Is it OK to use dog kibble as training treats? Find Out Here

Avoiding obesity in your dog or puppy

If fed a high carb diet as most dogs are today, many dogs will just keep eating.

Nature has not equipped them with an ‘off’ switch when it comes to foods high in sugars and starches.

So you do need to think about quantities when feeding dogs throughout the day, and to take responsibility for limiting those quantities.

Especially when you are using a lot of food whilst training new skills. It is very easy to get through far more than you think you have.

One way to do this is to measure out the whole day’s ration first thing in the morning, put it in a covered container. Label it ‘today’ and only take food from there, rather than from your main supply.

If there is still some left in the box at the end of the day, then you can feed it to him in his bowl.

When to Reward

A reward lets your dog know when they’ve done something right and motivates them. The more rewards your dog gets, the quicker they will learn and the more eager they will be to focus on you and to work for and with you. Reward a lot! When training a new behavior, you might easily go through a handful of treats in only a couple minutes.

The reward should always come right AFTER the behavior you want. If you show the treat first, it becomes either a “lure” which is used to encourage your dog to do something or a “distraction” that hopefully keeps your dog’s attention away from something else. While they have their uses, lures and distractions should be used sparingly to prevent the dog from only paying attention when treats are visible. If you are using treats or other rewards to lure or distract your dog, this isn’t necessarily training them to do the desired behavior in the future. You can learn more about fading a lure here.

There are a lot of myths about using treats as rewards during training. Often these come from trainers who are still using out-dated training methods or people who have made some common mistakes when trying to use treats.

Using Treats or Food Will Cause Your Dog to Beg

Many people worry that a dog who is used to getting food from people will try to beg for it constantly, especially if the dog is given “human” food like cheese or hot dogs. Luckily this just isn’t true! When used properly, your dog will actually learn that they can’t just get treats for staring at you while you’re eating. Instead, they’ll understand that their own behavior is what gets them the food. They’ll learn to wait until you let them know they’ve done something to earn the treat. By only rewarding the behavior you want, treats can easily be used to teach your dog NOT to beg!

How to use kibble as treats for dog training

Modern dog training uses food to reinforce (or reward) desirable behavior. Scientific research and anecdotal observation show that food is easy to use and both effective and efficient when training new behaviors or dealing with behavior problems, but some owners understandably have concerns. Here I’ll break down some of the reasons treats are awesome and debunk a few myths. And yes, I’ll answer the most common question: will you always need to use food?