If You’re Using Food In Your Training You NEED To Know THIS!

Welcome back to McCann Dogs.
I'm Kayl McCann. Today. We're gonna be talking a little bit
about using food in your training. And we get asked a lot of
questions specifically about
what treats we use in our training, what treats you should
use in certain situations. Also, how do you train a dog if your
dog doesn't even like treats? These are all really important questions
and all things you need to know while you're training your puppy. It's really difficult to tell you exactly
what type of treat you need to use for your puppy, because every
single puppy is different. You really have to know what they find
to be the most valuable.

Actually, I think I have just the way to show you
how to figure this out. Come on Five. So I have a bunch of different types
of treats here. We have kibble cheese, some dogs that do not go up on the
counter. We have some tuna treats, some liver and some, uh, cooked chicken
and steak. Some really good stuff. So I want you to think about these treats
in terms of value and a really easy way to think about value is thinking
about money now, I'm Canadian. So I have a bunch of
different colored bills here. We have 5, 20, 50, a hundred dollars, really easy to tell things apart. So if
I'm thinking about training, say Five, you guys have seen Five
on lots of videos before. If I was to categorize these
treats for him in terms of value, lowest value for him would be

We'll put that on the $5 one. You leave that. Um, next thing would
be probably cheese. He likes cheese. This would work in a lot of different
circumstances, but you know, it's not as high value as maybe something
else, uh, dried liver. He loves this. Tuna treats, absolutely loves it. But if I was to say his absolute favorite
or the highest value would be like cooked chicken or cooked steak.
So these would be the big guns. Now why it's important to categorize
this is that you need to be able to know what treats to use in certain situations.
Now this is gonna differ per dog, you know, um, Euchre, uh, Border Collie
that I've trained in the past on the, on the channel for her. This
would probably all move down one. And the a hundred dollars bill for her
would be a toy, not even treats. Um, so because she found she was more
of a toy dog rather than a food dog.

So you're gonna have to figure out what
your dog likes and the way you're gonna figure that out is by reading their
body language. I might, oh my God. Okay. Let's try that again. You might start somewhere like the
kitchen to try and figure out what, uh, treat your dog likes the best. So, um, if I have kibble or if I
have a higher value treat, I have some tuna treats in this hand,
I might just put some food on his nose, put some food on his nose and then
just sort of hold my hands out. I think there's a clear winner
here. The thing is though, is if you're doing this in the kitchen, some dogs will like any type of food
that you put in front of them because there's zero distractions

And again, the point of this video is to help you
to understand what treats to use in higher, uh, distracting situations. So if the kibble works
awesome here in the kitchen, it doesn't mean I'm gonna trek to the
park with a handful of kibble and expect to have a lot of success. So if I'm outside and it's raining
and there's lots of stuff going on, I'm gonna need the good stuff. If
I expect to get his attention, oh. You need to figure out what
treats to use and what scenario.

So when you're training with
nothing going on, um, you know, kibble is great to use, but
if you're gonna go somewhere, that's a bit more distracting, you're gonna need to figure out
what your dog likes the most. Let's talk about how a high value reward
can be used in your puppy's training. And it can use the recall, the come
command as a good example for this, you know, say you're at the
park and there's, you know, kids and sports and other dogs happening. And your dog is really distracted and
you have something that is, you know, higher value. It's really important that you're
utilizing that to help teach your dog. That coming to you is more important
than what's going on around them. We need to change the value from the
distraction to being, uh, with you. Now, we have a lot of people
that will say, you know, I could shake a steak in
front of my dog's face, but he would never respond to me.

He would rather go and play with
the other dogs or ignore me. And so what you also need to remember
is that it isn't specifically about the food in our training. We wanna
use that as a reward. We, we definitely wanna use
that to our advantage, but at some point you need to make sure
that the value of the exercise actually outweighs the distraction. The value of the exercise actually
outweighs the distraction.

So if you think of it this way, if I teach five to come in an
environment where there's less going on, there's not much happening. And I do,
you know, a hundred rep, yes, good boy, a hundred repetitions
with a $20 value treat. And I do it over and over and over again. He's starting to learn that that
particular behavior is really worthwhile. I've put a lot of money in the bank. Literally if I go to the
park and he's distracted, and I say that keyword that
come command or his name, and he has previous previous experience
of associating that command with getting a lot of value.

I now can go up
against those hard distractions, even though I don't happen to have, you
know, a stake or his favorite reward. So it's not really about getting the most
valuable treat and then going to those hard situations and seeing what happens. It's about putting value on an exercise
by getting a lot of repetition and then going to a distracting environment
and then working your way through it. And remember, you can always remove
yourself from the distraction. If you find you're up against something
that your dog is just really having a hard time, tearing themselves away from
move further away from that distraction, go to an environment that your food does
get a little bit more focused from your dog, and then inch your way towards being
able to be in that harder situation. There are some people that say they have
dogs that are not interested in working for food.

pexels photo 7210262

And there is some truth to that. There are some dogs that aren't
naturally motivated by food, but we have nearly 500 dogs that come
through our training school each week. And we teach all of them
how to work for food. So if your dog's not
that motivated by food, I want you to consider three things. Number one is your puppy
or dog just not hungry.

