Treats

With such a large variety of treats these days, it might be hard to figure out what would be best for training your dog.  There are some easy guidelines for choosing the right training treat.

 

  • Treats must be highly palatable.  If your dog is not interested in the treat, it won't work very well as a reward.  Remember that treats have different values depending on where you are.  At home, you can train with your dog's own kibble, but when you are working in a more distracting environment you will need something very yummy.

  • Treats must be easy to eat.  Your dog should be able to eat the treat within a matter of seconds.  If your dog takes 30 seconds to eat a treat, you lose the ability to rapid fire treats.

  • Treats must be small.  Treats should be about the size of a pencil eraser.  You want to be able to feed many (many, many) treats during a training session and if treats are too large, your dog will fill up too soon.

  • Treats must be easily handled.  If the treats are crumbly, your dog will spend more time licking the floor, instead of paying attention to you.  If your treats are too squishy, or too slimy, you will be dealing with icky hands.

 

There should be a variety of treats in your bait bag.  Dogs sometimes need a "trail mix" of treats to keep them interested and motivated.

 

My favorite commercially produced treats are listed below.

 

  • Training Reward - These rewards have become my new favorite.  The size is perfect, so is the price.  These are locally available at Petsmart.

 

  • Zukes Mini Naturals - Zukes are the perfect size and consistency for a training treat.  They are just a bit bigger then an eraser head and will not crumble, even when they sit in the bottom of the training bag for awhile.  These come in a variety of flavors and are available locally in most every pet stores or online.

 

  • Buddy Biscuits - These are a small soft, gingerbread shaped treat.  If you break the gingerbread man apart into several pieces, you get a nice sized training treat.  These come in the widest variety of flavors that I've seen in treats (Chicken, Beef, Bacon, Peanut Butter, Duck, Lamb, Sweet Potato) which gives some options, even for the food allergic dog.

 

  • Bil-Jac Little Jacs - These are a great size and available almost anywhere.  They are easily held and delivered to your dog.  They are also widely available.

 

  • Lean Treats - This is the most economic treat if you are willing to put some work in to them.  These treats are a fairly large cube, but when quartered, they make the perfect sized treat.  These are available at your vet.

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