This post is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company. All opinions are my own.
If you have ever owned a dog then you know there are basically two things they care about most in this world … praise from their owner and food! Positive reinforcement is the ideal way to reward your dog and encourage good behavior. The reward makes your dog more likely to repeat the good behavior, so positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog’s behavior. Rewarding your dog for good behavior sounds simple, but there are some basic guidelines to follow to make this technique effective.
We have always used positive reinforcement when it comes to our dog, whether it be for training purposes or correcting a bad behavior. Most dogs are highly food-motivated, so treats work especially well for training. Using treats are enticing and irresistible to your dog are ideal. These treats should be a very small and soft so that he your dog can immediately gulp it down and look to you for more. I don’t recommend giving your dog a treat that he must chew or that can break into bits on the floor.
Each time you use a treat as a reward, you should couple it with a word. Say something like, “Yes!” or “Good dog,” in a positive, happy tone of voice. Then give your dog a treat. Once your dog has learned the behavior, slowly decrease the number of treats until eventually they respond with just praise.
We have tried quite a bit of dog treats over the years to help train our dog and encourage good behavior. I have quickly learned that snacks with a very strong scent and that are easy to chew always remain on the top of the list for favorites. The NEW Pup-Peroni® Jerky Bites available at Walmart, in both Pork and Beef flavor, are currently our go-to treat and my dog is highly motivated when he sees these bags come out of the pantry.
These treats combine the real pork or beef indulgence dogs love about Pup-Peroni, with the premium ingredients pet parents want! I love that these treats are tender and easy for my dog to chew. These treats can easily be broken into pieces, which allows one piece to go a long way when training. They are made with real pork (or beef) as the number-one ingredient and do not include grain, meat by-products, fillers, or artificial flavors.
More Tips For Encouraging Good Behavior
- Correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement and the reward must occur immediately (within seconds) or your dog is not going to associate the two. For example, if you have your dog sit but reward him after he’s stood back up, he’ll think he’s being rewarded for standing up.
- Keep your commands short and simple and use a firm voice (we like to use commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “lay down”, “roll over”). You will be surprised how well your dog will start to understand these words and how quickly they will respond.
- Consistency is key so make sure that everyone in the family is using the same commands; otherwise, your dog may be confused.
- Always reward the good behavior and never reward your dog for unwanted behavior. For example, say your dog barks every time you let him out into the yard. Your first instinct may be too quiet him down by offering a treat. Eventually your dog is going to associate this bad behavior with getting a treat.
I hope this post was helpful to you and that you can benefit from these tips on getting your dog to listen to you with great treats and positive reinforcement. Let me know in the comment section below what tips have worked best for your pup and which tips you learned about in this post that are have been helpful!