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Dog training treats

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  • Dog training treats

    Anyone have recommendations on dog training treats?
    I like to take some kind of treat to dog class to help my dog focus. A lot of people use hot dogs but that seems to give my dog bad gas. Something small works best, and I like to give stuff that is as high quality as possible. Prep time at home is okay, too. I'm just looking for ideas for a dog with a more sensitive stomach.

  • #2
    Boiled chicken, cut into small cubes? We're lazy here and buy the precooked pieces of chicken found with the deli meat at the grocery, and cut it into smaller cubes. We go for the low sodium, plainest sounding options.
    Bil jac makes tiny little liver treats in a purple bag, i forget the name however. They're small enough that we don't have to further break them apart.

    We will mix up the chicken, soft treats, and other lower value treats (but still desirable) in our treat baggies. The lower value treats are small flat cheezit type treats in a self serve bin at the pet store. We buy those because they're a good value and SO easy to break into half or quarters. Everything gets kinda marinated by the chicken scent, and we can mix it up during a training session. It seems to work well for us, even though every treat isn't 100% super crazy special. Then again, our dogs rarely get gratuitous treats during the day, so any extra snacky is a big deal!
    Last edited by bits619; Feb. 12, 2012, 05:06 PM. Reason: Addition

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bits619 View Post
      Boiled chicken, cut into small cubes? We're lazy here and buy the precooked pieces of chicken found with the deli meat at the grocery, and cut it into smaller cubes. We go for the low sodium, plainest sounding options.
      Bil jac makes tiny little liver treats in a purple bag, i forget the name however. They're small enough that we don't have to further break them apart.

      We will mix up the chicken, soft treats, and other lower value treats (but still desirable) in our treat baggies. The lower value treats are small flat cheezit type treats in a self serve bin at the pet store. We buy those because they're a good value and SO easy to break into half or quarters. Everything gets kinda marinated by the chicken scent, and we can mix it up during a training session. It seems to work well for us, even though every treat isn't 100% super crazy special. Then again, our dogs rarely get gratuitous treats during the day, so any extra snacky is a big deal!
      What she said.
      We also add little pieces of cheese stick, cut up in four strings and those cut into the smallest pieces that are still easy to handle, added to the mix.

      The cheese stick can also be carried in a pocket and little pieces given when necessary if you run out of others and are not quite thru.

      In agility training, we use targets and put those little pieces on the target, generally a small plastic lid.

      With bigger dogs, it is much easier to use most anything for treats.
      With shrimpy dogs, you have to be careful, or they get blimpy easily from too many.

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      • #4
        All of my dogs go mad for sliced carrot. I cut it into sticks and dry them. You could cut it into small cubes for easy treating.
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        • #5
          I use this stuff, cut into cubes: http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dog...s/DFRolls.html

          It's also what two trainers at two different facilities have used. Holds together well and the dogs dig it.

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          • #6
            Whatever you use, is better if it is something small that won't disturb the training by the dog then concentrating on eating the treat.
            Make it little and easy to go down.

            As training progresses, you fade out the treats to fewer and after more and more behaviors have occurred, so it takes less.

            Some dogs get where they want to work so badly they really don't care for the treats and you can then use them to slow them down a bit, so they don't become anxious or anticipate.

            There is an art to using treats correctly and you will find what works best for each dog.

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            • #7
              I like to use dry cat food. Its small, smells awesome for dogs leaves a stink on your hands so you can trick them too.!! They fit in your pocket easy and if you have cats, all the better, just grab a hand full and out the door you go.

              Cat food is higher in fat so it is really yummy for dogs.
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              • #8
                I buy frozen meatballs, I prefer the turkey kind (not as greasy as the beef/pork ones) I take 5 out to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then get a sharp knife and cut them up into pea sz bits (about 12-18 pieces per ball) and place in a bait/treat bag.

                My agility instructor just uses a whole beef meatball. She holds the entire ball in her hand and tears off little pea sz chunks as needed. My dog becomes a shark with this method so I do the precut method.

                Or I use chicken breasts, grilled (Holland grill cooks them in about 15 min) then chilled in the fridge. Once cold they are easy to cut into pea sized amounts.

                If last nights dinner was burger, meatloaf, grilled steak (and no one has eaten the left over the next day) they also get cut into tiny pieces and used as training treats.

