Training treats?

HereSadie

Basic Member
My dog is most motivated by food. Which brand and style of treats do you recommend for training dogs that are a little too heavy already?
 

Kirsten

Staff member
The easiest one is to use your dogs food as reinforcement. That said, what I do is cut way back on meals while training with treats. I use whatever my dogs will eat for the level of distraction so I carry a wide variety and change it up often.

Also...training sessions should be short and rate of reinforcement should go to intermittent rather quickly unless you are working on the recall. That means you shouldn’t need a ton of treats for long periods of time.

For recall I always carry treats (hiking for instance) because there is the potential for some level of random high distraction such as loose dogs, bears, deer, and rodents.

I would also encourage teaching you motivation so you have another tool in your box.
 

HereSadie

Basic Member
Kirsten, do you leave food out all day for your dog, or do you only provide food during meal times? I leave dry food out, but only give her wet food during meal times. I like your idea about switching the treats up. I'll run by Petsmart tonight after work and grab something different.
 

Savile

Basic Member
That's a good idea Kirsten. Giving wet food as a treat would be great with my older pug. I'm training the younger one to show so I'll have to stick with dry treats for her.
 

Jade

Basic Member
I sometimes use regular treats and break them into small pieces about the size of a Cheerio. We moved a few years ago and had to do boundary training, so I decided something extra special was in order. I baked organic chicken and cut it up into very small cubes and, boy, did that work like a charm! :D
 

Jade

Basic Member
I’m thinking about getting a dehydrator to make dog treats. Have you ever used one?
I haven't used a dehydrator for the dogs, but it's a great idea! My husband was talking about getting one to make venison jerky, so it could serve double duty for that and homemade dog treats. I think they'd love it!
 

Constance

Basic Member
I've had a few dogs in my time and I've always measured out their food for the day and then put some aside as training treats so that they don't go over their limit.
 

DenverDogLover82

Basic Member
Training with treats can be tricky when your companion is already a little too heavy.

Have you tried any healthy, low-calorie treats, such as carrot sticks, apples (without the seeds), cabbage, green beans, broccoli, banana slices, or berries? Air-popped popcorn with no butter or salt can also make good treats. I have a friend who's dog goes wild for popcorn. You could also break plain cooked chicken into small pieces to use as training treats.
 

HereSadie

Basic Member
I bet plain popcorn will be a big hit. It's the only kind I eat anyway and Sadie likes to hear it pop. The vet recommended PupCorn but Sadie only likes one variety of it and it's hard to find in small bags. Thanks for the tip, DenverDogLover!
 

Woolsy

Basic Member
I am smiling while replying to this inquiry because I'm thinking of making our dogs into vegetarians. Is it even possible to make them eat only vegetables?

Speaking of treats, what is the difference between giving them dry and wet treats?
 
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