Did you know using food as a reward when training your dog is not only smart, it is “scientifically-proven-smart”? The treat will become the hoped-for-reward that will increase the level of dopamine in your dog’s brain to help him do well with the training ahead.
Not just in dogs, the human body also creates Dopamine; it’s a neurotransmitter that appears into your system when you are confronted to a task or a challenge, such as… “Fighting for” a new contract, getting that next promotion, or simply… learning.
It is in fact so vital to us (humans) that if we were to stop creating Dopamine, we could become dishearten and depressed. And guess what? It’s the same with our dogs, without stimulation and rewards; they too, will become unhappy.
“But what does this actually mean?” I hear you ask…
Well, to simplify: not only can food be used to enhance positive training sessions so your dog becomes more attentive; food can also help should your dog show signs of stress, anxiety or fear. Obviously, I am not promoting overfeeding here, just a controlled amount when and if necessary.
Introduce food to your dog before he gets confronted to a stressful situation, and you will help him relax. When it comes to stress in dogs, it is so important that we (humans) address it quickly and well to avoid more behaviour issues in the future.
Don’t we all want to open the fridge sometimes when stressed or under pressure. But let’s not now assume that our dogs will get up in the middle of the night, sneaking into the fridge for some midnight Mac & Cheese leftovers.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you need help with training, and/or any other behavioural issues.
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