What Does Your Dog Love?

20 Rewards to Motivate Your Dog

From teaching you dog to come to you to training tricks, it is all easier if you are using rewards that your dog loves. Finding the right motivator can change a ho-hum practice session to a super training experience. Changing from one reward to another can add excitement and interest to your training time for both your dog and you.

well behaved

Here are the top 20 rewards that our clients use at A Place for Paws.


The first and most obvious motivator is a food reward. They are easy to give and fast to use and for most dogs they are very high value. Use real small pieces and a little goes a long way. There are many commercial treats available, both hard and semisoft, but your dog may work well for other options as well. Here are some options:

  1. Dog Food Kibble
  2. Cheese
  3. Hot Dogs
  4. Vegetables
  5. Cheerios


Praise is a very effective method of reward for some dogs. These are the dogs that just love to please and enjoy the attention that comes from praise. Praise should be given in an energetic and happy tone. Many dogs will respond well to these types of praise:

  1. “Good Dog.”
  2. Happy Talk


For some dogs, one of the best things you can offer is your touch. This is generally the dog that yearns to make contact, to be very close physically or needs to reassurance that touch provides. While it takes a few seconds longer then treating or praise, it is well worth it for the dog that loves it. A few possible touch rewards are:

  1. Petting
  2. Belly Rub
  3. Scratching
  4. Massage


If your dog is toy, ball or play motivation, he will do anything for one more throw or one more tug. This provides you with the perfect time to practice his training. Using Play as a reward does take extra time but it makes the training so fun for both of you. Here are a few play rewards we use:

  1. Fetch
  2. Tug
  3. Chase
  4. Squeaky Toy

Life Rewards

By far one of the best motivators for training your dog throughout the day is to use the things he looks forward to doing as rewards.  While these are not as useful for an ongoing training session, it certainly will give you opportunities to reinforce behaviors and build diversity into your dog’s training experience.

  1. A Walk
  2. A swim
  3. Getting on the couch
  4. Go Play
  5. Greeting People

Make training fun and rewarding for you and your dog by using a variety of motivators and testing new things to find out what your dog loves.

What are your dog’s favorite rewards?