Best Dog Training Methods Without Treats | 6 Steps Guide

dog training methods without treats

Positive reinforcements are always appreciated while training your puppy. And treat training is an excellent way to encourage the dog to learn something. However, with excess dependence on treats, your dog may not obey your commands unless presented with treats at a certain point. So, what can you do to be away from such a dilemma?

You may think training dogs without treats is impossible. But it is not! Even professionals now go for training without food treats. And if you want to learn more about dog training methods without treats, you’re in the right place! Pet Guides has you covered with the most effective training methods that do not require bribing him.

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Best Dog Training Methods Without Treats

dog training methods without treats
Dog training methods without treats

In this write-up, you will take a tour of other alternative methods to train a pet without the use of treats or food.

Moreover, As a pet owner, you must have a solid knowledge about other dog training methods without treats too, because sometimes, one method doesn’t work and you have to choose another one.

Why you must know other training methods without treats?

  • No doubt treats work almost every time but sometimes you may encounter a different condition. For example, your pooch is chasing a cat and feeling no hunger. How would you stop it by showing a treat?

It means treats may be ineffective sometimes. So, you must be acquainted with other methods without the use of treats.

  • Another solid reason is, it is impossible to have your pocket full of treats or some kind of food whenever you take your canine outside with you.
  • Some experts have the opinion that you must not expect respect from your canine if it is trained on treats. Your pooch will respect the treats instead of you.
  • If you completely rely on treats then the relationship between you and your pet will not be deep and strong.
  • Some professionals believe that treats are just like bribery. You bribe your canine to do the desired behaviour with some edible rewards.
some time it is difficult to take treats all the time with you

Anyway, these and many other assumptions locate us in a position to learn other techniques without the use of treats.

If your pooch is well fed, what would you do?

6 Best Dog Training Methods without the use of treats;

These are some important methods without the use of treats;

  • Clicker or Force-free Training
  • E.Collars Training
  • Prong or pinch collar Training
  • Reward-based Training or Positive Reinforcement
  • Relationship-based or Science-based training
  • Dominance based or Alpha dog Training

1: Clicker or Force-free Training

It is better constructive training. It is so easy to perform even pet owners can execute this technique at their homes to train their four-legged companion.

The Clicker training works to reinforce the desired behavior as well as to suppress the distasteful actions of your best friend.

What is the Basic Concept of Clicker training?

This training is based on the association of a clicker sound with the reward offered to your canine at the desired act. After getting associated, whenever your canine will listen to the click, it will execute the same action.

What about the reward?

You must choose a reward which you have to pay for your pup every time it performs the selected action. It will speed up and reinforce the desired behavior.

It depends upon the desire of your puppy. It may be a treat, a game of Tug-of-war, or verbal praise. Usually, pet parents offer a treat but you can select any other thing which best suits your puppy.

The clicker noise must be distinct

This is very crucial in Pain-free training that you must choose a clicker sound which should be certainly different from usual sounds. You can pick the cluck of your tongue, the snapping sound of your fingers or even a marker word like “Yes” or “Good”.

clicker can be like this

All depends upon the timing of the sound

Behold, you must make the selected sound right at that moment when your pet performs the required action.

For example, if you want your puppy to sit. Then you must produce the clicker perfectly when your pup sits. It will not work if you click a bit late as your canine stands when you click. Then the association will go wrong.

How funny it would be if you click your pet to sit and it starts jumping?

What should you do if your pup is deaf?

If your furry friend is deaf then don’t worry. You can choose other signals like a gentle touch at the back or a visual gesture like thumbs-up to create an association.

How many times should we reward?

You should reward each time in the beginning. Once your pooch got associated with the clicker sound, you would be able to remove rewards gradually. Then whenever you produce a clicker noise, your pup will automatically perform the associated activity.

2: E.Collars Training

E.Collars or Shock Collars are also conventional these days. An E.Collar consists of a wireless walkie-talkie, a battery, and a collar with a small box having two mini prongs.

Whenever you press the button on your remote, the box produces minor static vibrations or stimulation to correct the behavior of your pooch.

dog e collar

The size of the collar matters a lot

The most important point to remember while you want to utilize an Electronic collar is the size. The collar should be snug enough but not too loose. Its prongs must touch the skin of your dog.

Adjust the stimulation

Nowadays, these collars are available in adjustable having almost 65 levels. You must choose the minimum level which your companion can feel.

 To adjust the stimulation for your pup, you must start from the lowest possible level and enhance the level gradually. When your canine seems to be uneasy or worried, this will be the most suitable level for your companion.

Use of verbal commands

If you want to train your pet using E.Collars then verbals commands are essential. You will say the command verbally and press the button until your hound obeys your command.

You canine will get the acknowledgment that if it will execute the activity in such a way it will get no stimulation.

This is the proper way to train your pooch using a shock collar. However, training through E.Collars is often executed by professionals as it requires extra precautions.

3: Prong or Pinch Collar Training

This is a traditional method as it uses a little bit of pressure to train your pet as you wish to be. Prong collars are mostly used to train your canine how to walk and to stop pulling behavior.

 A prong collar has metallic rings connected to each other. Whenever you pull the leash, these metallic loops get contracted and apply a little bit of pressure to your pet’s neck.

It is recommended that Prong collars are used to exert equal pressure on your dog’s neck for the correction.

How does a Prong collar works?

