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Your (dog's) favorite training treat?


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i use hot dogs and cheese. both can be cut into small pieces, are soft and easy to chew/swallow and can be gotten pretty cheaply in those off brand markets or even walmart. we save something really good like chicken or liver brownies for the trial.

oh, we train agility!

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Like people, dogs will have different tastes. My older bc loves anything edible and is not at all picky. Very food motivated and very toy motivated which makes for a great balance with reinforcements options. The younger one, she eats almost anything as long as her deflated soccer ball is not present. If it is, then we need to go to a higher value treat like chicken or steak and even then we can lose out to the toy. The ball has proven to be a great asset in teaching impulse control but is very hard to stick in your pocket!

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We've had our 11 week old for a week now. He's learned just a couple things off the clicker. He seems to get pretty bored of the pet store "training treats" we picked up. Any suggestions, I read somewhere Cheerios? :rolleyes:

 

 

I like to use hot dogs as well. I just buy them when they are on sale for cheap and stock up. I also use left over chuck roast when we cook it. I only cook it in water and its own juices, no salt or pepper either, so whatever we don't eat for leftovers or is too fatty I cut up and use that as well. Sometimes they will get lucky and get chicken, but not too often. As your pup gets older I would also try and see if he/she is toy motivated. My heeler will do anything for a ball. In fact he'd rather have a ball then food. :D

 

 

Good luck!

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Thanks everyone, we are trying to get him on the right track as far as training goes. He gets lots of exercise. He is 11 weeks old now and it's hard to get his attention by calling his name outside of the house (or with a toy in his mouth).

 

He went to "puppy kindergarden" this morning and I can just forget trying to get his attention with other people/dogs running around. Instructor said it is partially due to his youth, and such. Just trying to get all the advice I can

 

Thanks!

 

Here is Ranger

59265_1563531364797_1130747175_31656916_2136823_n.jpg

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A favorite at our agility class is string cheese. It's very conveniently packaged and you can just tear off small pieces when you need them. No need to cut it up ahead of time, and less chance of dropping pieces all over the place. I buy 12 or 24 packs and just store it in the freezer.

 

Natural Balance rolls are good, if you're willing to do some chopping. You can cut them up into long skinny pieces ahead of time and then just break them apart when you're ready.

 

Another of my favorites is salmon treats:

1 can of salmon

1 tbsp oil (any kind)

1 egg

1 cup flour (any kind)

Mix ingredients, roll out dough, and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flipping in between. You want them slightly moist, not hard as rocks. Warning: Don't make these when housemates are around - they're stinky!!

 

Kit's all time favorite treat, though, is popcorn. I don't give it often, and usually not more than a couple of kernels. I do stove-top and give her a few pieces before I season/butter mine, so hers has nothing but a little veggie oil on it.

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I like to use a semi-moist dog food roll like Pet Botanics or Natural Balance. They are very high value for most dogs and nutritionally balanced so I don't feel like I'm pumping a puppy or small dog full of junk food. I use it for Pip who is always watching her weight and just substitute it for a proportional amount of her kibble.

 

Lisa

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It depends on the dog.

 

I have one that works better for a ball than food. I was training with him today on the flyball box as he has been a little lazy. I had string cheese and he was getting a ball. He followed my hand - the one with the ball in it. I even tried to put the cheese in his face and he totally ignored it. Years ago he would spit food for a ball and I wanted to see if he was still that way and yep he is. If I don't have a ball handy, I usually have a tug and he will work almost as well with a tug. Now if there are NO toys around, he will do whatever I ask for food and will go crazy over any kind even kibble.

 

I have one that if he does flyball I used to have to make special treats for him. He now runs for string cheese or hot dogs but HE will kill for cut up chicken marinated in a honey/garlic sauce and baked. It is like doggy crack for him.

 

Another 2 will work as hard for kibble compared to cheese, hamburger or even cheese. The bc likes to also play tug and ball but food is what it takes in a group class or activity. I can tell she is comfortable if she tugs when in a group. The other, an acd, is a rescue and never learned to play with anything or even obedience commands. She loves to learn and will do anything you ask for any kind of food.

 

Then the last one prefers a quick tug session while learning. She will train for food but she LOVES tug.

 

Basically, for a puppy class, I would go with a really smelly treat and would cut whatever it is up in advance so you can reward faster. If your dog really loves toys you can try a toy in class. Who cares if you don't get as many reps of a command in as long as you are getting what you ask for.

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I switch between hot dogs and cheese (mixed) and Pampered Pet Dog Cookies.

