Are you having a hard time picking out an appropriate treat to train your dogs with? Here are some of the great options that we recommend at Brook-Falls Luxury Pet Resort & Doggy Day Care.
Any treat can be a good treat to use for training your dog as long as it fits the training situation. A large-sized treat is great to reward your dog for random good behavior throughout the day at home. If you are in the middle of a training session, the treats should be small and easy to chew quickly. Quicker chew times equal more behavior repetitions. The soft treats are usually the best for this because they pose less of a choking hazard. So, with that in mind let’s go over some of the treats we really like to use.
Cost can certainly play a part in the decision to purchase a brand of treat. The two inexpensive treats we like to use the most for our day care enrichment games are pup-peroni and milk-bones. Both of these treat brands have readymade, bite-sized pieces available. The milk-bone mini treats are a lower calorie option that can be great for our older, less active dogs who made need to watch their figures. While the pup-peroni is more aromatic treat with a higher calorie count that tends to be more appetizing to our picky eaters. An easy, at-home option that is cost-conscious would be using Cheerios. The individual o’s are small and plentiful as well as being really easy to tote with you for training around the clock.
If cost is not an issue, but maybe your dog’s palate is, these next treats may be right for you. Tricky Trainer’s treats have a very good variety of flavors that are sure to please those picky palates and come ready to eat, in bite-sized pieces. Some dogs may be willing to eat anything but might have an unfortunate allergy to something. Allergies to food in the case of our canine friends usually come in the form of an allergy to the meat protein used. Zukes treats have a wide variety of flavors that only have one meat protein source making it easy to pick one that is right for your canine companion. The Zukes minis are my favorite because again, these treats are already in small, soft, bite-sized pieces ready to make any training session a cinch.
A bit more costly, but also a great option for food allergies is the Stewart pro-treat line of freeze-dried liver treats. Stewart Pro-treat has a variety of protein options including “novel protein” sources like duck and lamb. At-home options for food-sensitive dogs could be things like string cheese or boiled chicken. For those that don’t have a sensitive stomach, people food like hotdogs is fabulous for the hard-to-achieve commands like come and down.
The few treat options I have listed here are just a fraction of the selection available in pet stores and online these days. When picking one of these treat options it is important to take your dogs opinion into consideration. Our training sessions can only be successful when our dogs agree, that the treat we are using, is an acceptable form of payment for them. So, have fun and shop around. Test all the different flavor and consistency options you can and try to gauge which one you believe your dog likes the best.
How do you tell if your dog likes the treat or not? Obviously, if your dog turns their nose away from a treat and doesn’t eat it, you have your answer. However, that question may not always be as easy to answer as that. What if your dog will eat pretty well everything? How do you make the distinction between like, and love? Most dogs, if they like a treat will take it politely out of your hand and sit there to wait for another one to appear. A dog that really loves a treat, will push their nose into your hand to get every morsel as quickly as it can, and may even nudge your hand or jump up to beg for more. So, in conclusion, the more dramatic of a response you get, the higher that treat is on the dogs’ scale of approval. Good luck in your quest for the ultimate treat, and happy training! If you need a little help with training, we've got you covered. Brook-Falls offers classes for manners as well as classes for fun.