Training Tips

"When the man awoke....he said..."What is wild dog doing here?"
And the woman said........"His name is not wild dog any more...
but first friend... because he will be our friend for always and always and always."
Rudyard Kipling

Training Tip #1
Reaping Rewards!

Using a variety of rewards AND varying the way in which your dog receives them is the key to keeping their attention and working enthusiastically for you!

What turns your dog on?

Dogs are motivated by different things (just like you are). Some dogs are highly food motivated. Others are more interested in playing with toys! For some, your praise and personal interaction is what they value the most. Still others respond equally to all three of these rewards!

For many dogs the most motivating approach is to vary the rewards between, food, praise and play.

Keep "Em" Guessing!

No matter what reward is earned.....if the reward is given every time the dog gives you the behaviour you ask for.....your dog will start to ‘take the reward for granted’ will become less motivating.

If one time the dog gets the treat.....lets say for a “sit”.....and the next time does not get the treat for a ‘sit’.....the dog will tend to give you a “sit” more it does not know whether it will get a reward “this time”.....or not.
In this way you are making your training a game of chance for your dog.....just like slot machines, and lotteries are for us!

Once you get to know your dog’s motivators (favorite rewards) and understand the power of variable and intermittent rewards……you will be able to keep your dog’s interest and motivation.

Following are some tips to help you apply these concepts to your training!

A) Using Your Treats to best advantage!

Special Treats:

  • find out which treats your dog goes crazy for – Their SPECIAL TREATS
  • give these Special Treats for any new behaviour or an outstanding result you obtain from your dog!

B) Quick snack.....Buffet .....and Jack Pots!

Alternate between giving your dog:

A Quick Snack: give 1 treat for a successful behaviour you are working on 4 paws training

Alternate with a

give a series of small pieces..... fed rapid fire


Jack Pots:
Occasionally give a larger handful of treats.....for an exceptional result

C) Remember to Reward with Praise

When your dog gives you the requested behaviour e.g. a “sit”, get excited……clap your hands…and pat your dog enthusiastically

D) Reward with Play Time with a Favorite TOY

When your dog gives you the requested behaviour e.g. a “sit”.....get out a favorite toy and let them play with it. Or play with it can play tug together.....or toss the toy and do some retrieves.

A Final point….

It is critically important that we do not get into the habit of using food rewards all the time. This is of course so tempting to do as most dogs a very food motivated and we can get them to obey a command easily and quickly by showing them a treat.   The problem is dogs will figure out very quickly that if they hold off on obeying a command long enough that you will reach into your pocket and show them a treat.   They become what I call “Show me the treat dogs”  as opposed to dogs that have been trained to obey commands.     The key is to vary your rewards between praise, toy play and natural rewards as outline above.



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