Trainer reveals the secret to a successful training session with your dog — and it's really effective!

Woman training dog
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to training your dog, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that rewarding positive behavior with any old treat is enough to ensure your pup will master a new skill or behavior.

But did you know that when it comes to the best dog treats they're not all created equal? If not, you're far from alone! 

In a recent post shared to Instagram, expert trainer Piper Novick explains the law of matching value — and it's a brilliant piece of advice to follow if you're looking to improve your dog's behavior. 

"Throughout your dog's life, you'll ask them to do all sorts of tasks. Some of these tasks are easy, some of them are really hard, and others fall somewhere in between," Novick explains.

"The law of matching value dictates that you match the level of difficulty with the value of your reward. Basically, pay your dog well for the hard stuff!"

So, what exactly does the law of matching value look like in real-life terms? Well, according to Novick, if you're training your reactive dog outside in the busy world, you'll want to use high-value treats like chopped hot dogs, deli meats or cheese.

If, on the other hand, you're training a sit-stay in your living room where there are minimal distractions, lower value treats, like kibble or biscuit-style treats, are a much better option.

In other words — as the difficulty of the task increases, increase the reward value to match it. This is one of our favorite tips for training your dog on your own and it can help you make real positive progress when it comes to improving your dog's behavior. 

It's also important to know that you don't need to go it alone on your training journey. If you feel you and your pup would benefit from some extra support, here's how to spot dog trainer red flags so you can ensure you're working with a qualified professional. 

American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats 
$4.19 at Chewy

American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats
$4.19 at Chewy
These grain-free, crunchy snacks are sure to please your pup. Small in size and packed full of flavour, they're made with wholesome ingredients that will keep your dog motivated and energized. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.