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Good Treats for Training Puppies and Adult Dogs

Good Treats for Training Puppies and Adult Dogs

The Canine Foodie’s Guide to Reward-Based Training

As a proud dog parent, I know the importance of finding the perfect treats to reward my furry companions during training sessions. After all, what’s the point of teaching a new trick if your pup isn’t as excited about the treat as you are about their performance?

Through years of trial and error (and a lot of happy dogs), I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best treats for training puppies and adult dogs. Whether you’re teaching the basics like “sit” and “stay,” or aiming for more advanced tricks, these tasty morsels are sure to keep your canine companion engaged and motivated.

Choosing the Right Treats

Bite-Sized Bliss

When it comes to training, smaller is better. The key is to find treats that your dog can quickly consume, allowing you to maintain a high rate of reinforcement throughout the session. Imagine trying to eat a full-size candy bar between each rep of your workout – you’d quickly lose interest and focus. The same principle applies to our four-legged friends.

According to the American Kennel Club, even for larger dogs, a pea-sized treat is more than enough to keep them motivated. And for our petite pups, you can go even tinier – just make sure the morsels are easy to pop in their mouths without any chewing required.

Soft and Smelly Sensations

Crunchy biscuits may be fine for the occasional reward, but when you’re in the thick of a training session, you’ll want to stick to soft, aromatic treats. The AKC explains that soft treats are easier and faster for your dog to eat, allowing you to maintain that all-important high rate of reinforcement.

And when it comes to scent, the stinkier, the better! Most of our canine companions have a hierarchy of rewards, and those pungent delicacies like cheese or bacon tend to rank at the top. Subtle kibble just won’t cut it when you’re competing with the distractions of the great outdoors.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Just like us humans, our four-legged friends can get bored with the same old routine. If you notice your pup’s enthusiasm starting to wane, try switching up the type of treat you’re using. The AKC recommends keeping a variety of high-value treats on hand, so your dog never knows what delicious morsel is coming next.

The Treat Hierarchy

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what makes a great training treat, let’s dive into the crème de la crème – the absolute best of the best when it comes to canine culinary delights.

According to a Redditor who knows a thing or two about reactive dogs, their pup’s favorites (in order of most coveted) are:

Treat Rank
Honey ham deli slices 1
Cheetos puffs (just licking the cheese dust) 2
Scrambled eggs 3
Skirt steak 4
Lamb and sweet potato wet food 5

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Cheetos and deli meat for my dog? Isn’t that a bit excessive?” And you’d be right to be cautious. As with any treat, moderation is key. The key is to use these ultra-high-value rewards sparingly, reserving them only for the most challenging training sessions or as an occasional special treat.

Boosting Nutrition

Of course, as much as our dogs love those indulgent, people-food treats, we’ll want to make sure we’re also providing them with nutritious options that support their overall health and wellbeing.

According to Quora, using your pup’s regular dry food as a training treat is generally safe, as long as you’re mindful of portions. The key is to adjust their regular mealtime servings to account for the extra calories they’re consuming during training sessions.

For an even healthier option, consider incorporating some of the nutritious treats mentioned by our Redditor friend, like dehydrated salmon, roasted pork, or frozen blueberries. These options provide all the flavor and excitement your pup craves, with an added boost of essential vitamins and minerals.

Mixing It Up

One final tip for keeping your training sessions exciting and engaging? Don’t be afraid to get creative with your treat options. The AKC recommends trying a variety of different treats, so your dog never knows what delicious morsel is coming next.

Whether you’re whipping up a batch of homemade jerky or raiding your own fridge for tasty tidbits, the key is to keep your canine companion on their paws (pun intended) and eager to earn those scrumptious rewards.

So there you have it, my fellow dog lovers – the ultimate guide to treat-based training success. Armed with this knowledge, you and your furry friend are sure to conquer any trick or command that comes your way. And who knows, maybe you’ll even discover a new favorite treat or two along the way!

If you’re looking for even more tips and resources to support your dog’s training and care, be sure to check out – your one-stop-shop for all things canine.

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