 

I like these cookies because they are wheat and corn free. Something in processed foods makes Meg itch...she's on a raw diet and it doesn't appear to be any kind of meat or veggie so I haven't been too concerned about figuring out exactly what it is, but I suspect wheat. She does well with these cookies and loves them. I break them in half or thirds for training.

 

Once she knows what I want, I switch to toys as a reward/motivator for practice and fine tuning. The squeaky tennis ball works best for her.

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I would also say it depends on the dog, I started training Rievaulx when we got him at 5 months using kibble and what ever special treats were left from Brody. Most of my training now involves toys, but I train tricks with the cut offs from vegetables while I am cooking, the dog will do anything for a piece of vegetable.

 

Brody loves food and for generic treats I use hot dogs and string cheese, I have had to up the value to motivate him for agility, I started with the ends of deli meats, moved onto meatballs which he loved but they lost their value. Now I am using home made liver treats and for training speed through weaves and at the end of a trial run homemade doggy pate - a very disgusting treat that he adores. He also has a taste for Kielbasa.

 

As I train agility I stopped using commercial treats once I realized the amount I would be using, and try to only use human grade food.

 

I think the key is finding what your dog likes Susan Garrett had a blog posting about finding the value of treats for your dog, I often wander around the supermarket wondering what Brody would like to try next, that is still workable as a training treat.

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My "go to" treat for home training is the Natural Balance food roll. I feel like it gives me the most bang for my buck, economically, and I also find that it doesn't upset my dogs' stomach when fed in large quantities (like liver treats and the like). I cut it up into small cubes and store it in the freezer. It doesn't freeze rock hard, so I typically use it straight out of the freezer. It's essentially just dog food and is nutritionally balanced -- Not a lot of junk in it to upset tummies.

 

For trials and the like, I use chicken & cheese. I cube the cheese into small pieces and for the chicken I boil then shred it by hand. Zero stomach upset with these foods and I feed a lot at trials.

 

Secret is so food motivated that she'll work for kibble. Most all of her clicker training was/is done using her dinner portion of plain kibble.

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I purchased some smoked beef lung from best bully sticks http://www.bestbullysticks.com/home/bbs/pa...ung_treats.html they come in very small cube sizes and my dog loves them especially after he got tired of Zukes training treats, which by the way is really good too. i now switch it up so he doesnt get tired of the same treats... string cheese work miracles, i use scissors to cut them into small sliver like pieces.

although those treats i think may have a lot of calories but i know the Zukes one is considered lower in fat....

 

BTW, Ranger is VERY cute! he just screams of personality!! :rolleyes:

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I also use Zukes when I remember to get them. With 3 dogs in training I go through a LOT of treats. I also use very small hot dog pieces, but I usually nuke them because of the slimyness :rolleyes: they develop since I keep them in my pocket when I work my dogs - Oh, we do obedience and rally!

 

 

Ranger needs to be in Albuquerque with my pack :D:D:D

He is just adorable

Edited by The Good Shepherd
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we make our own for use when we do basic obedence.

 

We call em Sugar Snacks :

¾ cup flour

1 egg

1 Tbs honey

1 tsp peanut butter

¼ cup vegetable shortening

1 tsp baking soda

¼ cup rolled oats

½ tsp vanilla

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Heat honey and peanut butter until runny (about 20 seconds in the microwave). Mix ingredients together and drop by ½ teaspoonful (or roll them onto little balls) onto cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

 

You can play about with the recipe and flavor it for your dogs. I am going to try to swap out the PB for pumpkin. Now that its fall I an make me some pumpkin mash seeing as stores here still haven't gotten canned pumpkin in yet but they do have whole pumpkins. :rolleyes:

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Thanks for the recipes. Will try them this winter. Our Alfie's favorite is the ball. Also hot dogs for my male Sam. I love it when they are food driven but if they aren't readily available just giving them my approval works good too. Lots of hugs and upbeat voices works too. (really acting silly with puppies)

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I just got some Natural Balance Tillman's Training Treats (turkey veg) today at a local event (free in a humane society grab bag!) and I really like them. They're soft and easy to break into smaller pieces but not crumbly or slimy or no artificial flavor or preservatives. They were a big hit with both dogs. I think I'll be adding them into the treat rotation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Experiment for sure..the only "pet store" treats Kate holds any value in are the peanut butter BillJac Gooberlicious.

Other then that I rotate between hotdogs, string cheese, cinnamon toast crunch, and a combo of liverwurst and cheese for BIG TIME rewards. She does like the spray cheese whiz as well.

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