Jump to content
BC Boards
drharps

High Value Treats

Recommended Posts

What do people use for their 'high value treat' when training their dog? Our dog is reactive on leash at times and barks too much to people walking by in the yard. We are working on this but want a high value treat to really reward her when she does the right thing. What do people use that they have found to be 'loved' by their dog? (I know it's dog specific but trying to get ideas to try with her.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just been using a large number of different soft training treats, which I tend to cut in half or fourths because they are all too big. I think a variety of treats is good because it keeps them guessing. I cannot discern which is her favorite though. If I want to give her a big reward I give her multiple small treats. I use different brands (cloud star, blue buffalo, zuke's, train me, pet botanics, etc.) and just buy in bulk when things are on sale on amazon because I go through a lot of treats. When dogs are too hyped up, they may be too excited to accept any treat. But I have found that with my dog, she has gotten better and better at keeping her focus and now she is almost always focused enough to sit and accept a treat when a trigger is a reasonable distance. I have also used hot dog, which I've sliced into little pieces then microwaved (for 2 min) to turn it into jerky. This worked well, but I dislike how salty it is so I don't like to give large amounts of it. But it is a nice way to give real meat treats without worrying about them going bad so fast. A lot of people seem to have luck with cheese, but I also avoid it because of the perishability, since I take treats out on walks and such.

If I need something really good, I go with a little peanut butter smeared on a spoon that she gets to lick. That's the easiest thing to distract her with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use cocktail sausages for nearly everything. They are cheap and very convenient to chop up small and last fine for a few hours in a treat bag.

We also have a box of big shaped biscuits. I don't think our boy especially loves them, but he tends to get one when we call him in from outside and when we go to bed. I can't remember why he still gets a bed time treat, I think it maybe stemmed from when he still slept in the crate. If he's been especially good, like coming in from outside when there's something he'd much rather stay out then I smear some peanut butter on it.

If we are doing training at home and likely to get through a load of treats I do also have some of those dog training treats which are like small soft biscuits on stand by and have used hot dogs cut up small too. Sometimes even a bit of cat kibble which is of course, the biggest prize of all :lol:

I'm not sure our dog is especially food motivated. He does eat the treats almost as though to be polite, but it seems to be getting the treat which is the reward, rather than the eating of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depending on what the dog thinks is the most high value I have used:

cut up small pieces of cooked chicken breast

hot dogs

string cheese

store-bought training treats

dried duck or venison

The most important thing is no matter what it is, cut into tiny, tiny pieces. You don't want to over do it, especially with things that may not really be good for the dog, and you want always to leave the dog wanting more. 

You can also make your own, using whatever kind of meat you want, and these are great and very inexpensive to make. Here is the recipe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are all great suggestions, but in the end it can be a very individual thing for each specific dog and for some dogs the best thing may not even be food.

My first border collie really wasn't food motivated. In fact, he really didn't want the food treats I offered when we were training. For him the ultimate reward was just being told he was a good dog. Some will prefer a toy, maybe a short tug with a toy, as a reward.

My current 2 are raw fed and I use kibble as training treats. Junk food, but for them it's high value.

They also love cat kibble and treats, I think even more than dog kibble.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use cat treats.   My dogs love them and they are cheap and easy to have on hand.  I also will give a Milo's Kitchen Chicken Meatball for extra good behavior (or when giving pills.)  My dogs go nuts over them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helpful hint for hot dogs ~ slice them into 'coins' about 1/4 inch thick. Then half or quarter the coins. Toss them on a non-stick baking tray, stick in a 250 degree oven, stir every 30 minutes or so for 90 minutes, and voila! You've got inexpensive treats that won't slip thru your fingers and last a loooooong time when you forget to take them out of your car or treat bag. And they're crunchy. And a little less oily.

If you're concerned about sodium in your dog's food, you can slice, cover w/water and boil for a couple minutes, then bake. 

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, urge to herd said:

Toss them on a non-stick baking tray, stick in a 250 degree oven...

