Giving a reward for a job well done is one of the most effective encouragement methods in dog training. Probably the most popular reward that is being given to dogs is canine-friendly food. However, according to research, play or dog games can also be used as an effective reward for dog training.
According to a dog obedience study conducted by Bradshaw, Pullen, and Rooney in 2015, dogs who interact and play with humans familiar to them tend to be more obedient. In an obedience test, canines who constantly play with their owners got higher scores as compared to those dogs whose owners didn’t play with them.
Another important aspect that was found in the study is that owners who used the punishment-based method in training their dogs create a negative effect on their dogs. Dogs become less interactive with their owners. So if dogs receive verbal correction or punishment from owners they become less social and interactive.
You may be thinking that the reward “play” is too much, but it is not. In fact, initiating play is easy. The most effective play method with dogs is by running away or running towards them. However, tapping the floor to initiate play provides a negative result. Dogs who hear and see tapping of floors tend to have a lower rate of response. So if you want to initiate play with your furry friend, just run away or towards them.
Once your dog knows you are ready to play, there are different games that you can do to play with them. A popular dog game is a “tug toy”. Tug toy is a good game if you want to train your dogs how to follow rules. It is also good training to build their confidence. Tug toy game also reduces their anxiety. Another dog game that you can use as a play reward is frisbee. It is a popular fun game that also serves as a good exercise for dogs and for its owners.
Source: Modern Dog Magazine