When we are first training a dog a new behavior we use treats/food rewards. Once the dog is doing the behavior correctly, we can start to fade out the treat rewards and incorporate Life Rewards.
Life Rewards are anything your dog loves other than food. For example, we can ask your dog to sit before unclipping the leash, presenting a toy or giving a belly rub. Life Rewards are different for every dog. Next time you play a game of chase with you pooch, ask them for a behavior first and then engage.
Incorporating life rewards into your training will do three things :
- make training practical and a part of your everyday routine
- fade the use of food and
- help to vary the rewards thus keeping the dog on his/her toes.
It’s not just about the bait bag, training happens ALL the time!