Impatient dog waiting for his treats

What Should You Do First Before Giving a Dog a Treat?

You should first understand that you’re rewarding good behavior with a treat.

Dogs learn by being praised and getting treats when they’ve done something right. Much like a small child, they will behave on command, knowing that a treat and praise awaits. 

When your dog jumps on you, paws at you, and/or barks at you, many pet owners will give their dog a treat to get him to behave. In the dog’s mind, jumping, pawing, and barking thus gets him a treat, and so he’ll keep on doing it. Remember that dogs will do anything to get love and affection from you. Reward him only for good behaviors, and he’ll get the hint. 

Next, you should know how to give your dog a treat. Most people hold the treat high over the dog’s head. This forces him to rear up on his back legs or jump to snatch the treat. You’ll end up with a dog whose hindquarters are sore and a bleeding hand. Hold the treat in the palm of your hand and either near the dog’s chest or right in front of his nose. He’ll first smell the treat, then he’ll see it, and then he’ll take it from your hand. Everyone wins!

You need to know the timing of giving your dog treats. If the dog drags a stick in from the yard to chew on, you know the small pieces will damage his innards. Giving him a treat in exchange for the stick will prevent him from bringing them in. However, if he sees that a stick equals a treat, he’ll keep cleaning the yard for you. Find a way to teach him that sticks are bad and save the treats for other good behaviors. 

How many treats to give your dog is a matter of some concern. Treating him for good behaviors all day and night gets you an obese dog. Try rewarding him with a toy, a hug, a walk in the park, a visit to the dog park, or smaller treats with better calorie counts. Watching his weight will keep him from contracting medical problems or diseases.