4 Ways to Train your Dog Without Using Food Rewards!

petting toys train while playing train without treats Feb 18, 2022
Man hugging a retriever

Food rewards can be a very effective and easy way to train your dog. However, there may be other times when you may not want to use this type of reward method. At DogBonding.com we have highlighted four ways to reward your pet without using dog treats. We hope you find this article helpful.

1. Play with your Pooch

Playing with your four-legged friend can be a very powerful reward. A study has shown that dogs who regularly played with their owners tended to score highly in obedience tests (Bradshaw, Pullen, & Rooney, 2015). Playing with your dog can also help them to maintain a healthy heart, lubricate their joints, and help strengthen their cognitive skills. A popular training game to play that helps to build confidence and decrease anxiety is ‘tug-of-war’ or ‘fetch’ but try and find a game that works best for your furry friend.

2. Loving Words

Positive words are another powerful tool to use when training your dog. Using praise as a reward has also been found to increase the probability of your dog repeating desired behaviours. Positive words have positive effects on your dog’s brain and can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax them, making training a more peaceful and enjoyable experience.

3. Toys

Dog toys are another great reward to use when training your four-legged friend. What toys you use often depends on the dog’s individual preference. Many dog trainers will use different dog toys for different training sessions to help their pet stay motivated and engaged.

4. Petting

Many dogs love being stroked and physically close to humans, while others may find this type of contact a little intense. If your dog enjoys close contact, then petting is a great reward to use when training them. Your dog may love having their belly rubbed, being tickled behind their ears, or stroked under their chin, every dog is different! However, try and always look out for signs of discomfort when petting your dog. Signs of discomfort may include freezing up, yawning, or dropping their head.

Closing thoughts…

Hopefully this article helps answer any questions you may have regarding ways to train your dog without just using food rewards. At DogBonding.com we are an online dog training platform, operated by real professional people! If you need expert professional dog training advice on all your puppy or dog behavioural issues, then please contact us today and we will look forward to receiving your call.

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