Make puppy training more enjoyable and successful with this trainer’s useful hack - you just need food!

Woman training a puppy Alsation
(Image credit: Getty)

Young puppies are little sponges and foodies at heart, making them the perfect candidates for a clever training hack. By using your pup's actual meal (perhaps a scrumptious option from our guide to the best puppy food), you can incorporate fun engagement work into their training sessions.

The head trainer at Kane9 Dog Training, Kait, is a big advocate for this approach to training in puppyhood. Here's what she has to say, "When I'm working with young puppies, I like to utilize their meals to have them do some training. Tons and tons of luring is going to take place. You are going to have smaller attention spans with these little guys, so really utilize their meal to your advantage."

The key to this technique is to use your puppy's regular mealtime as an opportunity for training. Instead of just placing their food in a bowl, consider turning it into a rewarding and educational experience. Start by using the food as a lure to guide your pup through basic commands like sit, stay, or come. 

You'll find that they become more focused and eager to learn when they associate their meal with positive reinforcement. Once you notice success with this trick, you can test the waters with some trickier lessons like learning how to potty train a puppy

Watch Kait demonstrate this food training method below and read on to find out more...

Not only does this method make training more enjoyable, but it also helps address common challenges faced by puppy owners such as leash training for the first time. "I also like to start having a puppy feel what a leash on their neck is going to eventually feel like," Kait from Kane 9 Training explains, "Versus just waiting for when they're older and then that pressure feels so foreign and you have a little alligator at the end of the leash." 

Learning how to train a puppy to walk on a leash isn't easy but will help to prevent future struggles when your pup grows up. By gradually getting your puppy accustomed to the feeling of a leash, you can ensure a smoother transition into leash training as they mature. It's all about setting them up for success and instilling good habits from an early age.

Remember, these training sessions should be short and engaging. Aim to keep your pup's attention focused, and always end on a positive note, leaving them wanting more. By incorporating their meals into training time, you're not only nourishing their bodies but also their minds and behavior.

While training is essential, dog owners should never neglect the value of simply spending quality time together with their puppy, bonding and playing around. This  collection of the best puppy toys will ensure you and your four-legged friend can have all the fun together.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.