Maybe they've been eating all day.
You've been free feeding them. And. They just, just don't really find
the food that valuable or important, or maybe are they just literally not
hungry because they've already had their breakfast or their, their lunch. And they have a small stomach
and they can't eat a lot. You might have to change how much you
feed in a day in order to build up a little bit more motivation for food.
The second thing could be environment. Are you trying to train in an
environment that's just too distracting? So your dog is really stimulated or
overwhelmed by what's happening it, could they be, um, worried or
unsure in that environment? A lot of dogs.

Will not really be interested in eating
food if they're feeling stressed or they're feeling a little bit nervous. So you do need to consider
your environment and making
sure that your dog is actually comfortable in where they're
working or not over stimulated or distracted. Um, and then also
consider how well they know the skill. Maybe you need to backtrack a
little bit to make things easier. And number three, have you actually taught your dog
how to work for food at this point, teaching the dogs to follow food is
actually one of the very first things that we do with our puppies. When we bring
them home, it seems like such a simple, natural thing for puppies to
do, but believe it or not, you actually have to teach your puppy
how to follow food, how to work for food. Um, and you need to do that very slowly
and gradually when your puppy is young, without any distractions
around. So they really get the.

Game. Let's dispel a few myths
about giving your dog human food. First one is your dog is not going
to start begging at the table, if you give them human food. A lot of
people are very hesitant to do that. What makes them beg at the table
is feeding them from the table. You could have a bowl of kibble up there, and if you're feeding them from the
table, that will cause them to beg. Another myth is that people think
that if they're giving their dog, all. Of these treats. That they're gonna end up getting fat. We actually did a video
specifically about that. We'll make sure that we link
that down below for you, but basically it's about
rationing your dog's food. If you're giving your dog a normal meal, you're not gonna give them a
bunch of treats on top of that.

So we talk a little bit
about that in the video. When should you be using
high value rewards? Now there's the obvious situation
like your dog is in a very distracting environment and you wanna have, you know, really high value treats to go up
against that particular distraction. That's gonna obviously be very important, but another situation that people often
don't think about or situations when your dog isn't necessarily really
overexcited, but maybe they're a little. Bit unsure. They're a little bit worried. Maybe
you're taking them to the vet office. Maybe you have to clip their toenails,
and that's not a pleasant experience. Maybe your dog's a bit nervous
about getting in the car. You know, anytime your dog needs a
little bit more help, those.

Are really. Good situations to use high
value rewards in. Because it, it gives the dog a little bit
more drive to do whatever that is. That thing is that they're doing
that maybe they don't love. And keep in mind when you do something
like clip their toenails and each time you do that, they get, you know, a piece of steak or cheese or something
that they really love. That experience, that was once maybe not so pleasant, becomes more pleasant and more pleasant
and more pleasant each time that you do it. Till eventually you don't need those high
value treats to do that thing anymore because you've now. Transferred the value from the
treat to the actual behavior itself. If you find that your dog is
becoming dependent on food, it probably means that you're not
being a great trainer for your dog.

And it's not so much that
you have a food problem, it's that you have a timing problem. And this is so important that we
actually made an entire video on that. So if you wanna check that
out, click right here, another way that you can start
to wean off of the reward, or even a high value reward is to
practice multiple times in a row. First, starting with that high value
reward to get the ball rolling. This is gonna help your dog to anticipate
something really great happening once they've done a couple really successful
repetitions throw in one as a test, maybe don't show them
the food ahead of time.

Maybe delay a little bit more and see
if they can do that particular behavior more successfully. This is a great way to get your dog to
do something really well on the first try. By priming the pump by
showing them a few times. First, this also leads into having great timing. If you're able to successfully give a
cue followed, then by properly timed, lure, or reward or assistance in some way, it's a lot easier to ask them to do
something and have them actually respond a little bit more independently. Now that we've talked in depth about
using high value rewards in your training. I have a bit of homework for
you. In the comments below, I want you to list your dogs five favorite
rewards, and I want you to rate them. So number one would be something
your dog absolutely loves. And number five would be something
that they're happy to work for, but it's not their favorite. Now that you know a little bit more about
your puppy's favorite rewards and you know how to use them, it's time
to put it to practice.

Now, this video would be perfect for you. It's all about puppy
training morning routine. So you can get five wins
in even before breakfast. If you're looking for some guidance with
your puppy training and you want some help from me and the rest
of the McCann Dogs team, make sure you check out the link in
the description below to our puppy essentials online program. On that
note, I'm Kayl. This is Five Alive, happy training..

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