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11 ways to Reward your Dog without Treats
Saturday September 3rd 2016
A study has revealed that 13 out of 15 dogs prefer praise and physical contact to edible treats, which can often feel like bribes rather than rewards. We look at some of the best ways to reward your pet pooch, from special games to extra time off the lead…
Sounds simple, but positive reinforcement goes a long way in improving the mental state of your pup. And as your dog gets used to the words and tone you use in verbal praise he’ll recognise he’s being rewarded.
2. Physical Activity
Active play is great stimulation for your dog and as well as being a fun reward it also keeps your pup’s heart healthy and keeps his joints in good shape.
• Play with a skipping rope – tie the other end to a post and prompt your dog to skip with it. It’s great for improving his coordination and balance
• Create an obstacle course – using a hula-hoop, a chair and an open-ended box, you can keep your dog entertained
• Tug games – it’s important not to play tug games with dogs that are aggressive in nature. However, dogs are naturally territorial and will enjoy the challenge of trying to get a toy or rope from you as long as you maintain that you’re the boss.
• Ball games – dogs love to chase around after a ball and you can choose anything from fetch with a tennis ball to football or even basketball to keep your pooch entertained.
3. Water Games
Use the hose to play a fun chasing game. Set the nozzle to blast water out, rather than shower, and then let your dog chase the stream around the garden. This is great for a sunny day and can save you having to give your pup a bath.
4. Mental Workouts
An activity that prompts your pooch to use his brain will boost his creativity and keep his mind sharp and focused. As well as providing stimulation and keeping your pup from getting bored, a reward in itself, mental workouts will also help to reduce stress.
• Playing hide and seek with toys
• Teaching him to balance things on his nose
• Training him with hoops
5. One-on-One Time
It’s easy to get distracted in your everyday life, but some one-on-one time with your pooch will go a long way as a reward. Even just sitting on the rug and stroking him as you watch TV together
6. Teach him a New Trick
Training your dog to give you high-fives or go under and over chairs or stools is great mental exercise. Whenever you’re teaching your pup a new game or trick, make sure you keep it simple and go through the game slowly, until they fully grasp. If need be, go back to the beginning or try a different trick.
• Start with the basics – get him to sit, give you their paw, and then move on to the trickier stuff like roll over and beg.
• Agility training – this combines physical activity with creativity and is a great way of keeping your pup’s body and mind in peak condition.
• Obedience training – perfect for doggies who can sometimes be a little hard to handle.
7. Extra time off the Lead
Most dogs love walkies, and some extra lead-free time on a local field or doggy park is a fitting way to reward your pet pooch’s good behaviour.
8. Be Tactile
Back scratching, belly rubs, hugs – being tactile with your doggy will let him know he’s being rewarded and all the attention is a sure-fire way of keeping his stress levels down.
If you don’t want to fork out for a new toy, try keeping your dog interested in the ones it’s got already. This can be tricky and may not seem like much of a reward if he can pick up his favourite toys whenever he pleases.
Why not rotate the toys and put half of them away for reward days? This will keep your pooch interested without any added expense.
10. Life Rewards
These are the things your dog enjoys best about his everyday life, such as…
• a swim
• a run on the beach
• a ride out in the car
11. Groom Him
Giving your pet pooch a brush, or dare we say “bath”, is a great way to bond and also makes your pooch sweet-smelling and all the more huggable.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.