If you have a new puppy at home, you’re probably wondering how best to train them. Puppies are eager to learn and constantly looking for engagement.
Without interaction from you, they are all too willing to entertain themselves, usually by destroying your home in some way. Here are some secrets to training your puppy using food that you are likely to find very effective.
Eat to Work Philosophy
A work to eat philosophy is one way to effectively train a puppy. For your dog to get their allotment of food, they’ll have to work for it.
Train your puppy throughout the day and reward them continuously with their food. Here are some tips for making the work to eat philosophy work well for you.
1. Mix it Up
If your puppy has to do the same couple of commands all day long to get their daily food, they are sure to get bored. Many times, when your puppy refuses to perform a command, it may not be because they don’t understand, but because they are sick of doing it.
Constantly challenge your puppy with new tricks. Ask for commands at varied intervals so that your puppy doesn’t know what’s coming.
2. Don’t Reward Every Time
It’s very hard for new puppy owners to face those puppy eyes and disappointment when they don’t get a reward for behavior, but it is important to vary when your puppy gets a reward and when they don’t for the same behavior.
Training in this way will help the behaviors become more consistent. It will also allow you to maintain control of your puppy and ask for behavior even if you don’t have a reward available. You do want to mark your puppy’s behavior as the right behavior every time, but sometimes use a positive affirmation or a pet instead of rewarding with food.
3. Take it Out of the House
If you only reward your dog for behaviors inside the house, they will only behave inside the house. Puppies need to learn to generalize their training in a lot of different environments. You may find that you need to more or less retrain your dog in every new situation.
This can be frustrating for new puppy owners, but if you expect your puppy to have trouble remembering the commands, you will be prepared. Just be patient and train your puppy in as many circumstances as possible so that they will thoroughly internalize their training.
4. Choose a High-quality Food
If you expect your dog to work for their food all day long, you better choose a food that they love and that is very good for them. Pick a food that is customized for your puppy’s unique needs as they grow older.
If you find that your dog has sensitivity to wheat or a specific meat allergy to beef or chicken, choose a gluten free dog food or a food free of the meat that your puppy is allergic to.
Fresh food that is delivered to your door and kept in your refrigerator is a much better option than dried out dehydrated kibble or wet canned food that won’t last very long.
Have Fun Feed Training Your Puppy
Feed training your puppy is a great way to teach them quickly and help them internalize their training as they get older. If you have high hopes for your puppy’s obedience, a work to eat philosophy can be a great way to accomplish your goals.
Remember to be patient and consistent, vary training situations, and use a high-quality food to train your puppy.