The use of food drive is a valuable method to begin training your dog, that is not dependent on age and can be utilized on a puppy and an older dog. Food drive allows you to possess precise control over the reward while still maintaining the dog’s attention. However, a few factors come into play when using food drive. The main factors that can alter the effectiveness of the reward are how hard the treat is and the size of the treat.
When using food drive, it’s essential to have a reward that seems to “disappear” when given to the dog. This does not mean that we want to trick the dog but to have the treat be smaller in size. With the use of a smaller treat, we can reward the dog while still maintaining the dog’s attention. If the treat that we use to reward is too large, we will lose the dog’s attention while they chew the treat. While you can use any treat, an excellent example of this style of treat is Merrick Power Bites. While you can manage a more substantial treat and break it into smaller sizes, the Merrick Power Bites already come in a compact size. This allows quick and easy rewards for your dog while you maintain control, attention, and excitement.
Merrick Power Bites – Beef
Merrick Power Bites – Chicken
Merrick Power Bites – Turducken
The next factor that comes into play when selecting a treat to use is the constancy of the treat. As mentioned previously, we want a treat that seems to “disappear” when given to the dog. Having a smaller treat is essential, but the treat also needs to be soft. A frequent mistake when selecting a treat is choosing a hard treat so that the dog receives something to crunch. However, this is counterproductive to training, as we will lose the dog’s attention as they crunch away. When using a hard treat, the dog will crunch the treat and look around for the crumbs that come off. While providing our dog with an enjoyable crunchy treat is a beautiful thing, we want something soft during training, so the dog gets the reward and then looks at us for more. A delicious treat that accomplishes this is the Merrick Backcountry. The Merrick Backcountry treat is a wonderfully soft, pliable, and flavorful treat that can be used with almost any dog. The texture allows you to either have the dog nibble on the treat or divide it apart into smaller rewards.
Merrick Backcountry – Beef
Merrick Backcountry – Chicken
Training a dog for food drive is a wonderful way to begin or clean up your training. However, just like a dog getting tired with a toy, it’s important to keep an eye on the number of treats that we give the dog. While weight gain is a factor, the main concern is we don’t want to upset the dog’s tummy. Instead of using a large number of treats all at once, you can space them out over a couple of days of small working sections. Every dog is different, and the flavor, amount, and style of treat will vary from dog to dog. We have given a few examples above, but it’s good practice to try a few different treats to see what works best for you and your dog.