By Tamara McRill
Have you been trying to positively reinforce good behavior in your dog by treat training, but it just isn’t working? The problem could be in your technique. Simply giving your pet a bit of food without these best practices could be just a waste of both your time. I know, because I’ve been there and had to refine my technique.
Eliminating these common treat training mistakes from your routine will help you get your dog sitting pretty.
1. Sub-Par Treats
Dogs may have a reputation for eating any and everything, but any old treat may not be enough to motivate them to pay attention. My three dogs each have treats they just don’t like. Dusty won’t take anything that isn’t meaty. Although most treats for training purposes should ideally come from your pet’s daily food allowance, make sure what you are using as a lure or reward is actually a dog treat your pet desires. Otherwise there is no incentive for them to complete a desired action.
2. You Don’t Mix It Up Enough
That’s not to say you should be giving your dog his favorite snacks every time—you shouldn’t. It’s best to try and alternate treats so your pet isn’t sure when her favorite will appear. My dogs love to be rewarded with CANIDAE Snap Biscuits, but I use a variety of treats so they stay focused on the task and don’t get bored. In addition to the Snap Biscuits, CANIDAE also offers Snap-Bits and TidNips in three different flavors, so I have a lot of great options!
3. Lack of Praise
Every time you reward your pet with a treat, you should also positively reinforce the reward with genuine praise. This does double-duty by further establishing that they are doing good and placing a higher value on your praise, as it will be associated with a food reward. Soon enough, you’ll be able to sometimes substitute praise as a reward, instead of a treat.
By Linda Cole
Protecting the environment and being good stewards of the land is a common sense thing to do. Healthy ecosystems are directly related to our good health and well being. Trees are the lungs of the world. One tree can absorb up to 48 lbs. of carbon dioxide in a year and releases enough oxygen for two people. Trees provide habitats for birds and other animals that live in the forests.
Technology is making our lives easier, and it can also help preserve our environment by reducing our need for paper. CANIDAE Pet Food Company has taken an important step to help preserve trees and provide better service to their customers by outfitting their entire sales team with iPads.
Jason Castillo, CANIDAE Controller, explains how making one small change to the way they do business can make a big difference in serving their customers. “The iPads are a sales team tool. Every sales person uses them every day as a key tool. They are used at each sales call to display valuable and up-to-the-minute data, as well as take orders. Because the retailer sees the order and then signs it, they are more accurate. Signed orders are then sent immediately via email for fulfillment.” Jason went on to say that “Customer service via our sales team has already been improved in terms of accuracy and speeding up the delivery of orders to our retailers because of the iPads.”
According to the Environmental Center at Westminster College in Utah, more than two billion trees are cut down in the United States every year for use in the paper industry. Depending on the business, paper costs can be a big part of their yearly budget. I asked Jason if he had any idea how much CANIDAE could save by switching to the iPads. “We don’t have an exact estimate on the paper savings, but with over 7,000 retailers and old order forms that were in triplicate, we expect the first year’s savings in our paper usage to be substantial.”
I’ve had jobs where I needed to finish up paperwork at the end of the day before going home. It can be tedious and time consuming, and mistakes can easily be made when you’re tired. The CANIDAE sales team has embraced the iPad, as one might expect. “Not only has the sales team responded very well, so have our retail customers and distributors. The sales team enjoys them because they can record their order and data in real time instead of taking paper notes and then transferring them later to a laptop. Because the data is input in real time, the information is more accurate and the sales team can eliminate end of the day paperwork which saves them valuable time.”