Not all treats are created equal. Find out which ones to use here!
News Alert! Dogs love food and treats! It’s so simple yet so important that you can and should use treats when teaching your dog anything new.
But how do you pick which treats to use?? You first have to understand what kinds of treats are out there. Treats can be broken intolevels:
The “value” of a treat is determined by how much your dog likes them. The following factors can make a treat more or less interesting:
This one is obvious! Cheese, meat, bacon, peanut butter, and fish flavors are the best!
Dogs like treats that are softer and more wet. Dry and crumbly treats is not as tasty.
The same treats can get boring, so change up high-value treats often!
When training in your house, it’s a good idea to use your dogs kibbles as treats. Low value treats like the ones below will also be a good option for times when there are not many distractions around. This is important for not spoiling your dog, and for having options left when training something very difficult.
Medium value treats are the typical treats you buys at the pet store. These treats are usually smelly and have some fillers, but are good for normal training if your dog is tired of kibbles. As a general rule, try not to use too much of these treats as they may be too much for your dogs stomach and cause diarrhea!
Here are some examples of treats that most dogs would consider “High Value” treats. These are often made from real meats and are super stinky and tasty. Only use these when you really need to, like when you’re working around a lot of distractions or on overcoming fears.
For some dogs, food is never as good as play! Test out with your dog and see if they like playing with a tug rope or chasing a tennis ball more than food. Treats may be easier to use for most training, but having a super high value toy to play with may give you the extra help you need for something really tough! A good toy for this should be easy to use in a small space.
Try to keep treats to less than 10-20% of their food for the day. This is because treats will tend to have more fat and may upset their stomachs. This is why kibbles make good treats inside the house. Also aim for treats that are high-protein and made from meat as much as you can.