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How to Use Food & Treats in Dog Training

In offices, employees get incentives for their performance. Human incentives are in the form of cash or goodies. The good thing about humans is that they can choose what to do with the reward or incentive. However, the dogs can’t spend the rewards of their own will.

When the trainers give them food treats as incentives to train them, the dogs get obese or overweight as they overdo it. So, when the owners spend their money on the fitness training of their dogs, their dogs mostly lose fitness.

Use of food and treats by the trainers to bribe, lure

Easy to use and handy, food treats are a usual tool in training sessions. Dog trainers use the food treat primarily as lures. It makes the task easy for the trainers. The trainers lure the dogs with food or treats to perform their training. Hence, the dogs become habituated to these bribes.

Dogs don’t understand that these lures are causing damage to their health in the long run. They fall into the trap of trainers. Dogs keep accepting the delicious food as treats that the trainers offer them. After a certain period, they don’t feel like training unless they get food.

The trainers sit down, work less and get payments from the dogs’ owners. If the trainers get their work accomplished by luring or bribing the dogs, they don’t take the trouble of providing strengthening techniques to the dogs. Moreover, the dogs don’t become obedient if they get used to the rewards.

They feel it when they don’t get rewarded, they will not obey the commands. So, they become unsocial elements. They become greedy and obey; if they get some food or treat from their owners.

Tricks of trainers using food and treats

It is an effective exercise to reward someone for their hard work. Everyone likes it, but no one should get addicted to it. They should understand that hard work reaps the benefit. Hence, everyone should work hard for themselves. When they work hard, they will be fit and lead a healthy life.

At times, dogs can get rewarded for their obeying the commands. But that should not become an expectation at every go. However, many lazy or dishonest trainers don’t take the complicated route. They take the easy path of making the dogs train. They lure the dogs with ready-to-eat treats and make the dogs train.

Then they video the training sessions and show the owners that they are doing their job efficiently. However, owners are unaware of what happened before or after the training video. When the owners try to make the dogs perform a task at their residence, dogs don’t obey.

However, when the owner complains to the trainer, they blame the owner. They show them that the dogs are doing their training in front of them. The cunning trainers hide the trick of making the dogs work. So finally, after giving up, the owners ask the trainers for some solution.

At this point, many dishonest and cunning trainers provide the owners with a solution. They suggest the owners should recruit a private trainer for their dog. They charge exorbitantly for these private training sessions.

Ideal rewards for your dog

If you have to reward your dog, you should not use food as a reward. That will only add unwanted weight. Best rewards that you can opt for without turning your dog obese include:

  • Dog toys such as squeaky balls to fetch or play tug-of-war with.
  • Dog beds
  • Dog bowls
  • Dog kennels
  • Dog leashes
  • Dog collars
  • Dog grooming equipment such as shampoo, brushes, combs

Positive sides of foods and treats for dogs

Till now, we discussed lots of stuff on the negatives of food treats for dogs. However, there has been some light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s see some positives of foods as treats used to train the dog. Some of the merits are as such:

Help Build Positive connection- If you reward your dog with food, it will create a strong bonding between the two of you. The dog will not make too many excuses if you ask for a long training session from it. The food will make it work hard and harder.

However, never expect much respect from the dog if you choose this path of making your dog training. It will create a positive connection between you two, but it will rarely obey you and train unless you throw some food at it.

Gain attention- If you treat your dog with food, you will certainly get attention from it. Dogs will even obey you and train hard. They will even show good behavior when you ask them to do so. But, if you choose this path, always be on alert to keep your pocket full of dog food.

They will not obey you even if you ask them to walk ten steps unless you bring the food out of your pocket.


Food treats are easy to come by and effective as a training tool. However, as described in the article, food as a reward can be misused. If you want to motivate your dog, you must prepare to phase out food treats when the dog starts performing after some time. Real-life rewards are more commendable rather than treats.

To phase out the use of treats, you can limit their intake. Choose low-calorie treats or use the regular food to reward it so the dog will work hard for their share of kibble. Balance out their daily meals to keep a check on their calorie intake.

Make sure your dog gets a balanced diet and does not end up getting overweight. Overweight dogs can have health issues. Hence, it is essential to lower calorie intake and strive for more balanced nutrition.

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