Training Treats

Discussion of useful training and pet care tools.

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Training Treats

Post by whalerider23 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:36 pm

Hey I just wanted to know what kind of training treats people like to use with their dogs? Or more importantly how to cook them? I've read in Victoria's book that she recommends poultry, beef, liver and cheese. My dogs love cheese and that's what I use all the time when training them, but I want my dogs to have a variety of treats to make their training sessions more interesting. I've asked Victoria herself what she uses on her show and she said she uses the food that is prepackaged at the grocery store. I've asked other people too and that's what they've said too. Are there any brands out there that people recommend that is cooked properly and not covered in spices and herbs? Also how do you cook liver? What kind of meat can be used as training treats? I've seen on the show that she has used pepperoni, tripe and hot dog? She also said to make the treat more appetizing, you should heat it up so the scent molecules are released which entices the dog even more. I'm not a cook by any stretch of the imagination so I wouldn't know how to cook it properly. Any thoughts?

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Post by Meg4809 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:57 pm

I'm in the USA, and so far I've been using cheap hot dogs with Isaiah. I just use raw out of the refrigerator, and they have a strong enough scent that she gets the idea. So far, I've used them to have her come to me, and now I'm teaching her "follow" in preparation to eventual lead training. I am about to switch to a proper doggie treat, I think its called Bac'n Strips or something like Bacon or Begging strips, they sell at the grocery.

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Post by Leigha » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:57 pm

I use Pupperoni that I cut into small pieces so I can have a bunch of treats readily accessible in my little pouch. PetSmart also has a brand of treats (can't remember the name) that comes in small little circles that I've used before too--they're just slightly pricey.

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Post by maximoo » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:09 pm

I used to use puparoni but the ingredients weren't to my liking--meat-by-products! YUK! :x I now get Nutro sticks--they look/smell like puparoni but have much better ingredients (IMHO) I also like all natural dog biscuits by Old Mother Hubbard. Three Dog Bakery makes natural treats too. (Now sold at Wal-Mart) I break up everything into tiny pieces to control calories & make it last longer.
Whenever I buy a bacon cheeeseburger I request the bacon on the side & bring it home for Max. And when I buy a sandwich at Subway I get the cheese on the side for Max too (& a cucumber slice for the hamster :D )
Gotta make it stretch, right? :lol:

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Post by Noobs » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:55 am

I use chicken hotdogs and Murphy loves them. I keep them in the freezer to prevent spoiling because it takes forever to use them all. When I'm ready to use one I pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and slice the bejeezus out of it. Cut it lengthwise in 4 strips, then cut each strip twice so you have three thin strips, THEN cut each of those into tiny pieces, one hotdog can give you well over 200 pieces of treats. It takes days for Murphy to finish one hotdog, and we use them for training sessions as well as walks. It's cheap and smelly to keep the dog's attention and you get the most bang for your buck.

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Post by Marley » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:42 am

I use organic hotdogs without any sulfates or nitrates. They have a pretty strong scent and my dog is crazy about them. We ONLY use them for training, which keeps them exciting.

I've tried cheap hotdogs but they kind of grossed me out and I didn't want to touch them. She also tended to reject some brands.

In the car I keep a small bag of Zukes training treats for on the go training.

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Post by mselisabs » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:07 am

We use "cheap" turkey hot dogs too - a dollar for a whole package. At first I was a bit put off by the rubbery-ness but if the meat is human-grade (even barely) probably better then the meat in dog food... it's also a lot easier to cut into little bits. Olive goes crazy for them, offering me all sorts of fun tricks to get a piece before I even grab the clicker! I try to mix it up with a little cheese or chicken every now and again, but she's pretty food motivated so I don't have to get very creative :)

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Re: Training Treats

Post by Jojo » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:18 am

I usually have a variety of treats for different purposes. Our dog has inter-dog aggression so we save the really high value treats for when she's calm around other dogs. I like using zuke's mini's for general training as they are low in calories (2kcal each). Cloudstar also have apple slice treats that I like to tear into little pieces. For high value treats, we boil some chicken breast in water for a few minutes until the middle is no longer pink and cut it into tiny pieces. I am definitely going to try some of these hot dog suggestions! I read somewhere that you can soak them in water for a few hours to draw out some of the sodium. My dog has some skin problems so we are avoiding grain based treats right now. Some of the grocery brands gave her runny stools - some brands aren't really supposed to be fed in too high quantities so you have to be careful. Treats you can tear into tiny pieces are going to be more practical. Sometimes I can get away with training with diced fresh apple or carrots leftover from cooking. It really depends on how picky your dog is! And no grapes/raisins/chocolate!

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Re: Training Treats

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:50 am

Jojo, check the ingredients of hotdogs before using them if you're avoiding grains. All the ones I've checked have either wheat or cereals on the ingredients list, I can't use them with Rupert for that reason.

I use regular kibble for a lot of training at home. Rupe's not a good eater and stops eating his meals if he's had a load of training treats. For out of the home I use home made peanut butter cookies. It's much easier to avoid wheat (which is what Rupe has problems with) when making my own treats. I also buy freeze dried chicken treats from Pets at Home.

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Re: Training Treats

Post by ***Melissa*** » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:27 am

My doggies enjoy dried liver treats which is very easy to make yourself (and you can cut it really tiny pieces).
I just don't give it to them every day, bc of the high iron content.
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~Ben Williams

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Re: Training Treats

Post by Noobs » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:23 am

Another thing that I believe Victoria has said she used in the past are Natural Balance food rolls. ... Rolls.html

You can cut them into tiny pieces, and they're not slimy like hotdogs.

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Re: Training Treats

Post by dodge-white boxer » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:13 pm

Nobody told you how to cook liver yet-you can just boil it,well simmer once it boiled,for about 15 min or so,cut into treat size pieces,mix some cut up garlic in with the pieces,put into oven on 140* for half or so ( untill dryer in texture) and voila! You can freeze them and take out as many as you need on the day you want them,xxx hope that helped :D :D

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Re: Training Treats

Post by Horace's Mum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:16 pm

Fish bread - bung a couple of tins of fish in oil or tomato sauce in a bowl, mush up well with a fork, add an egg or 2 and a drop of water or oil, maybe some garlic powder, then mix in with plain flour until you have a dough. Squash it down into a flat tin, bake it until it is firm, let it cool a little then chop into tiny pieces. This is almost dry, but if you want it to be really dry then I would chop it before it is totally firm, chop it up then, and put it back in the tin on a low heat and dry the pieces out slowly, giving them a shake every so often to break them up and dry them evenly. They are clean enough to handle (although they do stink) but they will leave an oily mark on clothing if you put them in a pocket. And you can make them as big or as small as you like.

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Re: Training Treats

Post by Wes » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:47 pm

Natural Balance food rolls are good, and I've had dogs using frozen meatballs, string cheese, and even rotisserie chicken in my puppy classes. I was rather jealous of the Lhasa with the chicken - the rotisserie smelled so good! :lol:

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Re: Training Treats

Post by jacksdad » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:56 pm

I used to use store bought dog treats, and have since switched to real food. chicken and all natural hot dogs. I have just started using natural balance cut into small chunks for variety.

remember your dog chooses the reward. My dog may LOVE x "treat", but yours may turn it's nose up at what my dog loves. try different treats, figure out what you can use for low distraction training, and what you need to high distraction.

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