Training is important for the mental health as well as the safety of your dog. While you have many training options available, positive reinforcement methods, which use food, are very common. Keep your furry friend motivated by holding a few different types of treats in your hand, so he doesn't get bored.
Fido has to eat his dinner at some point, right? So why not make him work for this one? When you get home from work, before you get distracted by your homework, spend 15 or 20 minutes training with your canine companion. He is hungry and will do anything to please you at that time of day. Measure his food, place it in a plastic bag and make him work for his dinner. Use kibble (dry food) to get him into a sitting position, bribe him to walk nicely or whatever else he needs to work on. The upside of using his food lies in the fact that your dog will not be consuming extra calories, which minimizes the risk of weight gain.
Go to your local pet store and choose various types of treats, soft and smelly. Any type of soft treats, such as imitation bacon or sausage strips for dogs. Since you will be giving them several times, they should be soft enough that you will be able to tear them into pea-sized pieces. Soft treats also have a stronger aroma than dry ones, making them more appealing to your dog. Plus, he's going to chew them instantly, allowing you to continue his training quickly, rather than waiting for him to eat.
See Also: When Should i Give My Dog Treats?
Specialty pet food stores often have alternative feeding options. Meat-flavored lollipop-type treats are a low-calorie alternative to food. Meat-flavored treats have a strong odor, which will make your pet's mouth water.
Dogs are often food-driven, but they also crave attention. During a training session with Fido, incorporate praise. When he does a good job, pat him on the head, get excited and offer praise as soon as he does what you ask. Over time he'll make a connection that good behavior or trick that gets his attention, and you won't have to give him a treat every time he sits correctly. Instead, toss him a piece of kibble in his mouth when he performs the command, and the next time he does it correctly, use praise as a motivator. Keep the back-and-forth exchange between food and attention so that your dog doesn't expect a specific treat every time.