Rewards are perhaps the most compelling reason to do something. A little extra incentive provides that little extra push that is needed to accomplish a task. For a dog, rewards come in all shapes and sizes, like a sweet treat or a simple praise for doing a good job.

While treats are the most commonly regarded reward we think of when it comes to treats. Treats aren’t limited to just bacon or beefy flavored snacks. Treats can be a chew bone, some playtime, or a new toy. Be willing to change things up constantly so your pup doesn’t get used to getting just one type of treat when they’re being good.

As you switch among a variety of treats, you can actually get an idea of what your dog really likes. They may have a favorite that can provide the best incentive to get a job done. Try different snacks brands and styles, preferably healthy and wheat-free ones, so you get an idea of what motivates your dog the best.

Affirmation is the reward most dogs seek and is the easiest to deliver. When your dog does a good job, tell them that they did, combined with petting, stroking, and other verbal or physical forms of affection. In order to successfully develop a good bond, be sure to praise your dog just for being good. If they are lying down quietly, let them know that they’re being good. Displaying appreciation and affirmation for habits that are acceptable to you will help them avoid developing any habits that aren’t desired.

Shaping is done by giving a reward for simply trying. It is a motivational tool used to enforce what you are teaching to help them learn. When your dog is sniffing around their designated potty area, tell them they are doing a good job. As they get closer, reward them verbally and offer assistance and guidance, just like a teacher would do with students.

Rewards are incentives that drive a dog to want to do the right thing. As long as you are willing to give them a treat of any kind, your dog will have that extra desire to learn what they need to know to grow into a healthy and happy dog.

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