Easy ways to train your dog without food treats is something many pet parents are finding ways to do. The reason? Pet obesity is on the rise. When our pets become obese, other health issues follow. Our dogs can get diabetes. If our dogs are overweight, they will have more hip and joint issues — especially larger breed dogs. There are many ways in which you can reward your pups without filling their bellies every time they do something right!
As we continue to dive deeper into National Train Your Dog Month, we felt that a non-food-centric way to reward our pets was worth exploring, don’t you?
“Who’s a good dog?” Your dog KNOWS he is the “good dog,” right? Use praise to reward your dog for a job well done. Whether your dog has come when you called, dropped an object he wasn’t supposed to have had or didn’t chase the family cat, your words, your tone and your body language will show your dog that he is in fact “the good dog!”
Our dogs are empathetic to our moods and look to us for praise and reassurance. A happy tone and words of praise will reinforce good behavior and might guarantee you see that behavior again!
“Who wants to go for a walk?” You know that when you grab that leash and utter that phrase or one like it, your dog will do the happy dance! When your dog does something positive, take her for a walk as a positive reward.
What dog doesn’t enjoy a chance to be with her human and stroll in the woods, on the beach or in their city neighborhood. The chance to explore and smell the intriguing smells is a wonderful non-food reward. A walk will also benefit your health and your dog’s because you will burn calories and reduce your stress by being out in nature. Not only are these easy ways to train your dog, but they’re fun too!
“Here’s your favorite toy!” Does your dog have a toy that is his absolute favorite? Consider taking it away! What?! I hear you gasping, but give me a moment. Take it away… until you’re training him to do a new trick: sit, stay, lay for example.
A way to positively reward your dog for a job well done is to offer up a favorite toy. Let him run around and play with the toy. In fact, why don’t you play with the toy with him? It’s a great bonding experience. You may not want to have an overflowing doggie toy box, but you can find one or two of his favorite toys and put it away until you have a training session then bring it out as a reward. It’s best to have more than one toy in reserve as a treat so he doesn’t get bored.
When you’re training your dog, consider giving her dog-safe fruits and vegetables as well as her favorite yummy training treat. Mixing low-calorie fruit and vegetable treats in with potentially higher-calorie food treats will keep her safe and happy.
Easy ways to train your dog can be free and fun! What unique ways can you find to reward your dog without giving her food treats?
Robbi Hess, Woman In The Pet Industry Solopreneur Finalist and award-winning author, is multi-petual. When not caring for her pets or taking them on walks, she is a speaker, efficiency and effectiveness guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words Matter, My Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof/Crimeless Cat.