How to train a dog that doesn't like treats?:14 Remarkable Tips - Hound Schooling (2024)

1-pick a treat they love, but don’t overfeed them with too many hefty treats

2-make the desired behavior more fun or appealing (i.e., make fetch near/on the owner with a yummy treat and, even better, lots of praise and a friendly face)

3-eliminate negative attention (if they turn their head because they don’t want the joy when you want to give it to them, use a high-value food reward instead)

4-do single trials (i.e., just once) before moving on – if your dog does great, try again next time for more reps until you attain the goal

5-repeat steps 1 -4 for all desired behaviors, and make sure you’re consistent!

I know this is basic stuff for people with years of experience with their pets, but this information was often overlooked. I hope this was helpful!


How Can I Get My Fussy Dog To Be Interested In Treats?

If your dog won’t eat treats or if he only eats treats reluctantly, don’t worry. There are plenty of tricks that you can try to make your pup more responsive to the food in your hand. One trick is to use toys — something that excites and motivates him.

Another is to try different kinds of food, such as fresh meat and chicken thighs (though it’s not for everyone). And finally, instead of relying on pet store cookies or kibble, invest in some high-quality wet food like Natural Balance.

How To Train A Dog That Doesn’t Like Treats?

It can be a challenge to train your dog if they don’t like treats. Thankfully, there are ways of preparing them easily, so you don’t have to worry about that. This post will cover the steps to help your dog learn fast and start loving training.

1) Always pay attention to their body language- If they seem unhappy or scared, do not continue your actions. They won’t associate the activity with anything pleasant if they are feeling discomfort while you perform it.

2) Put whatever training treats you have near the place- Always have a few treats near you and make sure your dog knows when to get them. Keep the frequency of this small meal simple. If you don’t want to feed them, tell them you’ll use these treats later.

3) Use a clicker- This tool will help your dog understand their actions while learning new tricks. Clicking in front of their nose is enough, as it will tell them exactly what to do.

Just be careful not to pressure them too much with hitting or clicking until they get comfortable with mealtimes.

4) Put the treats where your dog doesn’t like them- In other words, train your dog when they are hungry. If he wants to avoid food, put it away from where he can see it so that he will be forced to approach it.

5) Do not force them to eat food they do not like- If your dog does not want to eat, try putting food away from him for a few days. This will make him realize that the food is not good for him, and eventually, he’ll pick up on this signal and start eating it.

6) Play with them- When they are excited, they will be happy to do a lot of stuff. But the best way to train them is always playing unless you want them to wear out and be tired.

7) Quiet down- Dogs need to bark when they do not know what’s happening or what they’re supposed to learn. To train their new tricks, you need to teach them in a quiet environment so that they can absorb all of it well.

8) Start small- If your dog does not like treats, try putting food away for a week or two before trying again. If he still does not give you anything, repeat this process until he understands your commands better.

9) Go back to the basics- If you’ve trained your dog once and he still doesn’t like treats, he’s probably never been used to eating food. Try starting from square one again. Make sure you do not force him, as this can set back all of your efforts.

If he does not respond well, there might be something wrong with his training, and he will try again later.

10) Have patience- It might take time to get your dog accustomed to the new training environment for both of you, but it will be worth it afterward.

Once you feel that he is responding well, please give him a treat and repeat the process until it becomes a habit for him to know how to behave in front of food.

11) Reward them with a treat- Reward your dog when you sense everything is working well. This will help him remember and get increasingly better at his training. You can also make click after the process has been completed.

12) Be consistent- If you are not compatible with your dog while training, they will not be inclined to follow your commands in the future. In other words, do not give up easily if they initially choose to ignore you.

13) Don’t use food as punishment- Although food might be a good motivator for your dog, it can lead to aggression if he does not expect it when he does something wrong. Try to use your dog’s favorite toy or a toy that you can use to teach.

14) Last but not least, praise them- The most important part about training your dog is praising him for his behavior. You should reward him with a treat at the end of every training session and give them small rewards from time to time when he does something good.

And so are the tips to train your dog that doesn’t like treats. Don’t worry; this is a problem that’s easy to fix. Make sure you are patient and consistent with your training, and you’ll have an obedient dog in no time!

How To Train A Dog Who Doesn’t Like Treats Or Toys?