  • Attach the collar to your canine’s neck.
  • If your pooch is doing well then don’t apply any pressure.
  • If it is pulling or walking improperly, then pull the leash a little bit.
  • The pulling of the leash will make the metallic links to shrink and apply pressure to your dog’s neck.
  • Your pooch will immediately feel the pressure as well as stop pulling.
  • Don’t pull too hard as to choke your canine’s neck.
  • Instead, give momentary jerks.
use pinch collar carefully

Your pooch learns not to pull through a Prong Collar due to a sense of pain. Similarly, you can teach your pooch how to walk and follow you.

4: Reward-based Training or Positive Reinforcement

 Reward-based training or positive reinforcement involves two steps:

  • Encouraging good behaviour through reward
  • Neglecting undesirable behaviours

Encouraging good behaviour

When your dog accomplishes something according to your will you must encourage it using a reward.

 A reward except for treats maybe

  • A play
  • A life reward
  • Warm praise
  • A gentle touch


It is an ordinary type of reward which pet parents often use. It may be something your pooch likes. For instance a game like tug-of-war or a toy.

The logic behind that reward is to build a relationship between your pup and you which is very useful in training.

Life Reward

A life reward suggests anything which your pooch wants to do like a long off-leash run or an outside walk. Life rewards make your pooch likely to repeat the desirable activity.


Verbal praise also works well in the training procedure. You can say pleasant words like “Good boy/girl”, “Good job”, etc…

Touching reward

Your furry friend may be fond of a gentle touch. Every time you pat at its back, it will feel pleasure. You can utilize this technique in the training process.

Encourage your pooch is an effective method

Neglecting bad behaviour

This is the second most important step that you have to ignore errors made by your canine. You have to keep yourself always positive. You must keep patience.

Problem with only positiveness

Imagine your pet is doing its wrong business and you ignore it. What manners would it get?

Keeping yourself all the time positive is really helpful but not reliable. Sometimes your pet is so aggressive that it ignores the lure of rewards and keeps its job going on.

Positive training must be used for initial training but later you have to make your training endeavor balanced i.e., positiveness plus some limitations to tame your pooch well.

5: Relationship-based or Science-based Training

It is a very comprehensive type of training and a purely modernist scientific approach to training your pooch. Sometimes, we call that training cooperative training in which both the owner and pet get benefits.

This training method is quite against the use of aversive training tools or any type of pain-giving approach. It is based on respect and mutual understanding.

What are the basics of Relationship-based training?

It is experimental learning of your pet’s behavior. You have to tame your pooch understanding his;

  • Behaviour
  • Body language
  • Capabilities
  • Weaknesses
  • Habits

In other words, first, you have to sit, watch, understand, and learn your pet’s behavior, and then accordingly you have to start training.

You must behave like a teacher

In that training method, you must imagine yourself like a teacher. A teacher starts with easier tasks and then gradually starts difficult ones.

In the same way, you have to:

  • Start from an easy task.
  • Insure fewer distractions.
  • Let your canine understand your command.
  • If necessary, repeat the command without any anger.

In a broader sense, it is a continuous and gradual process. Any step you teach, you must repeat it till your pooch becomes an expert.

You must understand the needs of your pooch

Sometimes, your furry friend is not ready for any training due to some reason. You must understand that;

  • Is it tired?
  • Is it hungry?
  • Is it in any stress?
  • Is it feeling pain due to some type of injury?

You must not be furious or disappointed rather you must be calm and try to understand the basic reason behind such behavior.

Give respect to your pup

This is also an important tip. Whenever your puppy follows your advice, you must give a compliment like praise or any reward. This will make your relationship stronger and deeper with your companion.

This scientific type of training believes to convert the training process into fun or entertainment and completely stress-free.

give respect to your pooch

6: Dominance based or Alpha dog Training

It is a controversial type of training but still, some pet parents utilize that method. It is based on the wolf pack theory.

Pack theory

Alpha or dominance-based training is basically supposed that dogs are like a pack of wolves. In a wolf pack, one is dominant and like a dominant who leads others.

This theory believes that a dog shows aggression, disobedience, or bad behavior to be an alpha. And you as a leader must keep yourself dominant like an alpha in the pack of wolves. This seems to be ridiculous but it works.

 The problem is alpha is always attributed as negative but this is not always true. As alpha also means a caretaker, a food provider, a teacher, or someone who fulfills a pet’s needs.

alpha dog training method

 Alpha dog training techniques

Some professionals believe in that type of training. They have shared some tips on how to be an Alpha before your canine:

Keep yourself first

As a dominant wolf always leads other submissives, you must guide your dog keeping yourself ahead, and don’t allow your pooch to cross yourself.

Like an Alpha wolf always keep yourself first and foremost i.e, going outside, stepping in your home, in the walk with your canine, etc…

Be an unchallenged authority

You must be like a king having absolute authority over your dog. Don’t let your pet be dominant over you.

Don’t get down to the level of your pooch as leaning on the floor before your pet. Don’t allow your canine to sit with you. Instead, keep it down on the floor.

Don’t feed your dog until it obeys your command. Teach your pet that submission is the only way to get a reward.

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Puppy Training Program
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Can you keep your pocket always full of biscuits or chicken?

 It is a comical question but it reveals the importance of training your puppy without treats. Of course, treats work efficiently but can’t be carried all the time.

You must be an all-around type trainer having a deep understanding of all the methods for training your pooch.

What would you feel if you open the door for guests and your canine plunges towards them? Would you find a treat to stop it?

 Well, it is recommended for all trainers whether you are professional or not to be also familiar with dog training methods without treats to completely train your pooch.

Naina Anuman

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