How to Use Food to Motivate Your Dog During Training

Here’s a question I recently received from a reader:

I want to start training my older dog to do dog sports. I think she would enjoy it — and so would I — because she loves to run and jump and try new things. The problem is that she doesn’t seem to care about food rewards, and that’s how I want to train her. Any tips on how to get her food motivated? — Kathy, Atlanta

Dog trainers can sometimes have a snarky response about using food in training — even those of us who feel it’s the fastest and fairest way to train a dog. I admit to some previous snarkdom myself. In the past, when clients would tell me that their dog was just not food motivated, I would smirk a bit and retort: “Your dog cannot starve himself to death. You simply haven’t found the food that truly motivates him.”

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