Many dog owners have difficulty getting their dogs to react positively when they use pet toys or treats as part of positive reinforcement training.

This is because dogs have an instinct not to take food from people. It’s an important survival instinct that helps prevent dogs from becoming too reliant on humans for their food.

Why Isn’t Your Dog Responding To Food Motivation?

Dog training often relies on food or treats, but what if your dog doesn’t like the food you want to use? Trying a different type of treat might make all the difference in your training sessions.

However, before considering foods to try, it might be wise to look at your dog’s other requirements and see if you are overlooking anything.

When Can I Stop Using Treats In Training?

When you’re done training, and your dog is crated, put a few treats in his crate. This is an excellent time to use your clicker.

When your dog is calmed down after a training session, he’ll likely be hungry, and you can give him a few treats.

How to train a dog that doesn't like treats?:14 Remarkable Tips - Hound Schooling (1)

Whenever an accident happens, or you come home from work, this is also a good time for positive reinforcement by using some tasty snacks to reward desired behaviors.

When Can You Stop Giving Treats For Dog Training?

Some dog owners, who want to train their dogs without treats, believe you should end the process once the dog reliably responds to verbal commands.

They argue that if a dog can reliably respond to small food rewards in the same way it responds to more significant rewards like praise and attention, it can be trained without any snacks.

The logic is that anything a dog likes will work as a reward, including toys and petting, so they shouldn’t need any treats.

How To Train A Dog That Doesn’t Like Treats Successfully?

If you love your dog and want to train them positively, there are several ways to go about it. You can start with the simple process of teaching your dog what they should do when they hear a command such as “sit” or “be quiet.

The simplest approach is to use rewards for good behavior. When your pup does something you approve of, you give praise and a reward such as treats or toys (what kind of toy will depend on the dog’s size).


There are several ways for people to train dogs. This includes using treats, playing games with your dog, and even using a clicker. Training your dog is often difficult and frustrating, but it is possible to teach dogs new tricks with patience and determination on the part of you and your pet.


Do dogs Remember when you give them treats?

Many people fear giving their dogs treats because they think it makes them pushy and greedy.
However, giving treats is a necessary part of the training process. They have valuable power to help your dog learn new things or to reward him if he has performed correctly.

Why do dogs put their paw on you?

Dogs put their paw on people as a sign of affection and acceptance. They may also place their feet on people to invite them to play or do it if they’re annoyed with you.

Are treats necessary for dogs?

Some people use treats as a reward when training their dogs to do new things. For example, if your pup knows how to sit but is struggling with coming when called, you can teach them to go and give them a treat.

How to train a dog that doesn't like treats?:14 Remarkable Tips - Hound Schooling (2024)


How do you train a dog that is not interested in treats? ›

Training Without Treats
  1. Using Play in Training. Using play in training is an excellent way to keep your dog motivated and engaged with you. ...
  2. Using Toys in Training. Using a tug is one of the best toys you can use to play with your dog. ...
  3. Using Praise in Training. ...
  4. Try Different Treats.
Mar 17, 2021

How do you train a puppy who is not motivated by treats? ›

Many people prefer clicker training in combination with a non-food reward like using praise or a little playtime with the dog's favorite toy as a training method. You use the clicker to mark the moment your dog does what you asked him to do, and immediately afterward, you give him his reward.

How do you break a dog's food obsession? ›

The best way to do this is to keep an exact meal schedule and portion control; the schedule can be whenever it suits your working hours, however, once you make up your mind, it's best to stick to it and give the dog a sense of security.

How do you train a picky dog? ›

One approach is to offer food at a morning mealtime, leave it out for 15 - 30 minutes, then take it away until the next mealtime. At the next mealtime, do the same. Whatever is not consumed is removed. This approach works best with dry kibble.

How do you train a dog that is only food motivated? ›

Tips for Training Your Food-Motivated Dog
  1. Use a variety of foods. ...
  2. Keep treats in your pockets and in places around the house. ...
  3. Adjust your dog's meals so they aren't getting too much food. ...
  4. Don't withhold food for training sessions that didn't go according to plan. ...
  5. Understand the difference between a bribe and a reward.
Dec 7, 2021

What to do if your puppy is not interested in treats? ›

Try exchanging Soft Baked Treats for something more savory like a Freeze Dried option such as Stink, Steak, Stunk. For something sweeter, reach for bananas or berries for treats with all-natural sugars. Carrots are an easy pick for those dogs who like to chew!

