Motivate Your Dog – For Better Training Results

Reward-based and motivational dog training is one of the biggest breakthroughs of modern times. For too long dog owners and trainers have underestimated the power of reward in the learning process. Now though, with the success of clicker training and positive reinforcement based activities, we are gradually learning the importance of motivation.

It is unsurprising that dogs need motivation isn’t it? After all we would be far less likely work hard on anything if it contained little incentive therefore why would our dogs?

To get the very best from your dog during training sessions you will benefit from learning what motivates him the most. You might actually be surprised by what you discover. Dogs will learn and work better when they can see a worthwhile reward at the end, for this reward will sharpen their concentration and enthusiasm. Your job as dog trainer is to work out which reward, or combination of rewards, will work best for your own dog. This is pretty easy to find out by testing a variety of rewards and observing your dog’s reaction towards them.

If you are using treats in order to motivate your dog then you will benefit from beginning with the least tasty variety and only increasing the temptation to give your dog a motivation boost. Use the smallest amount of food as possible for each reward, so that your dog just gets a taste, to spur him on in order to earn more of the same. By using the blandest reward possible you have plenty of room to move through the scale of taste towards further motivation.

Interestingly although food rewards work well for many dogs not all are motivated by treats. Some dogs prefer a ball or squeaky toy and others will happily perform for a hug and a rub behind the ears. Some canines in training like noisy toys such as a squeaky ball or even a quacking duck or honking pig.

When your dog likes toys you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep them motivated. Charity and thrift shops often have a wonderful array of soft and plush toys for sale. Many are baby orientated with rattles and all sorts of sounds in them at far less expense than pet store supplies. It’s important to watch out for chewing.

When you have sorted out the best way to motivate your pet, and are employing the techniques effectively, you will almost instantly see an improvement in his performance.


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