Offer high-value rewards
There’s nothing wrong with a well-deserved “Good boy!” and tummy rub, but they’re simply not as rewarding as that coveted, freeze-dried liver or another delicious doggie treat. You just need to find out what treat your dog will go crazy for when performing new or preferred behaviors. “Exploring your dog’s high-value food rewards is a lot of fun and part of the process,” says Russell Hartstein, certified dog behaviorist and trainer and CEO of Fun Paw Care. “Always carry a pouch or bag with your puppy’s daily allocation of food and lots of treats in it to teach your dog appropriate new behaviors.” Just be sure to consider these treats as part of your dog’s daily food allotment, or you may wind up with an overweight pup on your hands. Got puppy fever? Find out how much a pup could cost you.
Train in a boring environment
Ever try teaching your fur baby something new at the dog park or while interacting with people? It probably didn’t go as well as expected. Here’s why: Too much distraction. “Initially, as with any new behavior, you want to start in a boring, non-distracting environment, typically a room inside your home with no toys, with your dog on a leash,” says Hartstein. And keep those high-value treats handy for rewards. Don’t miss these 50 secrets your pet won’t tell you.