Common Newbie Errors When Using Food to Train Dogs and Puppies

This video goes over a few of the most common errors I see when newbies start training their puppy or new rescue dog using food. These errors can get in the way of your training and make the training task harder than it really is.

What to do if your new puppy is not motivated by food or has little interest in it:

What to do if your puppy or dog is over-excited by food:

Here is a video tutorial on what to do if you have a toy obsessed dog:

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Happy Training!

– Emily Larlham (AKA Kikopup)

29 Comments on “Common Newbie Errors When Using Food to Train Dogs and Puppies”

  1. Oh Emily you are spoiling me with so many videos in quick succession!! Thank you so much. Absolutely adore your channel. Absolutely love all what you do. Thanks. Your the best.

  2. Great video and info thanks alot !. From all the dog training vids on YouTube I tend to enjoy yours the most, no nonsense, no flashy editing or graphic overlays just knowledge !. Again cheers and keep them coming 🙂

    1. Thanks! I dont do sponsors, many years ago I was going to promote some product but wanted to test it out, and it was really terrible! It broke within a day, and was expensive… So after that I thought, no, this is not for me. Its too risky if the product I promote I then dont like later….

  3. Emily, you really dig down into consequences of trainer behavior — not just the dog’s! Best trainer on YouTube IMO. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us.

  4. One of my dilemmas as a pet sitter is that many pet parents don’t provide reinforcing treats. I am trying to help train during walks, but the dogs have little interest in what’s in my hand.

  5. Emily I enjoy your videos so much, they’re to the point, concise and very informative thank you do much for making this available for free on youtube! you’re amazing!

  6. This is so brillant! I never realised before the dog could not like my peting if i give him food first. Next time i have to observe my dog. This makes a lot of sens! Thank you!

  7. You are so right about the quality of food treats… I thought that any treat would do. I was totally wrong. By using high value ones my 8 months BC “Circe” is picking up so much faster…

  8. This is great!! I have a dog that is way too excited around food, but also toys. I think I may have goofed when we first got him and I started to train him bc I didn’t train calmness around food. (Although in the beginning, he was much more calm around food during training) And now it feels impossible to fix it. Any tips?? He knows when I have treats or food and just gets SO overly excited; so then he starts offering everything he knows and jumping up, etc. I just don’t know how to fix it and get back on the right path with him. Tips? Advice?

  9. I love that you address petting during training, that is such an important point that I find most people don’t think much about. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Emily! I love your videos and enjoy learning all these positive reinforcement tricks for teaching your puppy! Can you do a video on how to build a puppy’s confidence around strangers? I have a friend who wants to do agility work with her pup and takes her everywhere but any time a new person approaches, she will shy away from the person and hide behind her owner. As soon as the person tries to reach for a pet she dodges out of reach.

    1. thats a great topic. I suggest that the person has visitors to her home who can stay for as long as it takes the puppy to feel ok. That way there are no distractors and stress in the environment. and the puppy can learn 1 person at a time that greeting people is safe. When trying to do it out and about it can easily cause a set back. Once the puppy immediately likes every new guest that comes to the house you can start to try and have your puppy interact with people you meet out and about but I suggest asking them first if they can stick around for 10 mins. If people say no, then they dont get to say hi to the puppy.

  11. I wish I had watched this video BEFORE I started trying to train my rescue adult dog! I think I made all these mistakes and she’s definitely too excited as I’m trying to muzzle train her using treats. Have you thought about linking this excellent video to your other training videos, so that other newbies like me don’t make the same mistake?

    1. Well some dogs do get over excited just because its their personality. so even if you do everything right you have to always do calm training with them and not be too exciting etc.

    1. yes there is something ingrained in our brains that we feed and then feel so good we ruffle their head. And its not the greatest for the dogs.

  12. Hi, first of all thank you for great material, tips and advices. All really good and like the positive reinforcement strategy. I have a question regarding what do to first as we have just got our fist puppy (Portuguese water dog) and ha has early become a little bit to exited around food as we started using a clicker and his normal food as treats when, as we now realized, was a little bit to wined up. So would you recommend us stepping back starting over for 3-5 days doing the calmness around food first? Or can we at the same time still do touching, teaching how to take the food or his name at the same time? Thanks!

  13. Morgan girl my GSD and I have learned so much from your positive and progressive reinforcement of desired behaviors! Thanks for sharing all that you do online!

  14. So far my 3rd video tonight. I have a 9 month old doodle. They’re popular dogs but haven’t been around around for that long. I try not to be so hard on him but there is a lot of stigma of his breed about not calming down for a few years.

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