I Can't Feed my dog People Food!
As a trainer who encourages using treats to train dogs, I often hear that dog owners think they shouldn’t feed “people food” to their dogs. Let’s talk about some of the common misconceptions:
“It will teach my dog to steal food off the counter.” When there’s food on the counter, dogs can smell it, and they will investigate it further – with their mouths! Be sure to keep dogs out of the kitchen whenever anything edible is on the counters. Or better yet, train them to stay out of trouble!
“Dog food is more nutritious than human food.” Not all dog foods are equal; many brands use sub-par ingredients and unhealthy fillers. Check the ingredients on your dog food bag: you want to see named meat sources at the top of the ingredients list, and very few carbohydrates. To further investigate the ingredients in your dog’s food, a helpful resource is www.DogFoodAdvisor.com.
Remember that just like us, dogs get bored of the same treats every day. A special little treat once in a while will help them stay motivated to train, and allow them to celebrate the holidays along with us!
Elizabeth Morgan, trainer and owner of Alabama Dog Academy, has always found leash walking to be the most fun behavior to train.