If you want to eliminate more of the fat, you can wrap them in paper towels when they come out of the oven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GentleLake said:

If you want to eliminate more of the fat, you can wrap them in paper towels when they come out of the oven.

Boiling the little devils brings the oil out, too. Yuck.

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy those cheap blocks of grocery store cheese, cut them into tiny cubes and freeze them in trays before then piling them into little baggies. 

When we go out I then grab a little baggie of frozen cheese. 

I do the same with liver (I low bake in oven) and then cut into little chunks and freeze on trays/bag as i do for the cheese. A bit messier but great for recall or sniff games. The cheese is really good for sniff games in the woods as I can see where i’ve put the cheese haha! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dogs are crazy about real cheese, lightly simmered then oven dried chicken liver, chicken breast and wild caught sardines packed in water (package label says no salt added). You can dry the sardines in a dehydrator or the oven if you can stand the smell. We don’t do hot dogs. Like someone else said, the key is tiny bits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second the Happy Howie's.

Also:  seriously good, but seriously messy is liverwurst/braunschweiger (sp??).  You can get little squeeze tubes, fill it up with liverwurst, and just squeeze and let the dog lick the opening.  It takes longer than just handing the dog a treat, but they don't get a huge amount.  Lots of other good suggestions here too.

diane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also found the spray cheese in a can is doggy crack.

The refillable camping tubes are great and there are lots of things you can put in them. I often use ricotta cheese. It's a perfect consistency for the tubes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, the doggy crack comment reminded me of home made liver treats. I'll look it up, but basically it's a lb of liver, any kind, pulverized in a blender until it's a nice, stomach-turning smoothie kind of texture. Mix that w/2-3 c oatmeal until it's like cookie dough. You can add garlic, grated carrots, or a quarter cup of cottage cheese if you like. 

Spread onto a baking tray of some kind, bake at 300 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Take out of oven when firm to the touch. Take out of baking tray and break into large chunks so it will cool faster. When cool, break into treat-sized bits.

All measurements approximate. I don't know if I even have the actual recipe anymore, but I'll look through the collection.  It is indeed doggy crack. Cats like it too, I'm told.

These, unfortunately, do turn moldy if left unfrozen too long. I used to pack them away in the freezer in little snack sized baggies.

Bone appetit!

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my dog training treats, I used to use cheap block cheese, chopped into itty bitty pieces and either deli chicken loaf (pressed chicken loaf - not sure what you call it) or fritz/devon - kinda like baloney, also chopped into itty bitty pieces and stored in a zip lock bag.  That way they did not know exactly which yummy treat was going to come out next.  It got to the point where just rustling the zip lock bag got my dogs attention.  I have a friend whose dog goes nuts for black pudding.

For the absolute best treat ever though, where sustained attention was required, I used homemade anzac biscuits.  Full of sugar and not really good for them, but my god were they crack cocaine for dogs.  Google for a million recipes but basically they are oatmeal, golden syrup, coconut biscuits which originated in WWI because they could be shipped to the front and not go mouldy.  I made mine chewy, and held them so just a little could be accessed at a time, and my dogs went nuts for them.  The dogs could be the other end of the house, all fast asleep, open the biscuit container, turn around to four drooling dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, D'Elle said:

Just one caveat: go easy at first with anything made out of liver. It can give some dogs diarrhea.

 

D’Elle is right. I would also continue to use it sparingly because it is very rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liver gave our boys terrible gas.  I learned this at an agility trial, when we were camping in a tent.  It was very effectively fumigated by my boy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments everyone. I've been using hot dogs, cheese (block and canned), and Zukes and she loves them all. Was wanting to mix it up again for something to excite her so I'll try a few of the ones here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such a busy thread! I toss in a couple cups of cheerios, or a similar cereal, to a closed container of the good stuff. The cereal seems to pick up the scent of the good stuff, and all my dogs have gone after it just like the real thing. A little fewer calories, a lot cheaper, and sooooo easy!

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...