Food is a fantastic reinforcer for dogs, but it's very easy to teach our dogs the wrong thing through bad timing and sloppy delivery of rewards. Clear and consistent placement of treats during training will allow your dog to clearly distinguish exactly what it is for which they are being rewarded.
For example, if you're teaching your dog to sit and they receive some food reinforcement, but they've jumped up to get it, your dog might think that they are in fact being reinforced for jumping up, and will continue to do so. Quite opposite to the desired behaviour, isn't it? If you want to reinforce your dog for sitting, bring the food right to them where they are in their sit so that they understand clearly which position it is which earns them their reward.
The same applies for lying down, walking to heel and so on. Bringing the food reward right to them while they are in that behaviour will clearly pinpoint that action as the one which earns them something tasty.
Correct placement in delivery of the food reward during dog training is vitally important in reinforcing the correct and desired behaviour. Throughout your dog training journey, consistency and persistency is crucial and is the only way to reach the results you're working so hard towards. So, resist the urge to let your dog jump and sneak a treat in the excitement that follows a new skill mastered, and instead reward the behaviour while they are doing it without breaking position, and see the behaviour repeated just that little bit quicker next time round...
K9 Anytime Dog Training School
Shifnal | Telford | Shrewsbury | Shropshire | Wolverhampton | Bridgnorth