Training Tip Tuesday – Treats vs. Rewards

Training Tip Tuesday – Treats vs. Rewards

By: Kim Astle

How many treats are too many?

A treat is different from a reward. A treat is not earned, it is just given and gives pleasure. A reward is given in recognition of an effort or achievement.

When you are working on a skill, rewarding the behavior at the exact time the skill is completed reinforces the behavior for the dog. Repeating this skill and rewarding the behavior every time strengthens the behavior and teaches the dog that they will get something when they complete the skill.

How much can I give my dog when I am training?

In small bites, high value dog treats (things that are extra smelly and only used as a reward for training), would be given to your pup every time they perform the skill. This could be up to a cup of rewards per day.

Blog and graphic by Kim Astle, one of Ruff Start Rescue’s volunteer trainers, who focus on supporting our fosters and helping create successful dogs.