Some trainers use an interesting ‘A’ and ‘B’ treats method when training with food rewards.
The ‘B’ treats are the regular treats that are used for most of the rewards. The “A” treats are a higher value reward, like real chicken or cheese.
The “A” treats are reserved for especially good performance. This allows the trainer to reward all acceptable performance, yet still reserving some special treats for perfect execution.
Being able to reward the dog for all good performances yet keeping the dog hoping for the higher value reward is a good way to enhance performance and build drive.
Varying your dog’s feed is a great way to expand their nutritional scope. No one dog food is absolutely nutritionally complete and changing the type of food you use will give your dog access to different types of nutrients.
Regulations governing dog food manufacturers require them to meet minimum nutritional standards such as protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Each manufacturer meets those requirements with different ingredients and formulations like beef, chicken or lamb for protein, or corn or potatoes for carbohydrates.
Because different companies use different ingredients, changing your dog’s food every 3-6 months helps to bring a variety of sources for protein, minerals, and vitamins to your dog’s food, broadening his exposure to essential nutrients.
Include nutritional supplements with your dog’s food even if feeding a very high quality kibble. Processed dog foods are like fortified white bread, highly processed and homogenous. Most of the nutrients have been removed then re-added at the end of the processing. In the case of dog foods, very often the nutrients and flavoring are sprayed on.
Adding vitamins C and E, flax oil and Omega3-6-9, or a high quality pre mixed vitamin supplement made especially for dogs will strengthen their immune system dramatically.
It’s not true that table scraps will hurt your dog, on the contrary, scraps could boost your dogs nutritional health by adding a variety of fresh foods and enzymes that are missing in processed foods. Hint: Don’t hand out the scraps from the dinner table as this will encourage begging at the table. Put the scraps in your dogs food bowl.