Trick training is teaching your dog new things, and the trick is to use treats to do that! You can teach your dog to give paw, play dead, fetch the newspaper/or any other object for that matter, or even dance on songs! The possibilities are endless once you start teaching your dog different tricks.
Just like any other methods of training using treats to train your dog can be dangerous for your dog if not done in a right manner. Dogs can become food aggressive very quickly if the right training techniques are not used. The first step to trick training is to teach your dog to behave in front of the food. It is extremely important that your dog stays calm before he gets his first treat. You definitely do not want your dog whining, howling, jumping, barking or even worse snapping at you for the food. Once he calms down infront of food, that is when the real training begins.
Now some people might wonder why is there a need to do any trick training at all! We teach our dogs obedience commands and shouldn’t that be it? Once dogs learn a set of certain commands(which most dogs are very quick at learning) they don’t have anything new to challenge their brains with. Teaching your dog new tricks keeps them mentally stimulated. The more challenges they have, the earlier they tend to tire themselves out. Did you know that walking your dog for two hours equals teaching him new tricks for only 30 minutes! Trick training is also very calming for your dog because he gets a sense of satisfaction in learning and executing something new.
Along with the treats, toys, plenty of praises, a little bit of belly rub and other things that your dog may like can also be used as a reward. All dogs love to please their owners. Teaching him new tricks is a great way to let him win your praise and affection. If you are thinking of using treats as a reward to train your dog, it is best to practice before meals, when the dog is really hungry, that will motivate him to work for food. It is also a good idea to subtract the amount of food used as treats from his daily ration of food to keep him healthy.
If you forget to practice the tricks with your dog, the dog tends to forget them. So it is always a good idea to practice regularly, short practice sessions at a time. The key to a successful trick training program is, a lot of practice, discipline in front of food and a lot of fun with your canine companion!