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How To Motivate Your Dog

May 9

Dog Dynamics, Inc learn to copy behaviors that bring them wanted resources, like food, attention and toys. They also learn to avoid behaviors that lead to unpleasant consequences, such as pulling on the leash or jumping up on people.

Many trainers use operant conditioning, which employs both rewards and punishment. They may also incorporate other signals, such as "good" or "OK." It's important to keep training sessions short and to focus on one behavior at a time.


Toys provide dogs with physical and mental stimulation, help fight boredom and excess energy, discourage problem behaviors such as chewing and barking and promote dental health. Different toys suit different purposes: Puppies, for instance, need teething toys to relieve sore gums. Dogs that like to fetch and play tug need a rubber ball or rope toy. Herding dogs enjoy a herding toy such as the Ruff Dawg Amphibious Bumper Fetch and Float, which is made of foam and polyester for water play.

Whether a soft “baby” or a treat-dispensing puzzle toy, interactive toys help stimulate a dog’s mind and prevent dementia as the pet gets older. To keep a dog interested, rotate the toys available each week.

Many dog toys are filled with something called polyester fiber fill. The stuffing is not harmful to dogs, but it is plastic formulated into strands or fibers and can be disassembled or shredded by a determined chewer. If you want to reduce the amount of stuffing in your dog’s toys, try the classic rubber Super Chewer Toy or a nylon option such as the beef-infused Benebone.


Treats can be used as motivation during training sessions, especially when teaching new behaviors like sit or come. Ideally, treats should be small and low in calories to avoid overfeeding and weight gain. Experiment with different foods to see what your dog considers a treat and keep it to 10% of their daily meal ration.

A healthy treat could be a piece of cooked lean meat (no added fat or salt), a ripe banana, steamed broccoli or carrots with no butter or other seasonings. Peanut butter is also a popular treat for dogs, but should be limited as it can be high in calories.

Another healthy snack is pumpkin, but only the flesh of the pumpkin, as the vine can be mildly toxic to dogs. Apple slices are a good treat that provides fiber and vitamins. However, apples are higher in sugar and should be offered sparingly as a treat to avoid choking or dental problems.


Praising a dog is a great way to motivate him. When a dog is praised, it causes him to feel happy and good about himself. This is especially true if the praise comes from someone he trusts. It is important to give your dog verbal praise when he makes the right choices in everyday situations. This will help reinforce the behaviors that you want him to repeat, such as sitting while you prepare his food or waiting patiently outside the door until you call him across the threshold.

When practicing the "sit" command, try to be fast and accurate with your praise. Dogs do not understand long-term cause and effect, so you must immediately reward a desirable behavior or it will not be repeated. This means that you should praise your dog within 2 seconds of the desired behavior. This will ensure that your dog will associate the positive reinforcement with the correct behavior and not another action.


There are many different methods of training. Some are aversive-based and include techniques like physical corrections, loud noises, and harsh scoldings. Others are more reward-based and use things like treats, belly rubs, and play as rewards for a desired behavior. Different experts have different opinions about which approach is best.

A dog's ability to learn depends on its genetics and the environment it is raised in. Some breeds are innately more trainable than others, but the amount of training a dog needs is largely determined by its personality and temperament.

Training sessions should be kept short, no more than a few minutes to start out with. This will keep the dog's interest high so that they finish the session wanting more. It also makes it easier to fade out food rewards as the session goes on. Eventually you will want to move on to training with other objects, such as sticks and balls. Once the dog has mastered these new activities, it will be ready to learn more advanced tricks and skills for dog sports.