Not all canine are food-motivated, which may make deal with coaching ineffective. Here’s how one can use toys as coaching rewards as a substitute.
This could also be laborious to imagine, however not all canine are motivated by meals — and that’s okay. Food shouldn’t be the one reward on the planet. This article is aimed toward canine who’re unmotivated by treat-free coaching, however the suggestions that comply with could be a good change of routine for any canine – together with people who discover meals too thrilling and may’t give attention to studying when there’s the slightest chance of treats.
Before you begin
The first step is to find out in case your canine actually isn’t food-motivated or if he’s merely full and never fascinated with consuming for the time being. I typically prepare my canine utilizing their dinners. This is a enjoyable technique to hold them lean and match with out giving them an extra meal’s price of treats in between occasions. Before dinner, when your canine is hungry, attempt coaching him with a couple of items of his meals and see if his motivation degree spikes a bit. If so, that’s nice: you’ll be able to work in your coaching together with his dinnertime meals.
If your canine is really food-unmotivated, you’ll be able to affirm it through the use of a higher-value meals. If I had a selection between pasta and a cracker, I’m going to carry out for pasta (you in all probability would too). Similarly, should you’re utilizing dry, laborious treats for coaching, attempt one with extra scent and taste.
Turn to his toys
Still not fascinated with meals? That’s okay! Think about your canine’s toys and organize them so as of pleasure degree. For instance, a ball supplies a very good time, a Frisbee affords off-the-wall pleasure…however his squeaky hedgehog toy tops all of them.
We could make a listing of the enjoyment degree every of those toys brings on this instance, from lowest to highest:
- Hedgehog toy
- A brand new toy that solely comes out at coaching time!
We know the ball is lowest on the “pleasure checklist”. So get out the Frisbee, disguise it behind you, and begin with a easy cue corresponding to “sit”; however as a substitute of rewarding your canine with meals when he sits, reward him with the Frisbee and let him play for a minute or two. If that toy isn’t deemed a sufficiently thrilling reward, step it as much as subsequent degree; on this case, the hedgehog toy.
Remember that you may make his toys extra thrilling by squeaking and shifting them round, thereby rising his drive for them. And once you’re achieved, disguise the toys to maintain them additional particular for the subsequent coaching session.
If you might have a canine that runs away together with his toys, hold him on a protracted leash throughout coaching to maintain him close to you. A good selection is Sleepypod’s Power Leash.
As you’re employed on this, you’ll uncover a variety of different rewards your canine enjoys in addition to treats, and this may result in new methods of working collectively. Enjoy your coaching adventures!