How Often Should You Give Food Rewards During Dog Training?

By Jeff Stallings

My dog Otis loves to spend time in the backyard, lounging in the sun or engaging in secretive but very important dog rituals, tossing pinecones around and gnawing on sticks.  But if I call to her from the side door using my I-mean-it cue, “Otis, HERE!”, 100% of the time she drops whatever has her attention and comes tearing around the corner and up the stairs.  How did I achieve that level of response with her recalls?


Read my latest article in Baywoof Magazine to find out!



About Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA

Having owned well-trained dogs all my life, I started Better Nature Dog Training to exploit decades of experience teaching across a number of fields. I am nationally-certified through the highly-respected Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and am a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. I teach people how to effectively train their dogs by clearly demonstrating that every interaction counts when training a dog to come when called, for example, or instructing a puppy how to best get along in life. I take a scientific and holistic approach to dog training. The scientific aspect comes from understanding dog psychology from an evolutionary perspective, knowing how dogs are both similar to and distinct from their ancestors, including the grey wolf. The holistic component derives from taking into account all facets of any particular dog’s situation, including upbringing, prior training, traumatic events and—most importantly—the characteristics of his home and family life. Training a puppy or dog can be a most rewarding life experience; it can also be stressful and perplexing. One of the best services I provide is taking the guesswork out while lending a sure, guiding hand in successful dog behavior development and modification.
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3 Responses to How Often Should You Give Food Rewards During Dog Training?

  1. J. says:

    Thank you! This was very helpful.

  2. Karen K. Robertson says:

    This makes so much sense to me. I have adopted 2 litter mates, but one was raised with me in my home and one with my son in his own home. They stayed best friends, whenever they got together. My question is….. what about the 4 month quarantine from other dogs mandate that is so frequently recommended due to underdeveloped immunes systems and the dangers of contracting various illnesses and diseases? (I have always broken this “rule,”(with great socialization results), but have limited exposure to other dogs to those that I personally knew and was positive about their current inoculations). I love the 100 varied exposures in the first 12(weeks)! I take my “babies” EVERYWHERE with me. This is an interesting concept that I have not heard of in my many years with dogs (including showing confirmation, obedience and field work). You may have just save me some heartache. Thank you.

    • Breeders and veterinarians who continue to tell new puppy owners to wait until all shots/4 months are complicit in filling up shelters with aggressive, antisocial dogs. After the first shot plus 7 days, puppies should attend indoor, moderated puppy socials; I recommend 7 – 10 before 16 weeks to my clients. And they should meet 100 people of all sorts. What they should NOT do until after all shots is go to dog parks or any porous surface where potentially unvaccinated dogs have defecated.

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