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She starts Saturday!

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I signed Willow for for agility classes, her first class in Saturday. I can see her doing well in it. I was told to bring small treats, what would you recommend?

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Bring good treats. Something she absolutely loves.

 

And have fun! It's very exciting to be just getting started!!!

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my dogs love hot dogs and cheese. both can be cut up into small peices and are easy to chew and swallow. bring much more than you think you need. have fun.

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Since starting agility I have become very conscious of what treats I give the dogs, once I realized how much was involved, I stopped using commercial dog treats for two reasons, what they contained and price. You can get a lot of meatballs for the price of a bag of Zukes. I use cheese, hot dogs, roast beef, cooked chicken breast ( I cut it into small pieces before baking) meatballs, basically interesting human foods that can be cut into small pieces. What you have to do is find something that motivates your dog. Brody who is not very inspired to play agility with me, had all sorts of interesting things cooked for him, turns out he is motivated by string cheese, the dog will do anything for a bit of cheese. Rievaulx on the other hand learns tricks at home with the end pieces of zucchini (courgette), and if you want to get him really excited bring out the asparagus.

 

Enjoy your class

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Liver sprinkled with garlic powder and baked in the oven.

Cut up into small pieces and freeze what you aren't going to use within a few days.

 

That's our favourite of the moment.

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I use an all natural dogfood called Real Meat for treats. Made for dogs in the USA all natural and mor cost effective than buying small bags of treats.

I do however also keep cooked chicken and liver or meat (no spices others than a bit of garlic) for the special treats.

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Some dogs work better for toy rewards -- so if your dog is one of them, don't be afraid to do what works best for your dog. The majority of dogs in beginner agility will prefer treats, though, which is why instructors recommend it. Treats obviously also work better for luring, which we see a lot of at that level.

 

Pick something special for agility, something your dog doesn't get for obedience or trick training.

 

What I found to be highly economical as well as highly palatable to my fussy little dog is the Natural Balance food rolls. They look like giant sausage rolls and are essentially compressed dog food -- so because it's not overly rich, it doesn't tend to cause stomach upset when fed in relatively large quantities (unlike liver, which makes my dogs get horrible diarrhea). I cut it up into tiny bite-sized squares and store it in the freezer.

 

They get cut up cheese cubes & boiled/shredded chicken at trials.

 

*Edited to echo the above comment to bring more than you think you will need --- I swear almost the entire class tends to run out of treats about half-way through when starting out. lol We need to make the beginning stages of agility HIGHLY rewarding and thus we HIGHLY reinforce at this level. It often helps to skip a meal before class -- not only so they are eager & attentive for the food, but also because you will be replacing the meal calories with treats in class.

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My fav recipie-it makes a ton of treats and they are nice non-greasy tidbits. Dogs go ape over these. I gave some to a friend at our last trial, and they are now refered to as "Q" treats cause she got 4 "Q"s over the weekend!

 

4 cans of tuna with oil (you can also use 1 1/4 lb liver instead)

4 eggs

3 C four

 

Whirl this together in a blender or food processor. (It will be really sticky)

Cover 2 baking sheets with foil and spread the goo out over them. Sprinkle with cheese. (I use parmesean on the tuna and cheddar on the liver)

Bake for 30 min at 350 degrees.

Remove from the pan, peel away the foil and cut into small squares. I then put them back in the oven that has been turned off to dry out for about 20 min. Freeze.

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I have used all the suggestions above and can vouch for them. And I just tried a recipe similar to the one Kelleybean posted. (I used liver) It was awesome! They were soft, but not greasy, and easily pulled apart into the tiny training-treat size.

 

I think I will have to try the Q treats since I have a trial next weekend!!

 

Even though I think these are incredible treats (and much cheaper than buying treats in a store), I believe that using a variety of treats is important. You don't necessarily have to use a variety for one session, but I tend to change out treats every few days. And you may want to observe to discover which treats are the most high value and save those for really, really important times (i.e. when learning a new skill or at a trial)

 

Have a great time in class!

 

Jovi

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I second the liver. Cow's liver is kind of flat, which makes it easy to cut lengthwise into thin slices then cut across into small pieces. That and white meat chicken are my favorite "bait" for dogs.

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(I use parmesean on the tuna and cheddar on the liver)

 

This made me LOL! It would be down my dog's hatch so fast she wouldn't have time to taste the cheese, let alone discern flavors (or care).

 

I have a similar recipe:

1 can salmon

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

1 cup flour

 

Mix ingredients, roll out dough, cut into squares or with cookie cutters. Bake at 300 for 10 mins, flipping in the middle. Treats should be soft, not crunchy. Be sure to store all fishy treats in the fridge or freezer, because they mold quickly! Also, you can substitute different flours or oils if your dog is allergic.

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My fav recipie-it makes a ton of treats and they are nice non-greasy tidbits. Dogs go ape over these. I gave some to a friend at our last trial, and they are now refered to as "Q" treats cause she got 4 "Q"s over the weekend!

 

 

 

Ok, I really need to make something called Q Treats! :lol:

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Thanks everyone!!

Class went fantastic!! Willow did the jumps, weeve poles, tire and tunnel today.. The teacher said she did much better then most dogs starting off and I could tell she enjoyed it, can't wait for next week :).

I ended up using the Zukes treats cut in half. The only problem was they crumbled a little while I was holding them. I will defiantly try the thing you all said as well and see what works best (trial and error).

Thank you!!

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When I started our agility classes our instructor used turkey meat balls.. A lot of work I know but it worked well because even the smallest crumble acted as a treat trail... Something that crumbled worked good for us as long as I didn't leave too much of it in one spot... I suppose this would only work for platforms or the A frame.... But he did need something REALLY tempting for his agility training... Weird but he wasnt as motivated with his normal treats (turkey dog, apples) which he usually goes crazy for when doing obedience...

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