How do you train a low motivation dog? ›

Train when there are little to no distractions. Train in little 1-minute intervals to keep your dog wanting more. Train with a very high-value treat like meat roll, freeze dried liver, or cheese. Train when your dog is hungry and before a walk, not after when he's tired.

What is the quickest trick to teach a dog? ›

Sit: The “sit” command is one of the easiest tricks your dog can learn and serves as the basis for many other simple tricks like “shake” and “stay.” To teach this trick, keep your foot on your dog's leash, allowing them only a little room to move but not enough to jump up.

What is a trick you shouldn't teach your dog? ›

While a pooch performing a sit or a down out of context likely will not cause any problems, certain tricks, like jumping vertically in the air, spinning in circles, high fives or hugs and kisses, can create issues for you and your dog.

How do you discipline a dog for eating food off the counter? ›

With your puppy on a leash, place something tempting on the counter. The moment your puppy looks up to sniff the counter, snap the lead back and say, "No." If you catch your dog stealing food, teach your pup to "leave it." If your pooch is sniffing around the kitchen, tell them to "go to their place" or "lie down."

Why is my dog obsessed with treats? ›

Food is an instinct for dogs

When wild dogs eat, they gorge themselves as they never know when their next meal will be. This is why our pet doggies are so obsessed with food. We think our dogs are always hungry, but actually, they have evolved to be constantly on the hunt for their next meal.

What dogs love food the most? ›

10 dog breeds most likely to beg for food at the table
  • Golden Retrievers.
  • Norwegian Elkhound.
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
  • Great Pyrenees.
  • Beagles.
  • Dachshund.
  • English Bull Terrier.
  • Rottweiler.
Sep 24, 2021

How many times a day should you feed a dog? ›

Dogs should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.

Do dogs grow out of picky eating? ›

Like humans, most dogs have preferences. For instance, some may prefer fish over chicken. But dogs can eat their favorite food every day for the rest of their lives, and unlike us humans, don't crave for variety. Fussy dogs can't be fixed.

What treats do picky dogs like? ›

12 Best Treats for Picky Dogs
  • Beef Jerky Strips. ...
  • Dehydrated Cod Skin Treats. ...
  • Freeze-Dried Free-Range Beef Tripe Treats. ...
  • Beef & Cheddar Training Treats. ...
  • Chicken Jerky Strips. ...
  • Freeze-Dried Farm-Raised Rabbit Treats. ...
  • Air-Dried Lamb Training Treats. ...
  • Mini Carrot Cakes for Dogs.

Does Cesar Millan use treats to train? ›

This is one of the few treat/food-based techniques that Cesar Millan uses. In most cases, Millan is dealing with dogs that already have a very negative association with the muzzle. He cautions his clients not to force the muzzle onto the dogs but to make it into a positive experience.

What food can I use to train my dog? ›

At home with few distractions (low value): kibble, carrots, ice cubes, green beans, or hard biscuits. In your yard (medium value): commercial training treats, cheese, or jerky type treats. At the park (high value): chicken, hot dog, hamburger, deli meat, or liver.

Why is my dog not motivated by treats? ›

Sometimes, there may be a health issue at play. Or perhaps your dog just doesn't prefer the type or brand of treats you're offering. And, sometimes, behind a dog who is “not food motivated” is a dog owner who isn't enthusiastic about using food for training.

Should you let strangers give your dog treats? ›

Strangers shouldn't offer treats to extremely fearful dogs - at least not during the initial stages of training. Food may lure a hungry dog closer. Scared dogs typically rush in to grab the food and then dart away. It creates an unpleasant experience and positive associations would be slow to form, if at all.

Is it possible for a dog to not be trainable? ›

Is there such a thing as an untrainable dog? The short answer, according to animal behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti, is no. “Most dogs are trainable. There may be some dogs with brain disorders or injuries that find it hard to learn, but this is the exception,” she explains.

What is the first command you should teach a dog? ›

“Come” may be the most valuable command you can teach your puppy because it could realistically save their life. A puppy's curiosity can often draw them towards life-threatening situations - during these situations you want to trust that your puppy will respond to your voice above all else.

