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Shared Blog Post – The Proper Use of Food in Dog Training

The following article was  originally written by Niki Tudge, Leah Roberts and Carole Byrnes in 2013 for the Pet Professional Guild and updated by Niki Tudge in January 2022 for The DogSmith.

An excerpt: You choose if you want to motivate your dog with something he likes and will work to attain, or something he dislikes and will work to avoid. NOTE. WE ALWAYS USE FOOD because we want our dogs to feel safe and happy and not afraid of a consequence!

Wait! What? “Always use food”??? We are sharing this post because it expertly answers common questions concerned pet parents have about using food in training their pets, such as:

  • Why should I use food when training ?  
  • Why does my dog only listen to me when I have a piece of hot dog in my hand?
  • How do I ensure that I don’t have to bribe my dog forever when I would like him to do something?
  • If I train a lot, won’t my dog get fat?
  • If my dog will not work for food, then how can a positive reinforcement trainer help me train my dog?
  • At what point do I stop using the food to train?
  • My dog will do sit and down in my house, but when I take him outside to the park I have to bribe him again. Why does this happen?
  • What is positive reinforcement?  Does it just mean that I give my dog treats?
  • What if my dog has no impulse control around food?

If you’ve ever heard yourself asking these very questions and are curious about the answers…

Read the full post here:

The Proper Use of Food in Dog Training!


About the Author

Photo of Niki Tudge, author of this blog postNiki Tudge MBA PCBC-A CABC CDBC is the founder and president ofthe Pet Professional Guild, DogNostics Education and The DogSmith. She has substantial leadership experience in business management and administration, particularly in the nonprofit sector, which encompasses her role as the president of Doggone Safe, a nonprofit educational organization. She has published numerous articles, which have been featured in publications such as the New York Times. She has also authored five books; her most recent project, Pet Training and Behavior Consulting: A Model for Raising the bar to Protect Professionals, Pets and Their People, which she co-authored, was published in 2019.


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