Poodle Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What treats do you recommend to use for training for a puppy? Also, what treats do you recommend for an adult dog?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,105 Posts
Simple is best, especially until you rule out any food intolerances or allergies.

You want small (about the size of a kernel of corn), soft, and easy to grab.

You can do a big batch of plain chicken breasts, chop them into tiny pieces, freeze on a cookie sheet, and then store in a freezer bag.

String cheese is also a good one, but careful not to overdo it.

For situations that call for extremely high value (really just vet visits at this point) I may microwave a turkey dog or half a piece of bacon, soak up all the grease, and then chop into small pieces.

For training with no distractions (e.g. evening sessions in the living room) I use a kibble that's difference from her usual brand: Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters. She loves it, but it wouldn't be suitable for training classes. Not only would it not be rewarding enough, she'd probably choke on it.

It's rare that I give dog-specific treats. The ingredients are usually so gross and they tend to cause digestive issues. But Peggy does like Top Chews chicken pot pies or chicken & apple sausage. They're nice because you can tuck one or two in your pocket and just break off tiny pieces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,571 Posts
I use my dog food for most training at home.

Outside the house in class or in the park etc, more distracting areas I use cut up turkey breast, lean hamburger etc. I used to buy all kinds of treats but my dog has food allergies so it became more difficult to find good choices.

As PTP mentioned make treats small, soft, easy to eat.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,861 Posts
I make my own, using one of those silicone dimple fat draining mats. Chicken, egg, water the chicken was cooked in, and enough flour to make a runny batter. Baked in a low oven until very dry they last for ages (or would, if they didn't get eaten so quickly!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,830 Posts
We had pretty good success with Redbarn dog food rolls.There are probably healthier brands out there, but the roll shape made it was easy to dice it up. I would freeze the extra in small baggies. I liked that you had your choice of several proteins. The sugar content was not a favorite for me, but it really did work for a high value treat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Agree with PTP and Skylar. For a puppy, most of their regular kibble should come from you, to encourage bonding, and can be used as treats throughout the day. For special situations (and there are so many as training advances!), I use mostly real meat/products, but not too much. Latest favorites are dehydrated liverwurst, dehydrated tilapia fillets, leftover steak, leftover turkey :), and some commercially dehydrated treats. This week I introduced chicken gizzards, recommended by an instructor--they were a hit. My beagle girl only does her weaves if the payoff is high. Treats that I use in small amounts: hot dogs, bacon, snack sticks, canned cheese.

I used mostly kibble throughout the day for puppy games. I used a 'special' treat to reward pottying outside, along with a celebration playtime. I also used peanut butter for special situations, to acclimate my puppy to the crate in the car, and to lure/distract into the bath tub by spreading on the tile wall.

I also used kibble for puppy Kongs, softening the kibble with water and plugging the ends with a little canned food before freezing.

FJM, thanks for mentioning the dimple sheets. That's on my list to purchase and will provide endless options for home made treats that are easy to carry. My training partner uses salmon! The store-bought version of these treats is low value, but home-made would be very high value with real meat as the basis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I use either his regular kibbles or a "treat kibble" (ZiwiPeak) at home and that's usually enough as a reward to review behaviors with. I usually take out about 0.5 cups from his meals for training. On walks, chopped chicken breasts seem to work best. Lately, because the temperature has dropped and I struggle with frozen fingers, I made a squeezable food tube of pureed chicken mixed with some wet dog food - It's working well so far!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I make a trail mix of dehydrated beef liver bits (I think they are Crumps), her regular puppy kibble, and sometimers a sprinkling of some bits of cheese or hotdog. My puppy loves her kibble anyway, but the liver coats it and makes it a little more exciting, while the kibble helps to stretch the expensive liver treats longer. If I cut up a bit of hot dog or cheese in there it adds a little saltiness and moisture and an extra surprise to the treat mix - this is what I do for puppy class to make it a little higher value. I haven't had the chance to make homemade treats so this has been a good compromise.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,790 Posts
As others have said for puppies use a portion out of their daily kibble. Puppies are not used to much else and will be happy for 3-5 bits of kibble doled out in quick succession. Wow look what I got for sitting! Lily will still work for kibble.

