Remember Hachiko? It was a dog that got its recognition for his unwavering loyalty. Loyalty. This is the word that describes dogs best. However, that doesn’t mean that they are not fans of food or treats. You might have come across someone who has a dog with a knack for treats. Usually these dogs don’t listen to their master’s much, unless they are offered the treats. Some are even worse – they won’t listen no matter if the treats are offered or not. They just don’t care!
But why does that happen? Where did that unfortunate dog owner go wrong? Or is it simply the problem of that dog?
We have even seen people desperate enough to get their dog listen to them that they bribe them with food treats, but how effective it is in the long run? How healthy is that for a dog-owner relationship? Is that even ideal?
We doubt that!
Well, the solution is not that complicated, no matter how the situation seems to be. We have come across Doggy Dan’s four simple tricks that have a proven track record of doing magic in training and motivating dogs with such issues. Who’s Doggy Dan you might ask? He’s a famous dog trainer who has plenty of tricks upon his sleeve and you can find him here.
Now, the four tricks that we are to share with you go like this:
Number One: The Jackpot
Everybody loves surprises, so why dogs would be any different? Your dogs would like surprises once in a while too! This is where we come to Doggy Dan’s first tip, the jackpot. The idea behind it is every dog expects rewards for its behaviors and the bigger the treats are, the better your dogs would respond to you. Though it sounds like a bribe at this point, but it really is far from it. Most dog-owners give their dogs same small treats for their good behavior regardless of the level of behavior the dogs show them. This confuses dogs and therefore they fail to understand the importance of a small achievement and a big one. So the idea is, you have to mix it up. If you would particularly like your dog to do something big, then once the task is completed, surprise your dog with a bigger treat! This is sure to ensure a better understanding of the job well done as far as the dog is concerned. But the trick is to give them the treat when they least expect it.
Most dog-owners give their dogs same small treats for their good behavior regardless of the level of behavior the dogs show them. This confuses dogs and therefore they fail to understand the importance of a small achievement and a big one
Think of it like this, people buy lottery tickets with minimal excitement and it continues to rise up till the final announcement. But imagine you have a ticket and after announcement you find that you didn’t win the jackpot, but you still keep your hopes up for the next lottery. But why do you do that?
It is simple really. Because of the jackpot.
Now think that you’ve been buying tickets for 5 years in a row, but every time you failed to win anything big. But imagine what your feelings would be if you find out one day that you’ve won the jackpot! You will feel liberated, ecstatic and more importantly, more motivated to buy lottery tickets next time!
Your dog’s surprise treats are like this. If you occasionally give him the surprise treat, that is something different and bigger than the usual, then your dog will stay motivated to do your bidding.
In this context, Doggy Dan used a very interesting story called “the story of magic sausage”. The story is about a dog owner who used to feed his dog sausages straight off the BBQ and the dog got used to it. So whenever the BBQ was fired up, the dog would expect a treat. His recommendation was not to feed the dog straight from the source or in this case, the BBQ. However, there was a curious way to get the attention of the dog elsewhere – straight to the pack leader or the owner. If the owner would just call the dog after turning off the BBQ to a separate place and then when the dog is least expecting it, then bring it out of thin air, then the dog would think more fondly of the owner. This is a story that Doggy Dan uses for motivating the dog. This also helps to train up these dogs. The jackpot serves the purpose.
Number Two: Finding out something better than the big sausage
Now that’s a tough task, isn’t it? If you want something to best the already given big sausage, then we suggest you to apply a technique. You can chop it into the mouth of your dog. Turn one big sausage into five or six pieces of mini sausages and feed your dog and voila! Your dog will think Christmas has come early! Usually this works and we are confident that this will work for you too!
So you got your answer to what’s better than a whole big sausage, didn’t you? It is the multiple pieces of it, because your dog will appreciate it more rather than getting a whole big sausage.
Number three: Try offering different kinds of food to keep them motivated
In the number three spot, we would recommend you to try and offer different types of food to your dog to keep them interested. A highly motivated dog and a dog without much motivation do not offer the same level of performance. Dogs are living, breathing creatures with feelings and taste. They do know what is delicious in their eyes and what is not. We have seen a lot of dog owners give the same simple minded food to their dogs without much a variety. Dogs like variety. If you can provide them with different food treats, then there is a very high chance that your dog will be deeply motivated and would give their everything to prove worthy.
Just some pointers, instead of feeding them dry biscuits only, you can add peanut butter or simply feed them some bacon as well. Think outside the box and improvise!
Number four: Provide random rewards
Last but not the least, remember that your dog is not your slave. He is more like your paid employee. So for everything he does for you, you can at the very least offer rewards. But offering mere rewards won’t solve the problem. You need to mix them up, these food treats, to keep them from being monotonous.
So there you are. We have explained four tips to get the best out of your food treats and maximize your use of dog food. However, these are just the tip of the iceberg, which we have borrowed from Doggy Dan. If you want to know more, then go to his website.
We bet you will learn a lot more about making the best out the situation.
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