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You can recognize the demeanor of a well-behaved dog. And while it requires patience and repetition to instill these skills in your dog, positive reinforcement is a surefire way to get there. Here are a few tips for using dog treats to influence desirable behavior from your dog.


  • When you’re out for a walk and you meet a new person or dog, turn it into a teaching moment
  • If your dog begins to get overly excited, use a voice command of “quiet” or “settle”
  • Reward with a treat and praise for remaining calm


  • When your dog begins to bark, use a voice command of “quiet” or “settle”
  • Show your dog the treat and praise as long as he or she is quiet
  • Next time your dog barks, repeat the cycle of showing the treat, praising and wait to reward a little longer
  • Reward the correct behavior with the treat and praise


  • Use a voice command of “crate” or “kennel”
  • After your dog enters the crate, reward with the treat, then close and secure the door
  • You can further the reinforcement by rewarding good, relaxed behavior after spending some time in the crate
  • Always remember, the crate is your dog’s safe, happy place. Everything you do should reinforce positive associations with it. This can include serving meals in the crate, providing chew treats or even stuffing a toy like a KONG® with treats to give your dog something to work on while you’re away. No matter what methods your use, never use crating your dog as a punishment for unwanted behavior as it may prove counter productive.


  • Guide your dog to the location you’d prefer to be used for bathroom duties
  • When you reach the spot, give a voice command of “go” or “potty”
  • If your dog handles business correctly, reward the correct behavior with a treat and praise
  • Repeat the routine often to establish good habits


  • Use a voice command of “here” or “house”
  • When your dog returns to the door, ask him or her to sit
  • Reward the correct behavior with the treat and praise

These are just a few examples of more practical behaviors. Try applying these same techniques to teaching your dog a task, no matter how novel. Since many breeds were honed to perform specific jobs, teaching your dog to perform a little job like retrieving the paper or even your slippers can build your dog’s confidence and keep the mind active throughout the day. And in doing so, limit the temptation of destructive behaviors that can come as the result of not having anything positive to do.


Your dog has unique traits and preferences. And these influence not only the food he or she responds best to, but treats as well.

Which ever you choose, the caloric intake from treats should not exceed 10% of your dog’s total daily caloric requirement. Take care to feed him or her high quality treats in a reasonable amount to maintain his health and happiness.

Explore our full selection of Purina® Pro Plan® dog treats to find the perfect reward for your dog.