At any stage in life if you end up feeding lots of bites of cheese or hot dogs (even chicken) you are giving them more calories than you intend very often so always be mindful about over treating. Reserve things like plain chicken, cheese and other items for very excellent executions of life saving orders like recalls. Remember that training rewards should be faded as quickly as possible by putting the giving of food rewards on a variable schedule (either variable interval (for sits, downs and such) or variable duration (for stays)). As you train and your puppy grows his bond with you he will come to appreciate a break for a nice bit of petting or a bit of play as much or even more than food.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eeeeeek and Oonapup

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Remember that training rewards should be faded as quickly as possible by putting the giving of food rewards on a variable schedule (either variable interval (for sits, downs and such) or variable duration (for stays)). As you train and your puppy grows his bond with you he will come to appreciate a break for a nice bit of petting or a bit of play as much or even more than food.
Ooh, I would like to learn about how and when to fade treats since our puppy class is ending and she has mentioned that we need to fade, but not given any specific guidance :/. I have started to do it sort of as you describe but I want to make sure I've got it right. Maybe I'll post a new thread!
 

·
Registered
Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
Joined
·
243 Posts
I get a locally made dehydrated chicken with one ingredient, chicken. It comes in a crunchy disk that I break up into smaller pieces. For really special treats, beef liver. But it's rare, for new/hard stuff.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,790 Posts
Ooh, I would like to learn about how and when to fade treats since our puppy class is ending and she has mentioned that we need to fade, but not given any specific guidance :/. I have started to do it sort of as you describe but I want to make sure I've got it right. Maybe I'll post a new thread!
The idea is to make the dog always hopeful for the treat but not always given the treat. You need verbal markers (or a clicker perhaps) to make it clear what will happen. No or uh oh obviously means that was not correct (and we will try again, clearly no food reward). Good means I liked that but let's keep working and yes means that was excellent, here's a treat. You will gradually use fewer yesses and reserve them for excellent executions like super fast sits. If the dog thinks about sitting for a second before doing it that gets a good and no treat. As you go along keep the rate of yesses variable for just the best performances. The schedule can be something like sit, sit sit, treat, sit, treat, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, treat with a gradual increase in the number of repeats before a treat comes. End on a successful and happy execution and some play. Remember to throw in good for nice but not the most awesome behaviors. Remember also to throw in short rounds of petting or play as alternate reinforcements of good executions. I think there are good descriptions of reinforcement schedules on Ian Dunbar's site and in his books.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cowpony and Oonapup

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Like others, I use kibble and meal time for at home training. Ziggy seems to get an upset stomach pretty easily so I need to avoid poultry and store bought treats with lots of additives. I just started using unsalted, plain peanuts broken in half for our walks when I need him to focus on me. He loves them, they are cheap, I know exactly what is in them, and one of the few high value things that doesn't upset his stomach.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Pogo got the runs with dried liver, but he was fine with glycerin treats like Zukes. Galen seems sensitive to glycerin, but he's fine with liver. Go figure.

I keep a variety of different flavors in my treat pocket. I find Galen is more interested and works a little harder when he's curious about what the next treat flavor will be. Right now the assortment is dog food kibble (a flavor Galen doesn't normally get in his bowl, so it's novel,) some dried liver, some Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Crunch pieces, and a couple of dried Baltic sprat. I save the sprat as a reward for when he does something really special.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,571 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,105 Posts
Lately, because the temperature has dropped and I struggle with frozen fingers, I made a squeezable food tube of pureed chicken mixed with some wet dog food - It's working well so far!
Thanks for this! The picture of the dog enjoying his squeeze tube is so cute. I think Peggy would enjoy the novelty, and it's such a great idea for keeping hands clean (and warm!) on walks.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top