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Five Rewards For Your Dog, Other Than Food

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For dogs, food is great, they love it, but rewarding them with treats all the time can lead to obesity, and we know the down side to that!  Looking for some alternatives to treats as rewards for your dog?  Check out these suggestions from Whole Dog Journal:

  1. Play with your dog.  What dog doesn’t like one-on-one play time with their human?  A good game of tug or fetch is good exercise for your pet and the play time is a good way to build the bond with your dog.
  2. Reward with experiences.  Does your dog especially love rides in the car, swimming at the lake or pool to name a couple experiences?  When your dog performs well and is worthy of reward, let him have a favorite experience.  This is very easy to do and he’ll love you even more for it!
  3. Kind words.  Some dogs are simply rewarded by warm words from their people.  When your dog is worthy of rewarding, try giving a “good dog” in a kind, gentle voice and watch his tail, and probably his whole back end, wag with joy!
  4. Touch  him where he likes it.  Many dogs love belly rubs, while others might prefer a scratch behind the ears.  Pay attention to your dog’s reactions when you’re petting him, and reward him with his favorite touch.
  5. Create space.  Creating space between your dog and a trigger that produces anxiety for him can be a great reward.

Food works as a reward, but as we’ve discussed, there can be other things he likes just as much, maybe more.  Figuring out what makes your dog’s tail wag can be a fun experience and help strengthen the bond you have with him.


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