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Petland Sarasota

Training Motivators for All Types of Dogs

Training Motivators for All Types of Dogs

November 2, 2021

Understanding what gets your pup to pay attention is over half the battle of getting them trained! Whether you go with the flow or run a tight ship, training benefits you and your dog. It enables you to take them anywhere pets are allowed and make amazing memories with little to no stress.

A stress-free time may sound impossible if you recently got a new dog but we promise it can be done! Step 1 is understanding the work you have to do before you even bring your dog into the mix. Part of that is developing an awareness of how short most breeds’ attention spans are so you can maximize the effectiveness of your training around it.

To give you a leg-up on your approach, we’ve curated lists for you based on your pooch’s motivation style: food-motivated, toy-motivated, and praise-motivated are the most common. Remember to keep whatever items you choose for training only! Even if you’re using delicious bits of steak, seeing the same thing every single day could lose its impact over time. Keeping these items to their obedience sessions will keep their eyes on the prize.

List of Must-Try Items for Training

For the foodies:

-Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, they’re different! Pumpkin pie filling has spices that will not do your pup’s tummy any good). It also helps to put this in a squeeze bottle for less messy disbursement of the goods.

-Dried sardines

-Canned tuna (this should be given in small amounts as it is very fatty)

-Boiled chicken

-Salmon treats

-Bits of hot dog

-Peanut butter (without xylitol)

-Applesauce (unflavored and unsweetened)

-Freeze-dried dog food


For the toy-chasers:

-Tennis balls



-Squeaky toys

For the praise-seekers

Dogs can learn up to 165 words or phrases on average with the brainiac breeds being able to learn up to 250! Interestingly, one that you might use every day “good boy” or “good girl” probably shouldn’t be your go to. When we attach multiple meanings to words, their understanding of it gets fuzzy.

Your word to get them to come inside at a leisurely pace from the yard should be different than your recall command that means “get to my side immediately, there’s a problem”.

The same concept goes for praise. Pick words that can exclusively have one meaning and even if it is completely unrelated to the task at hand, if you say it in a loving tone your pet is sure to pick up the meaning.

Let your kids pick out what some of your training words can be, “good job!” can be “bananas!” or something even sillier. Training is a time to get the whole family involved and make it enjoyable for all.

Suggested Supplies

(Suitable for all dogs regardless of their motivator source)

-Six-foot leash


-The motivator source that works for your pet

 -An area as free of distraction as you can get – a backyard, park at non-peak hours, or even a parking lot can work

-Water – training takes a lot out of them!

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