What is the most training command taught to dogs? ›

McMillan always teaches Sit first because it's the most natural concept for most dogs. It's therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions.

What age is it easier to train a dog? ›

According to experts, the ideal time to train a dog is when they are around 7 to 8 weeks old. This is a great time as they are still new to the world to start to understand commands and what is expected of them.

Can you teach a dog tricks without treats? ›

Treats are a powerful training tool, and while it's possible to train your dog without treats, starting with food rewards ensures you have your dog's focus. Your dog will learn more quickly with treats.

What is the number 1 easiest dog to train? ›

Top 9 easiest dogs to train
  • #1: Border collie. No couch potatoes, border collies are athletes bred to work. ...
  • #2: German shepherd. ...
  • #3: Labrador retriever. ...
  • #4: Golden retriever. ...
  • #5: Australian shepherd. ...
  • #6: Standard poodle. ...
  • #7: Doberman pinscher. ...
  • #8: Papillon.

What is the easiest thing to train a dog? ›

"Sit" is one of the easiest tricks every pet owner should teach their dog. The “sit” command is the starting point for most dog tricks. Once your pet has perfected "sit," they will have an easier time learning other tricks. Teaching your dog "sit pretty" is a fun trick to entertain to your friends and family.

What dog is most stubborn? ›

Top 11 Stubborn Dog Breeds
  • #1 Akita. The 80 to 90-pound Akita is a gorgeous pooch, but it is the most stubborn, according to dog owners and experts. ...
  • #2 Shiba Inu. ...
  • #4 Jack Russell Terrier. ...
  • #5 Beagle. ...
  • #6 English Bulldog. ...
  • #7 Dachshund. ...
  • #8 Siberian Husky. ...
  • #9 Chihuahua.

Why doesn't my dog like certain treats? ›

Type of treat

Your dog may not want to work for the specific treat that you're using. The treat may not be exciting enough for your dog to find it rewarding. For example, a dry biscuit may not be as enticing as a piece of leftover chicken from the night before.

Why does my dog ignore treats? ›

Your pup may refuse treats when out on a walk if they don't feel safe in the surrounding environment. If you're near roads or other busy places, then your furry friend might be feeling anxious or simply scared.

Why is my dog aggressive with treats? ›

Food aggression is a form of resource guarding where dogs get territorial about their food. Dogs can exhibit food aggression or get reactive over their food for a number of reasons, such as to show dominance or because they become anxious about people or other animals taking their food.

Do dogs like it when you give them treats? ›

Not only do treats help keep pups content in our absence, but they also offer extra stimulation throughout the day that helps dogs satisfy some of their innate instincts passed down from their wild ancestors – like chewing.

Why does my dog cry when I give him certain treats? ›

Dogs can get very emotional at times. When you're giving your pup your full attention, praising him, and offering him a tasty treat, he's going to be so happy he may have trouble containing his feelings. The best moments of his life are when you're completely focused on him, for once you are and he loves it.

Can a dog be trained without treats? ›

Using play and toys as training rewards is a great way to motivate dogs that aren't interested in treats, and isn't hard once you learn how to do it right. Read "How to Use Toys as Rewards in Dog Training" for tips on introducing toys and play to your dog's training.

Can dogs learn without treats? ›

Treats are a powerful training tool, and while it's possible to train your dog without treats, starting with food rewards ensures you have your dog's focus. Your dog will learn more quickly with treats.

How do I find treats my dog likes? ›

Pay attention to your dog's behavior and notice what types of treats they respond to. Many trainers recommend cooked, dried, or dehydrated meats, as most dogs like these. Cheese can also be appealing to dogs. String cheese is great because it's individually wrapped, easy to break into small pieces, and inexpensive.

How do you train a hound to walk on a leash? ›

To start:
  1. Fill your pocket or treat pouch with treats.
  2. Decide what side you'd like the dog to walk on, and hold a few treats on that side of your body. ...
  3. Hold your leash in the hand opposite the dog. ...
  4. Take a step, then stop. ...
  5. Repeat.

What are high value dog treats? ›

What Are "High Value" Dog Treats? High-value treats tend to be moist or freeze-dried, extra smelly, and something your dog doesn't get very often (if at all) outside of training sessions. Think tiny pieces of chicken, liverwurst, tripe, or even peanut butter (make sure it's xylitol-free) smeared on a spoon.


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