Features November 2009 Issue

Best Dog Training Treats for Different Training Scenarios

Five things to do when your dog can’t have, or won’t take treats.

Food rewards are powerful tools in the hands of a good positive trainer. Food is considered a primary reinforcer because it has innate value; a dog doesn’t have to learn to like food through association. Using a clicking sound made by a clicker (or other reward marker, such as the word “Yes!”), followed by a high-value food treat is a quick and easy way to send your dog a powerful positive message about which behavior he could repeat to get reinforced again. Food is also commonly used in classical conditioning and counter-conditioning, to create and build a dog’s positive association with a specific stimulus. But what do you do when your dog can’t or won’t take a treat? It depends on the reason he has to decline the food offering.

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