So I went to my first people orientation training class on Saturday. No dogs at this first group class. Boomer (8mo) and I (1st time owner) will go next week to start his 'family dog' class.
The trainer gave everyone a list of things to bring and one was "plenty of soft dog treats in three verities/flavors".
Up to now I have been boiling chicken thighs and cutting them into small pieces for training. Boomer loves it, they are small and also low in calories. However, the only issue is that they are greasy. At home I don't mind and just wash my hands when we are done.
I have treat bag for class. I cant really see dumping slimy/greasy chicken into it and then trying to clean it afterwards. Also having to wipe my hands the whole time at our class seems annoying.
I've looked at some some treats in Walmart in the past and saw they are usually tiny little bags of soft treats for like $5. We would blow through that in 15 mins and it would probably be way more then his meal calories allow even if I substitute the whole thing out.
Any recommendations (w/ links) for bulk low calories small soft treats?
There will be six classes and I am sure we're gonna need a lot.
surprised your trainer wants to use treats, but........you could buy cheese sticks in the grocery and cut into pieces.
Cheese sticks sound like a good idea. I thought 'cheese' but then I was thinking that it could be slimy too, but those sticks never seem to get that way.
Also, the trainer said we start with treats and then switch over to praise in time. Still a reward. She also uses correction, leash pops, prong/choke collars when needed. She mentioned during orientation that each dog gets assessed individually and the appropriate equipment and training method is applied where, when and if needed. Her style seems to be very dynamic.
...but what do I know?
I buy the string cheese at Costco for most training here. Also used dried / flavored apple treats (a friend in my fruit industry is involved in the development of a product line), and some of the Zuke type treats. I used to use hot dog slices but unless you nuke them, they too are slimy and I figure not as healthy for the dogs anyhow.
Stick w/ something soft and chewy, that you can break into small pieces.
I'm personally glad to see the trainer suggesting treats. It's the fastest way to teach Labs imo. Yes, you wean them off once they learn the concepts (and yes, I do use corrections at that point after they've solidly learned the concept), but I still use treats here in all of my competition obedience/ rally training. In field work, the dog has the bird for their reward. Regardless, they need some kind of "paycheck" at the end for working, and praise of course can work fine for the everyday recalls, etc too. It just depends on how far you want to go in your training. Anymore, I start mine right off as puppies in Rally Obedience and would highly recommend that to be your next step w/ your 8mos old (I've raised about 15 now, so the family dog training starts as soon as possible here).
Good luck and have fun! Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014