog is motivated so you can offer him something in exchange for correct behavior. What you are doing is developing habits with a reward system for puppy doing what you want, when you want it.
Some puppies are motivated by food. Food treats can be regular kibble, extra good kibble, packaged training treats or ‘human’ type food like chicken, hot dog pieces, cheese or dried liver cubes. Some of the treats used should be a ‘higher level’ treats for everyday training, and you can inter-mix the better treats with the not quite so good ones. Just don’t use all humdrum treats for training. You will find that your puppy stays interested in the lessons longer if he gets a great reward at the end of a lesson.
Some puppies are motivated more by toys than food or treats. For these pups you will want to determine which toys are the ‘turn-ons’ and which ones are just OK. You will want to use the toys that highly motivate your pup for the training lessons. If your puppy LOVES a tennis ball…use the tennis ball as the reward.
When your pup sits on command…then toss the ball out a little ways and let him go get it and carry it around for a minute or so. If you puppy has a favorite plush toy or loves a tug ring…use those for training and the reward becomes just a few seconds of tug of war with you or a chance to chew or carry his plush toy around.
The key is to use what really “turns your puppy on” while training. Puppies will learn very fast when they are motivated by an item that they love to have.
I had a dog years ago who loved food…period. He was totally motivated by anything that was edible and a lot of things that weren’t! He was an easy one when it came to training because I could just use his everyday kibble and he would jump through hoops and just about turn himself inside out to get it.
So…go ahead…see what turns your puppy on
and use it for your training adventures!