Walking your dog is not only a great way to provide exercise, but it also offers an opportunity to reinforce good behaviour and strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. Many dog owners wonder if they should give treats to their dogs during walks. Let's take a closer look at this topic and explore the benefits and considerations.

Considerations of Treats on Walks

Choose the right treats: Not all treats are created equal. Opt for high-quality, nutritious treats that are appropriate for your dog's dietary needs. For example, Chicken & Cod Sushi Bites are a great option. These delicious bites are bursting with flavour, easy to chew, and perfect for training sessions. Make sure to read the ingredients and choose treats that are free from harmful additives and fillers.

Advantages of Treats on Walks

  1. Training Opportunities

    One of the most significant advantages of bringing treats on walks is the training potential. It's an excellent time to reinforce good behaviour, such as walking calmly on a lead, coming when called, or even practicing simple commands like "sit" and "stay." The treats serve as positive reinforcement, making your dog more likely to repeat these behaviours in the future.

  2. Building a Stronger Bond

    Offering treats during walks can strengthen the bond between you and your dog. It creates a positive association with being with you, reinforcing the idea that you're a source of fun and rewards. This can lead to a happier and more cooperative pup in the long run.

  3. Distraction from Distractions

    Dogs, especially puppies, can easily get distracted by enticing smells, other dogs, or squirrels. Having treats on hand can redirect their attention back to you, helping to maintain control and prevent potential mishaps.

Disadvantages of Treats on Walks

  1. Weight Management

    While treats are a wonderful way to motivate and reward your dog, overindulgence can lead to weight gain. It's crucial to consider the calorie content of the treats and adjust their daily diet accordingly. Opt for low-calorie treats or even use a portion of their regular kibble as rewards.

  2. Dependency on Treats

    Introducing treats too frequently during walks may lead to your dog becoming overly dependent on them. This can potentially result in a dog who only behaves when they know a treat is forthcoming. It's essential to strike a balance and use treats strategically, combining them with verbal praise and affection.

  3. Allergies and Dietary Sensitivities

    Some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients commonly found in commercial treats. Always check the ingredient list and consult with your vet if you're unsure about any specific allergies your dog may have.

Just remember, treats should be used as a positive reinforcement tool and not as a bribe or substitute for proper training. Always pair treats with praise and affection to strengthen the positive association between good behaviour and rewards.

So, should you give dogs treats on walks? The answer ultimately depends on your dog's needs and training goals. Treats can be a valuable asset in reinforcing good behaviour, strengthening your bond, and preventing potential mishaps. Just remember to choose high-quality treats, watch the portion sizes, and use them consistently and responsibly. With the right approach, treats can enhance your dog's training journey and make walks an enjoyable experience for both of you.

Every dog is unique, so pay attention to your pet's individual needs and preferences. With the right approach, treats can be a delightful addition to your walkies routine, making it an enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend!

October 12, 2023 — Sophie Lamb

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