From housetraining and basic commands such as sit, stay and heel, through to more complicated tasks like running an obstacle course or sniffing out a missing person, there are many tasks that dogs can be taught to undertake.

But what is the most effective means of training a dog - and how do you start teaching your pooch these behaviours?

Most training experts agree that positive reinforcement is the best method for teaching your dog new tricks. Simply put, this means rewarding good behaviour - and one of the easiest ways to do this is with dog treats.

Cesar Millan, also known as the Dog Whisperer, explains on his website: "One of the reasons treats work so well in training, is because a dog's sense of smell is so unbelievable. Dogs can smell a treat from over 20 yards away and can get a pretty good idea of the main ingredients."

When training your dog, make sure you only give treats when the animal is calm and submissive. If they're excited, giving a treat could reinforce overactive behaviour.

Be sure you don't give too many treats to your pet, as they are generally fairly high in calories and can lead to doggy obesity. A small nibble is usually plenty.

You should also be careful about what treats you give to your pooch. Table scraps are not suitable, as they can lead to your pet becoming unwell and will also teach them unwanted behaviours like begging.

Cesar Millan warns: "Human treats are not necessarily good for dogs. You'd think if a dog would like beef tendons, he'd probably go for a chocolate bonbon, but chocolate actually makes dogs sick. There are many things that we eat that dogs are allergic to or literally can't stomach."

To ensure that the dog treats are healthy options for your pet, choose nutritious items from trustworthy brands like Arden grange and James Wellbeloved. Meanwhile, titbits of dried tripe or liver are also easy to carry and fit in well as part of a raw dog food diet.

Written by: Hannah