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                • #9
                  Our trainer gave us some awesome "deli pet loaf" or something like it. You can get it lamb and beef varieties and maybe something else. It's like a drier liverwurst type consistency, so it's easy to break into little pieces in your treat bag, and it's easy for the dogs to eat. Plus, it smells just delicious (to a dog at least), and our girl will do almost anything for it.

                  I also really like dehydrated lung (beef, lamb, whatever your dog can tolerate). It easily breaks into little pieces without flaking or crumbling, so your treat pouch isn't a gross mess when you're done.

                  If you want to put something in your mouth for certain maneuvers, chicken of some sort you make yourself is definitely the way to go, haha. I don't mind hot dogs either, though they are not as healthy as and low cal as chicken. My dog considers them higher value though as they pack a lot more punch in both smell and taste.

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                  • #10
                    We used Biljac Liver treats. Kinda crumbly, but this can work to your advantage. We'd take one kibble-sized treat and break it into FOUR pieces and that was enough to motivate our dog.
                    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                    Phoenix Animal Rescue

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kateh View Post
                      We used Biljac Liver treats. Kinda crumbly, but this can work to your advantage. We'd take one kibble-sized treat and break it into FOUR pieces and that was enough to motivate our dog.
                      Bil Jac liver treats contain high fructose corn syrup. Not my favorite ingredient for a dog treat. Now my dog loves them, but I tossed the box when I read the ingredient list.

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                      • #12
                        Dried liver works really. Very high in protein, so not good if you have a kidney concern. But usually there is just one ingredient (liver) and its low in calories.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NRB View Post
                          Bil Jac liver treats contain high fructose corn syrup. Not my favorite ingredient for a dog treat. Now my dog loves them, but I tossed the box when I read the ingredient list.
                          Biljac is great as part of treat mixes, elevates the less preferred kinds to great.

                          The poster that mentioned cat food, the old Friskies little star shaped cat food was crack to our cats and double crack for dogs.
                          That was also good to add to the mix.

                          Many trainers use regular dog food in the mix and the training time is considered one meal, the food itself mixed with a few really good treats as mentioned.

                          Worked fine for bigger dogs, the small ones, not so much, as they take longer to eat the for them larger pieces.
                          We tried to break the regular dog food into smaller pieces with pliers, so it could be used for a quick treat, but that was messy and time consuming.

                          What using treats in training did for us is teach us and our dogs a level of attention we didn't have previously with EVERY dog, as we get using treats, to the point that for most dogs, you create such an awareness of working with you, some dogs are not even put on leash until later in the training.

                          Very interesting to see how you can shape behaviour in so many ways we learned while learning to use treats correctly and how, with treats used at the right time and then phased out to rare instances and jackpots, the training is made so much easier.

                          It is a bit harder to start beginners in training, the humans, as they have to learn a higher level of awareness of others most are not used to.
                          Easier to teach to move a dog around on a leash than to shape that movement using treats right.
                          As with all learning, once you catch on, the world is your oyster, as you can use what you learn and practice there then for all other situations in your life.

                          I wonder how many husbands and kids are later trained with those same principles learned in dog classes?

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                          • #14
                            Ive used string cheese, billjac treats, and cut up deli chicken.

                            I have friends who swear by the meatball method mentioned.

                            We have a special, high value treat we use on certain occassions..we call it Doggie crack. its a mixture of liverwurst,egg, cheese and salmon..baked in a pan. the dogs go crazy for it...

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                            • #15
                              have you seen those bags of pre-cooked crumbled sausage in the deli section? those work pretty well. Tiny, soft, motivational, no prep time.

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                              • #16
                                We got a bag of a grain-free, high organ meat kibble that we use as treats. It's $$$$ as a food, but pretty cheap, as far as packaged treats go, when used as a treat
                                ______________________________
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                                • #17
                                  I use the yogurt treats or the charlie bear treats.
                                  "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                                  "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                                  Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

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                                  • #18
                                    If you can get them, chicken hearts make for good bait, too - buy them raw, cut them down to what ever size works best for you and your dog and bake/roast them. Dogs ADORE them.

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                                    • #19
                                      I normally use both the Charlee Bears or those Bil Jac treats, but last week's Rally class left alot to be desired in the attention dept. I happened to be at the grocery store today and decided to check out the meat dept to see if they had any reduced meats I could use. I picked up a cube steak for a whopping $3, so I plan to put that in my arsenal for training class this week Our best week of class was the week I took prime rib
                                      Cindy

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