Your dog may be your best friend, but he is also his own person, er, canine. He may snuggle with you in your bed, nuzzle you with his cold nose and give you plenty of love. But remember that he won’t do things just because you ask him to. There has to be something in it for him. Usually, it’s toys, food, dog treats, excitement in your voice etc.

This is particularly evident when you’re training your canine friend to move without you, during agility training. You may usually need a toy to motivate your dog during training. But some dogs don’t respond to toys, and respond to food instead. Other dogs are motivated by the sound of your voice. Figuring out what motivates him will make training much easier for you.

Motivation With Dog Treats

Many dogs respond to food, but not always their regular puppy food. Dog treats that your puppy chomps down and clears up in seconds will give you the best results. Treats can include sliced boiled eggs, turkey and chicken. These treats can be both a reward as well as a trigger for certain commands that you’re trying to teach your dog. For instance, if you are trying to teach him obey the command ‘leave it alone’, you can hold the treat in your hand so that he comes over and sniffs, in an attempt to find the treat. If you say ‘leave it alone’ and he draws back, then you can reward him with the treat. You will need a reward for all types of training, and dog treats work well.

How To Motivate Your Dog With Toys

Many dogs have their favorite toys – a rubber ball, a miniature rubber bone, a plush toy or even a chew toy. These toys can be both a trigger and a reward and get your dog to respond. Ignore the toys that your dog doesn’t feel particularly fond of. Focus instead on the toys that he gets excited about – not too excited though, or else he won’t be able to focus on the training.

 

If toys don’t get him excited at all but he loves food, then you could simmer a toy in chicken broth or with some liver. But be careful – don’t leave him alone with this delicious smelling object or he might actually eat it! You don’t want to have to surgically remove it from his gut.

Show That You Are Having Fun

If you’re stony faced and seem bored out of your wits when training your puppy, he will catch on and won’t want to join. Be sure to show lots of excitement during the session with your adorable pup, no matter how exasperating he can sometimes get with not responding to simple commands. Be motivational, not punishing. When he does what you want, give him plenty of applause. You could even exaggerate your excitement a little, but only depending on your dog’s temperament. Remember, he’s like a child. The more fun he has doing something, the more he’d want to do it again.

Some sensitive and shy dogs can get frightened by loud noises and sudden movements. With such dogs, you should adopt a friendly and even voice, speaking and clapping softly and not moving unnecessarily. Be gentle and you’ll find your dog responding positively to the training.

On the other hand, there are some dogs that are too excitable, and a single whistle or excited calls can set off a manic crazy-eyed race around the grounds. Be gentle with such temperamental dogs too or you could end up getting nowhere.

Other Tips To Motivate Your Dog

You should know when to stop. After some time, even the most motivated dog will get tired of playing games. When he starts getting distracted easily and keeps stopping, you should recognize the signs. Stop just before this point and give him a little rest. You can always go back to training in an hour or so after he’s rested.

Motivating your pet is about getting him to do what you want, something that he has fun doing and would do again. Never use treats and praises to get him to do something that he hates (such as getting into the tub when he hates water). And always be sure to have fun training your new, loving, loyal, furry friend!

 

Author bio:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a proud owner of her two dogs – german sheppard Billy and moody poodle Sam. She is interested in topics related to alternative medicine for pets. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by Stefmar.