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Discussion Starter #1
I think I figured out my Gilligan's issue with eating his poop - training treats don't agree with him. None of them that I've tried.

We discovered early on that he did not tolerate any training treat with a smoked flavor/scent. He would go for training and then not eat the next meal or sometimes most of the next day. So we stopped buying anything that remotely smelled of smoke and stuck with a locally made peanut butter treat that is so hard we have to crush it before giving it to him, and Milk bones, which we give as a regular treat and not for training.

We tried Bil Jack chicken liver and Zukes peanut butter & oats, and he loved them - but he re-started eating his poop. Then we gave him about 8 Zukes in the span of a few hours and he threw them up. I realized that he may not have been digesting the treat and his poop smelled of it - and boy does he love either of those 2. I like those 2 treats because they came in mini and were soft and easily broke apart for training or putting into his puzzle toy.

As a note - by feeding him S&C and Primal his poop is usually firm and dark brown and it's been soft and light brown since I started giving him those treats.

I read the ingredients and there's a lot of stuff in them. I'm sure one or more don't agree with him.

Does anyone have a suggestion for what I can use for training that is high value? I know he loves chicken liver, but I really don't want to give him people food as a training treat. But I'm open to all ideas...
 

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Our dogs are currently obsessed with these: https://www.chooviopets.com/ The *strips* pieces are easy to break into teeny tiny pieces for training (and so they don't choke). It is rare that all 6 dogs like a treat so much! No digestive issues, even our sensitive pups.

I recommend the strips, not the jerky (because of choking risk).
 

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I mostly use string cheese that I cut into little discs or bits of cooked fresh chicken or ground beef. I like to hold training treat in my mouth since I want my dogs to see that rewards come from staying connected to me. This is why I prefer things I could eat myself. For example two weekends ago Lily and I did two rally trials. I was called to the ring a couple of minutes sooner than I expected for one of the trials, so I chewed what was left in my mouth and swallowed before I approached (better than taking a chance on Lily not chewing and swallowing well and then hacking a chunk onto the floor (that's an automatic NQ).
 

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I used liver cake/biscottii, depending on whether I needed a soft or a long lasting treat. If he likes chicken liver he will love it, and it is easy to make - recipe is on PF if you do a search. I found my dogs tolerate it better than pure liver, which tends to give them diarrhoea in any quantity. Alternatively, tiny scraps of cooked meat or cheese are very high value, and a little goes a long way.
 

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My minipoo has some food intolerances/allergies and one of them appears to be glycerin which is in lots of treats.

I use bits of chicken/turkey or hamburger. I buy the 96% fat free ground meat at Trader Joe’s. I roll it out flat and thin then use a knive to score tiny squares and bake it at 350 degree F until it’s no longer pink. I then break it into sections and freeze it. When I train I break the peices into small treats.

I’ve also made liver treats but liver is very high fat so I mix it into my dogs regular food.

I’ve also had success with freeze dried chicken and pure beef jerky from Honest Kitchen or PureBites. No glycerin, just dried plain dried meat.
 

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Happy Howie. Comes in a roll about 3” diameter. Cut into pieces as small as needed. Only downside is that it must be refrigerated once it’s opened.

I use a lot of meat because it doesn’t have added ingredients . . leftover steak, dehydrated tilapia and liverwurst, bits of turkey.
 

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Cheese as high value treat. Regular training treat is ziwi peak lamb, he had beef before. It’s their air dried kibble, but it’s pricey so I use it for treats and it’s great.
 

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I use Ziwi Peak lamb and tripe dog food. It is too spendy to use for regular food, but is in really small bits and Zephyr really likes it. He is very picky, so I am happy to have found something he likes. It is not kibble, but is more like very small bits of jerky. Ziwi also makes treats, but I don't think they are any better than the food for treats, and they are even more expensive.

I also use other things like dehydrated salmon and liver bits for variety and for really high value.
 

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For class and trials I get frozen meatballs at the grocery store and chop them into pieces. Way cheaper than dog treats and in an emergency, I can also eat them, like Catherine said. My super high value reward are Choppers by Red Barn. They're crispy and break into small pieces. I keep them in a box by the back door. My dogs know this. They also know there is only one way to get a piece. Ever see a 250 foot recall so fast you think the dog's legs are going to fall off like a cartoon? Francis and Noelle come flying on the first call 97% of the time because they love Choppers so much.
 

