The use of positive reinforcement reward is essential in any canine education session. But the abuse of treats , or the use of poor quality edible treats, can have very negative consequences on health .
The use of dog treats in dog training
A dog learns, fundamentally, through stimulus associations or stimulus-response associations. That means that, many times, the best way to teach a dog is to reward it when it does something that interests us or that we consider to be “okay.”
A dog that receives a reward for performing a behavior sitting, for example, will quickly learn that this behavior has positive results and will tend to repeat it. This is one of the foundations of dog training. However, most dog training treats are hypercaloric and also contain low-quality ingredients such as animal by-products beaks, feet, and even hydrolyzed feather meal. That is why it is important to look carefully at the composition when choosing.
As with treats for children, treats for dogs should not form the basis of the diet but should only be a supplement. In addition, its supply must be well regulated because they can be a source of such important problems as:
Overweight: a dog is estimated to be overweight when its body weight exceeds its ideal body weight by more than 10%.Obesity is referred to as canine obesity when the body weight exceeds the ideal weight by 20% or more.The explanation for overweight and obesity in dogs is simple: as in humans, when a dog consumes calories in excess of its needs, they accumulate in the form of fat.
What awards are most recommended?
100% natural dog treats: you can find treats with a 100% natural composition on the market, which does not include additives such as preservatives, artificial colors, flavorings or antioxidants. This is a guarantee of quality.
Among the range of 100% natural prizes , it must also be taken into account that there are so-called multifunctional prizes. These are dental snacks that cover two functions at the same time : they serve as positive reinforcement to educate the dog and take care of its oral hygiene.
Healthy Homemade Treats: Sometimes pieces of fruit can even be used as natural canine treats. If your dog likes them, they are a healthy option.
Caresses, games and good words: many times we forget that a treat for a dog does not always have to be something edible. On multiple occasions, a pet, a kind word, or a play session can be much more motivating to the dog than an edible treat.
Remember that your dog’s education is very important, but his health and weight are too. Always choose the healthiest dog treats you can find and dose your supply well . Your dog will learn just as well if you alternate petting and play with edible treats.