Treats, Treats, and more Treats!
Gabby Jimenez, B.A
Every dog training program starts with a good treat, and each dog has his own taste
preferences; some dogs are picky while others will scarf down most anything you offer. My
personal dog will eat pretty much anything, well except raw carrots and broccoli (Bruiser
declares veggies must be cooked before eating). Carson, who belongs to the owner of NBK9, loves ice cubes more than anything. Through our dog daycare and dog boarding I have met many picky dogs who turn their noses up at cheese and ham.
When trying to find which treats work for your dog there are a few things to consider.
Does your dog have any allergies or sensitivities? Do you prefer homemade or store bought? What environment are the treats for? If you have a dog with allergies and sensitivities you know that it can be difficult finding tasty treats that don’t make your dog itch or upset his tummy. The easiest way to ensure your sensitive pup can enjoy his treats are to check the ingredients in his dog food. If your dog is on a limited ingredient diet you can check the ingredient label and pick treats that only include those foods. If you think your dog might have a food allergy or sensitivity talk to your vet to see if switching foods or doing allergy testing may be necessary.
Do you love to bake? Great, the internet is full of dog friendly treat recipes calling your
name. Even if your dog does have sensitivities you can find a recipe that fits his needs or even create your own. I love to bake treats for all the dogs in my family around the holidays and pass them around as gifts, the best part is the dogs don’t care what they look like so long as they taste good! However, if you prefer to let others do the baking for you there are a variety of prepackaged treats to keep your dog happy. When looking for the perfect store bought treat try to ignore the flashy packaging and advertising and go straight to the ingredient listing. It is especially important to make sure the treats don’t have added sugar. Your dog doesn’t really need more energy does he?
The last consideration to make is what you will be using the treats for. If you are going to
be taking a dog training class it is a good idea to find a variety of high priority treats. Which treats are high priority depend on your dog, but usually meats are the most preferred option. Though your dog may love any and all treats at home we suggest keeping dry store bought treats and biscuits as rewards for less distracting environment. When the distraction level is high, a group dog training course for instance, we use a variety of higher priority treats such as hot dogs, pepperoni, string cheese, and ham. For some dogs who are picky we have even used smoked salmon and pork barbecue; these irresistible treats will help your dog to be more focused and successful in very distracting situations. When it comes to distractions you know what your dog struggles with the most, so if squirrels are his kryptonite make sure you are prepared with his number one reinforcer whether it be roast beef or a turkey meatball.
Remember the most important factor in picking out treats is finding what you and your
dog both love!
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