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Dog Training Supplies and Pet Toy Training

Many pet parents and professional trainers are putting a greater emphasis on the use of toys as a means of positive reinforcement in teaching proper behavior. Toys are becoming the more popular choice to substitute for the use of food as a reward because it promotes an active lifestyle and minimizes the potential for unhealthy weight gain.

Through the use of toys, training time is a lot more productive as it teaches your dog that obedience can be fun and that makes every training session more effective for the long term. Training with toys can also reduce the stress that comes with instructing on how to obey and carry out simple and advanced commands alike.

As a result, the dog will be more successful in building behavioral skills as well as learning how to communicate with you. While this has typically been accomplished through the offering of treats when the dog has done something properly, bringing toys into any training session, whether it be introductory or with dogs that have already grasped the basics, can provide you and your pet the opportunity to form a much stronger bond with each other.

But toys aren’t just recommended for dogs, they can be relaxing and therapeutic for the trainer as well. This is particularly apt for pet parents who are trying to teach their dogs how to behave all on their own, without professional assistance. Playing with your dog helps the animal understand that training need not be a source of stress and difficulty.

Your pet may not immediately pick up on how to respond to your commands and reaching a point where you are satisfied with the dog’s behaviors may take some time. This can be nerve-wracking and even downright aggravating for the two of you. Dogs can sense when their owners are feeling emotions of frustration or anger and their behavioral patterns will be impacted. The result can be a very tense and difficult training session marked by confusion and even a loss of interest by your pet.

When that occurs, the best thing to do is forget about the teaching aspect of your time together and focus more readily on just having fun. Using toys as a method for training can bring you both to a place that lets you reset and start again, after you two can let off a little steam by focusing more on play than work. Sometimes this can be more beneficial for you than the dog because it allows you the capacity to get out of the work head-space and gives you time for your emotions caused by frustration to subside.

The dog will react accordingly to your handling of the situation and sense that you are no longer in a tense headspace. Teaching your pet how to perform even the most basic of commands can be troublesome and tiring, playing fetch can be the thing that you each need to make the day more productive.

Benefits of Toy-Based Training

Toys are a great way to help your dog learn a variety of cues and work through many problem-solving situations. Potty training is usually the first thing we work with puppies to learn, so they don’t go to the bathroom in the home but do so outdoors. Incorporating playtime into potty training can teach your pet that they can be rewarded through activity after they do their business outside.

Puppies love to play and giving them a wider environment with which to do that, beyond the hours of playtime they can enjoy indoors, will get them started on understanding that play can be a reward for doing the right thing from a very young age.

As your pet grows older, more simple and complex commands will become part of their everyday life. Sit, heel, stay, come, and leave it are the most common necessary for all dogs to learn and obey and teaching them how to react to these commands with toys makes learning them more fun and effective.

Certain commands will require stronger reinforcement and toys can be an integral part of this advanced education for any dog. What makes toys beneficial in these instances is their ability to train the dog from afar. Handing out food treats as a reward means you and the dog must meet at any given point in order to distribute the intended reward. This movement can interfere with the lesson being given at the present and serve to confuse or establish negative patterns in the dog’s training.

But with a toy, you can reward your dog without the need for you to meet the dog and disrupt the work being done. Toys such as balls, frisbees, and squeakers can be thrown for the dog to retrieve and bring back to the spot you designate.

Toys are even more useful for teaching your dog how to perform tricks and other actions that go beyond the usual necessary pet behavior adjustments. Some of the tricks you may decide to train you dog how to perform might involve the use of a toy in the trick. Launching a frisbee so it can be caught in the air or having your dog push a ball with the tip of the nose are just some of the many possibilities that can entertain you and your pet for hours on end.

When you utilize toys instead of food as a reward, it allows for the dog to be more focused on the lesson being taught and concentrate less on the food that is coming after. With some dogs, treats are more of a distraction than a positive motivator which can make training a lot tougher than it needs to be. Dogs can also be fickle, deciding one day they no longer like the taste of the treats you are using and then you have little recourse left to motivate the dog through positive reinforcement. Toys, on the other hand, never go out of style. Your pet will always want to play with you and that can be all the motivation necessary to help them learn.

Toys & Training
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