Dog Behaviour

Are you using treats the wrong way? 


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I’m a positive reinforcement trainer and I use treats when training reactive dogs, but it’s not a miracle cure and I see so many owners using treats the wrong way. Let me tell you what I mean.

If you have a reactive dog, I’m sure you have been to a dog trainer… or many. If so, you have probably been recommended to feed, feed, feed, and feed again when walking past triggers like dogs or people. Your dog might, however, have no interest in taking treats and if he is taking them, half your hand is getting chomped on too because he’s grabbing each treat so hard and eating like he’s obsessed.

If you are giving your dog treats like this, you are wasting your money, time and effort. 

Sure, your dog might be taking treats instead of lunging and barking and that is a win, but what you are doing is DISTRACTING your dog rather than TRAINING him. The behaviour is not going to improve and you will be back at square one every time a trigger shows up.

Instead, imagine your dog quickly glancing at that dog in the distance and then quickly turning towards you for a reward and then going back to sniffing the ground.

So what is the difference between the first and the second scenarios? One thing. Your dog’s stress levels.

If your dog is stressed he will barely learn anything. If offered a treat he will eat fast and chomp hard but his whole mind is fixated on the trigger and he is not learning anything.

Just think about how you feel when you are frantically running around looking for your car keys. If someone asks you a question at that point you might answer yes or no but you will not remember the question. Your whole body is focused on removing the stressful situation (for your dog that is making the dog/person go away) and everything else is just a blur.

If you want your dog to remember the training you are doing with them you need them to stay calm. 

How do you do that? 

By finding the right distance for your dog. Avoid close meetings and take your dog to open areas where he can stay calm and actually remember what you are trying to teach him.

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My mission in life is to empower dog mums with the right tools and knowledge so the can take their dogs from stressed and barking to calm and confident. With my unique method I will help you understand your dog better so you never have to feel frustrated or confused ever again.

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