Owning a dog can be a whole lot of fun, they are real characters, always faithful, loyal and rarely in a bad mood. With this said when they are good and well behaved, as an owner you have to be ready to reward them with things they really like and enjoy. That's what the partnership between dog and owner is all about – our four legged friends want to please us and we in return, have to reward them in all sorts of nice ways.
Below are 6 great ways to reward your dog when they have been good and which shows them just how pleased you are with them.
You need to reward your dog whenever they do something you asked them to do without hesitation and it's really important you do this consistently. This is the only way your dog will connect the dots and understand that good behaviour means a reward. Dogs soon get the gist that if they behave it means you are happy with them. The best reward is something they really like which could be a favourite treat or a toy they adore playing with. Along with the reward it's also really important to give them lost of praise without going over the top!
Paying lots of attention to your dog when they have been good and stroking them affectionately shows them just how happy you are with them. You should never forget that petting and stroking your dog is a huge reward and one which they really enjoy. One thing to bear in mind is that stroking and scratching behind the ear or on their necks is better than patting them which can seem a little aggressive from the dog's point of view!
The majority of dogs have a favourite doggy treat which you can use to reward them when they have been good or when you want to put them through their paces. However, food treats are great but you need to make sure they are cut into small pieces which your dog can easily swallow during their training session. You can buy safe doggy treats from good pet shops but you might prefer to make your own which is something many dog trainers do because it works out a lot cheaper. The only plus thing about making your own doggy treats is you know exactly what has gone into them. The only downside to food treats is that you might find if you give too many, it will have an impact on your pet's weight!
Dogs love it when their owners praise them and they soon recognise when you are pleased by the sound of your voice. Most dog owners praise their dogs with enthusiasm which is exactly the right way to do it being careful not to be too excited because that might make your dog too excited which is not something you really want them to do. You should never praise your dog too loudly because they could interpret this as you shouting at them which is usually what owners do when telling their dogs off!
As long as you are in a safe environment, you can let your dog off the lead to run and have some fun. This is a fantastic reward which dogs adore especially if you play interactive games with them like “fetch” which can turn into a great training session that you would both enjoy – the best part is your dog won't see this as training but a great fun game and reward!
Most people don't realise just how good a toy can be when used to train a dog because they tend to think that food is the best way to get their pet to learn anything. However, you have to find the right toy to suit your dog. This could be a frisbee, a rope toy or some other toy they loved as a puppy. The great thing about using a toy is they are brilliant interactive rewards that can be used in training sessions too. In short, a frisbee can be used as a way to train your dog to retrieve, but it's also the reward!
However, you should not let your dog have free access to the toys you use as rewards as this will take away the value of them. Instead, you should tuck them away out of sight and only bring them out when you are training or want to have a bit of fun with your four legged friend in the garden or park.
Dogs love to have lots of attention from their owners and see this as a great reward. However, if they are naughty, just telling them off can be seen by dogs as a reward because you have effectively paid them attention. Dogs often misinterpret things and this ends up in a bit of a disaster albeit unintentionally on behalf of the dog because it's more likely to be the fault of their owners!
You should ideally grade the treats according to how tasty they are and how much your dog loves them. It would be fair to say that even greedy dogs know the difference between a bland treat and a very tasty one so you can use this as a way to reward your pet for the different things they do for you. If you have given them a very challenging command, the treat you offer them should fit the challenge and be a really tasty one. If on the other hand, the command is a simple one, then a more ordinary treat will do.
Dogs are very quick learners and soon know when there's a tasty treat or favourite toy in the offing and as such they stay a lot more focused and motivated when you are trying to teach them anything. There are many ways to reward your dog whether it's with a favourite toy, a tasty treat or lots of praise and attention when they have been very good which is all part of the partnership and bond you build up with your four legged furry friend.