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tips on high currency people food treats?


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Hi all!

I know treats have the highest currency when they're novel. We use either boiled chicken or steak cooked under the broiler (I was going to boil that too - I'm vegan, I don't know!! - and my dad was horrified... :D ) but I'm looking to change things up a bit. Chicken is a tiny bit more compelling than plain old kibble, steak is VERY compelling... but what else can we incorporate? I'm in Sweden so of course I thought store-bought frozen meatballs, but they all have onions and garlic in them, alas. He also gets peanut butter from time to time, and that is fairly old hat for him (fun but not terribly motivating).

Any tips? We avoid store-bought treats because he's had some tummy problems in the past.

Thank you!

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You can make your own, and then you know what exactly is in them and avoid things that might cause upset. 

My favorite is to take some kind of cooked meat, thoroughly cooled, and blender it with some of the cooking water and then mix in just enough tapioca flour to make a pancake-batter-like batter, and spread into a pyramid pan and bake. Other recipes are all over the internet if you look, but I keep mine simple. It is easy to make, cheap, I control the ingredients, and you can make a whole lot of them: tiny treats so you don't have to cut anything up. Don't use wheat flour, as they will come out crunchy instead of soft and will break up instead of coming out of the pan nicely.

Pyramid mat

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:lol:  Val’s go to for motivation treat was Chinese take out. Any other dog treats he would snub. As he aged he got better about eating treats.

 

My dogs do love now dehydrated liver which is pretty cheap and easy to make.

 

I also used to make a tuna treat with no complaints so far.

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5 hours ago, KevTheDog said:

...steak cooked under the broiler (I was going to boil that too - I'm vegan, I don't know!! - and my dad was horrified... :D )...

:lol: Go ahead and boil it for the dog if it's easier for you. Chances are the dog won't care. Baking would be another option.

Also, not necessary to buy more expensive cuts of meat. The cheapest beef is probably going to taste as good to the dog as the more expensive ones and they don't care a bit about texture and mouth feel, etc. Besides, you're going to be cutting it up into tiny pieces anyway.

Pork and turkey might be options.

D'Elle's suggestion of homemade treats is great and offers lots of possibilities for variation and cost effectiveness. Adding some grated flavorful cheese (like parmesan or romano) or even making it your base ingredient often has huge appeal to dogs. Avoid overdoing liver because of potential vitamin A toxicity, but liver is usually a favorite.

(I've seen comments about the pyramid mat treats that depending on they kind of flour used they can crumble or edges crumble off. Another option is this type:  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z4PNBM6/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Available in different sizes.)

Anything smelly is usually a hit. Canned tuna, salmon or mackerel are good bases for homemade treats.

Another big hit I've seen trainers use is to stop at a McDonalds or other fast food joint and get chicken nuggets. The dogs all loved them! Frozen one might work well too (and be cheaper).

 

 

 

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This is great everyone, thank you! I love the idea of making homemade treats - I am keen to know what's in them, and to make sure we're using meat from animals that were treated kindly. Turkey meatballs sounds like a great option - plus, canned fish!! Brilliant. Then I don't have to touch stuff :D Yay!

 

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This is not desirable as a primary treat, but as an extra special, rare and top quality treat, my dogs went absolutely bonkers for homemade ANZAC biscuits - we used to call them doggie crack cocaine.  If I absolutely needed to hold my dogs attention, that was what I used.  They contain no meat, but are very sweet, hence why they are only occasional treats.  I made mine soft, so I could tear bits off in tiny pieces, or hold a bigger bit in my hand and gradually reveal a little bit more at a time, so my dog was fixated on getting a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more...

They are made from ground oats, golden syrup, butter, flour and sugar and last for ages.

Otherwise, I suggest buying a dehydrator and trying to dehydrate your own treats - lung, tongue and hearts were favourites with my boys, along with straight out meat.  There is a smell associated with this though.  You can also dry things out in an oven on very low.

Another option is to use deli meats - again sparingly because they contain a lot of salt.  I have used what we call fritz ( I think similar to bologna?) or pressed chicken loaf.  It is essentially cooked, and can be cut into tiny pieces.  I will often intersperse it with cheese, so the dog will get some meat and some cheese, and is less likely to get bored with a treat during a session.

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On 1/9/2020 at 4:41 PM, Lawgirl said:

I will often intersperse it with cheese, so the dog will get some meat and some cheese, and is less likely to get bored with a treat during a session.

Speaking of this, you may find it useful to make treat bags filled with a variety of treats so they never know what they will get as a reward and won’t get bored. Depending on what you put it in you may find it helpful to freeze the bags so the treats last longer and are easier to handle. My dog’s trainer does this and I found it very helpful in keeping a dog from becoming bored and also not overdoing any particularly rich treats.

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ANZAC sounds quite interesting, @Lawgirl- thanks for that idea. Also nice to do something meat-free as another option. And @AnnaKat premixed bags of treats are for sure my aspirational state of being! :DThat's a great idea. I often do bags of mostly kibble mixed with chicken or steak, but even more options would be great. Kev has had bad reactions to cheese,  so we're kind of avoiding dairy; not super keen to test that out again after some of the very fun, urgent midnight outings he's needed in the past. Yikes.

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Okay, so not a treat but, I have found that, once my dogs have a basic understanding of a word or how to learn (ie.  if you do this, you'll get that), I can train with a toy that only comes out for training time and then disappears again.  This has huge motivation value; in most of my dogs much more than food.  Later if they get any kind of a food treat it holds more value than if I'm just supplying food all the time.  

I know this might not work in all situations but just thought I'd share just in case it helps keep things fresh.

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KevTheDog, ANZAC biscuits are a much loved tradition in Australia and New Zealand.  This is a pretty good version of the recipe.  I have an old family recipe which I use, but this one has a good explanation, variations etc. and is pretty close.  I do add a bit of water if the mixture is dry, and I prefer a chewy biscuit.  You can also reduce the sugar if you want to, a lot of people do. 

https://www.recipetineats.com/anzac-biscuits-golden-oatmeal-cookies/

 

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