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I really don't want to give him people food as a training treat. But I'm open to all ideas...
I use people food to train my dog. It's usually cheaper to use people food as a reward. A bag of frozen turkey meatballs will last a month, and cost less than pet store treats. A chicken breast, marinated, grilled, and cut into slices, is cheaper than chicken treats. A single slice of cheddar cheese can be cut with a pizza cutter into a pile of treats. My trainer, Joyce, her dogs go completely crazy for toast. Another friend uses Cheerrios. As long as your dog finds it rewarding, you're all set.
 

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The other thing to remember is to cut treats into tiny pieces. Most dogs will be more strongly reinforced by five little pieces of cheese than by a whole stick of string cheese that takes so long to chew that they forget why you gave it before they finish. Ian Dunbar is a big fan of Ziwipeak and cuts their treats into something on the order of 16 tiny pieces.


I think it is fine to give people food as a treat only for having done something, not off a plate every time you finish dinner. Even when we have title or birthday steak dinners and I give the dogs their part of the celebration steak they have to do some work to get it.
 

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I make my own training treats using canned salmon, eggs, brown rice flour, and unsweetened applesauce or sweet potatoes. You can substitute other meats for the salmon and once in a while I do. You can make them as soft or crispy as you want depending on how long you bake and how thick you spread in the pan. I like them on the drier side so they don't mess up my pockets too much. I use these as a higher value treat when training and at shows. It makes a big batch and I keep small bits down for a couple days and freeze the rest since it can't stay for more than several days in the fridge. Otherwise I primarily use Charlie Bear Crunch (as opposed to the regular Charlie Bear treats) which my dogs like very much.
 

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I would really like to see the liver cake/biscotti recipe that is on Poodle Forum. I did a search but am not good on the computer and couldn't find it. Can anyone provide the link?
 

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Take around 8oz/200g liver, any kind. Whizz it in a food processor with an egg. Add enough flour (or rice flour, or cooked rice) to make a dropping consistency, like a cake mix. Tip into a tin and bake in a medium oven (350F/175C) for around 30-40 minutes, until a knife blade comes out cleanish. When it has cooled a little slice it about1/3"/1cm thick, and cut the slices into strips. Keep some for soft treats if needed; spread the rest on a baking tray and put them back into a very low oven for several hours or overnight until completely dry - biscotti. Once dry they keep for ages.

As you can see it is a pretty inexact science - dogs don't care whether it is exactly right! You can replace the liver with a tin of tuna or salmon, add some parsley or cheese, and generally adapt the recipe to your dog's tastes.
 

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I use Zuke's Crunchy Naturals (the 2 calorie, not the 5 or 10 calorie) for ordinary reinforcement. They don't have a very long list of ingredients (brown rice, pearled barley, rice bran, yogurt, honey, cane molasses, coconut oil, nut hulls as a source of fiber, natural flavor, mixed tocopherols as a preservative, and rosemary extract), and they're so small/low calorie that I can give quite a few to my standards without overfeeding. They're dry, so I carry a pocketful with me all the time.

I also buy packages of chicken gizzards and hearts, boil them for about 20-25 minutes, cool, and cut into tiny pieces with kitchen shears. Sometimes I just refrigerate them like that, sometimes I put them in a slow oven for three or four hours to dry them. I still refrigerate the dry ones, but they're much less messy to carry in a pocket, and the dogs love them either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone....

Sorry it's taken so long to get back here.........

During that time, I realized that it must be the glycerin in some of those treats. It seems to be the common denominator. I stopped giving him anything with it and he hasn't thrown up and has been eating fairly regularly. We accidentally gave him something with glycerin and he refused to eat until it was almost bedtime.

I have been giving him Petformatrin (available only in Petvalu) sweet potato fries which I have to cut up as well as their dehydrated apple slices, again, that we have to cut up.

Freeze dried liver also works well for him, and I pulverize and put it on his dinner, along with bone broth.

I may try the treat recipe above. I just made my own beef bone broth since most contains Tumeric, which he won't eat, and those that do not are expensive or have a load of salt.

It's taken a while, but I may have solved most of his fussy eating issues.
 

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Wonderful that you have figured out it must be glycerine. I tried making homemade treats, but found if I added flour that my dog reacted to that!

Now I mostly take leftover cooked meat, beef, pork, chicken, cut it up in tiny pieces, freeze a small amount in a baggie (enough for a half days treats), and just use those.

Very easy, no unneeded ingredients, and my dog loves them. I usually separate them in the baggie so that they don't stick together. Basically a one ingredient treat, then very easy to tell if they react to something what it is.
 
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