What is your biggest reward?
Let’s talk about reward systems today. Food is not the only form of reward we should offer our dogs. Play, affection, attention, basically anything your dog LOVES, and I mean LOVES LOVES LOVES, should be a part of their reward in every training session.
This is a trial and error process, and something you will need to take the time to work out on your own. My recommendation in figuring this out is start in the safest and most comfortable place for you and your dog. This could be your home, backyard, garage or wherever you can get one on one time with your dog and not have any distractions. (And when I say distractions, I am not just talking about your dog being distracted; this goes for you as well, turn off your phone! Your dog will thank me later)
I promise you that you will know immediately as to what your dogs highest reward is. The biggest issue we all run into is not taking the time to work through all options to get the desired result. Once you have found something that works, please don’t kill the fun; do not put any discipline to the fun (at-least not just yet). Take 5 minutes of the beginning of your training session just to give your dog that reward.
It may look like this: If affection and attention are what get your dog jazzed up- You and your dog sitting on the floor of your garage, snuggling, giggling, wriggling and lots of kisses. Sounds silly? Probably not, I am quite sure you do this in private most days anyways. So let loose, give your dog what they need and love, even if it happens to be in the middle of your session, heck, how about three times throughout your training session. It does not matter how much you give them, it is what they give you back that is the most important.
My last promise to you today is, once you have found your high high high reward, your training sessions will progress in leaps and bounds.