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Treats, Tricks, and Clickers: Positive Reinforcement Training Tips

Wondering what training method to teach your dog? With so many different training techniques available it might feel a little overwhelming, especially if you are new to dog training. 

Currently, the world’s most popular method of dog training is positive reinforcement.

Unlike other forms of training, positive reinforcement doesn’t use any punishment for bad behavior. There is no time whatsoever that you’ll be forced to hurt your dog. These forms of training can lead to aggression and anxiety.

With positive reinforcement, training is about reinforcing good behavior by rewarding your dog. 

Treats, Tricks, and Clickers: Positive Reinforcement Training Tips

Take for example, if you had a teacher in school and if they asked you a question and you answered it correctly, they gave you a piece of candy.

It’s pretty much the exact same method.

If your dog does unwanted behavior, she won’t get rewarded.

Understand that not all dogs are motivated by treats so you’ll have to find out what works with your four-legged friend.

You can reward some dogs with praise, and others with a toy, pull toys are a good example. 

Tip 1: Make your Dog Treats with an Instant Pot

If you have an instant pot at home, you can make delicious dog treats for a fraction of the price.

Instant pots have become one of the best selling kitchen appliances on the market. 

These days multi-functional programmable pressure cookers have helped us make cooking easy.

Dog food, especially treats can prove to be costly.

So if you are practicing positive reinforcement methods, expect to be using lots of treats.

A good trainer, using positive reinforcement will treat their dog 50 times per day.

If you train every day you will soon realize that your dog is costing you a fortune on treats.

Plus, there have been many reports about the harmful ingredients that some dog food companies use when making these treats.

Cooking your own treats helps you save money and control what goes into the ingredients of the dog’s treats. 

Large batch of bone-shaped homemade dog cookies

Tip 2: How to Make a Healthy Dog Biscuit with an Instant Pot

The following is a healthy biscuit you can easily make with an instant pot:


  • 2 ¼ cups of flour
  • 1 Tsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1 Tsp of honey
  • 1 egg   

How to make healthy dog biscuits in your Instant Pot:

  1. Get a mixing bowl and add all of the ingredients. Mix it well until a dough has formed. 
  2. Place the dough into a mold tray evenly
  3. Cover the tray with aluminum foil.
  4. Add 2 cups of water in with the instant pot.
  5. Close the seal and cook for approximately 20 minutes. 
  6. Take out the dog biscuits and pour melted peanut butter on the top of each one. Wait for them to cool down before feeding them to your dog. 

If you don’t own an instant pot, posts great content, with detailed reviews and comparisons of some of the best instant pots on the market. 

Boy and his Jack Russell Terrier during dog training with a clicker

Tip 3: Buy a Clicker

You might have seen a person training their dogs with a strange plastic device that makes a clicking sound. Well, these wonderful devices are called clickers.

Clicker training is used by many trainers who use positive reinforcement methods. 

A clicker is simply a metal strip inside a small plastic container with a button.

Once you press the button it will make a clicking sound.

The sound it makes is the exact same every time, so the dog can easily remember the sound which helps them understand they have done something correctly.

Many people, when their dog does something they are supposed to do, say “good boy” and then reward them.

The only problem with this is that every time you say “good boy” the tone of your voice differs.

A clicker is consistent and distinct which makes it much easier for your dog to understand. 

Dog owners are advised just to click once, instead of multiple times when you want to reward your dog.

By pressing the device over and over again your dog will become confused.

Make sure to click first, and reward after.

You can bring your clicker with you everywhere you go, especially on walks if you’re training your dog how to “heal”.

However, it is likely you won’t have your clicker on you at all times, so after your dog has mastered a trick, refrain from using the clicker. Some dog owners become reliant on their clickers. The same rule goes for treats. 

Girl playing with her dog in the backyard

Tip 4: How to teach your Dog how to Speak

Unfortunately, you can’t teach your dog the alphabet, but you can easily teach them how to bark when you ask them to.

All you need is some of your doggy biscuits, a clicker, and patience.

This is one of the most impressive tricks you can teach your dog. 

  1. Get your dog to sit
  2. While they are sitting, hold up treats without feeding them
  3. Eventually, your dog will get frustrated waiting for a treat and they will bark
  4. Once they bark, press the clicker, reward, and praise
  5. Repeat the same, but this time say “speak” before your dog barks
  6. You will be able to tell from your dog’s facial expression when they are about to bark
  7. Over time you can replace the vocal command to a hand signal

This is a really fun trick to show others, however, if your dog barks constantly without you telling her to do so, avoid teaching your dog this trick in case it makes your current situation worse. 

Jack Russell Terrier Hound sniffing the ground following a track

Tip 5: How to teach your dog the “Leave It” command

The “leave it” command is one of the most important tricks that every dog owner should teach their pet.

If your dog is about to put something poisonous in their mouth, or if they are about to chase after a cat, this command is vital to help prevent these events from happening.

In fact, it is a lot easier to teach this trick than you might think. 

Again, all you need is your dog biscuits and your clicker:

  1. Place the doggy biscuit on the ground
  2. When your dog goes to eat the treat, cover both hands over it and say “leave it”
  3. Naturally, your dog will sniff around your hands wondering why you have stopped him from eating the biscuits
  4. Your dog will eventually get frustrated, will stop sniffing, and look away from your hands
  5. Once your dog looks somewhere, immediately press the clicker and reward your dog

It is very important that you don’t reward your dog with the treats that are on the ground.

This will only confuse the dog as they will feel they have just been awarded to eat the same thing they have been told to leave alone. 

You will realize once your dog has mastered this trick, how useful it is.

If your four-legged friend is about to steal one of your nice new shoes to chew on, all you need to say is “leave it”! 

The leave-it command is as useful as teaching your dog to come when called. Both can not only lessen frustration but can actually save your dog’s life!

Woman holding her hand up in command with beagle dog


It is vital that dogs get both physical and mental stimulation to lead a healthy, happy life.

Dogs tend to get bored easily, which leads to them getting into mischief.

Training your dog will help you build a good connection.

Your dog will trust you and others better the more training they have. 

Finally, another truly useful command is to come when called.

Dorothy Boucher

Thursday 21st of October 2021

This is great information, my hubby trains the dogs but nothing major. @tisonlyme143

Rita Wray

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Interesting article.

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