Molly and I are all signed up So far I'm the youngest human in the class (had a feeling that would happen)
We start on Mon. April 10th at 6:15pm I'm so excited!!!
I'm required to bring small treats but I don't want to completely rely on treats. Any suggestions on a good small treat to bring? Would carrots work? Oh or maybe I'll just use kibble (duh me) I'll be sure to keep everyone updated
~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)
I think most trainers use soft treats, so carrots are not such a good idea. You want your dog to chew the treat fast, and soft treats are perfect for that.
I know some people use kibble. I personally don't like to use kibble because it's what the dogs get for breakfast/dinner anyway. Kind of boring, IMO.
Scotty loves string cheese as a treat. I cut it into little circles. They are easy to chew for him and don't leave my hands greasy (like hot dogs, for example). Also, if you ever do the spit-the-treat-out-of-your-mouth thing, string cheese is great (does not leave aftertaste or grease).
Some of the other treats that Scotty likes are Pupperoni and Gooberlicious. Both available at Petsmart. His favorite treat actually is the sausage looking thingy from Petsmart. I think it's just called "Dog Food" (how creative). In our Petsmart, it's on the same shelf as the cow hooves and pig ears.
There are also different approaches to treats and training. I particularly like the lure --> reward every time --> reward randomly approach. I think "Don't Shoot the Dog" (a book) talks about that approach. But see what your trainer has to say about that.
Chicken weiners cut up into quarters and then sliced into bite sized morsels. Large enough so that they think they are getting a treat but small enough that they don't have to take time to chew. They are cheap too. You can get a package for .99 cents and they make up about 6 or 7 bags.
Our trainer suggests them for every dog and boy do they work. Petey enjoyed the treat so much we had to stop using them because he over performed. :
Cheerios is another good thing to use as a treat.
Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
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I usually made up a grab bag of treats - some cheerios, some kibble, some cheese, some rollover (stinky cow innards-dog treat). That way you keep the dog guessing, and you have some super treats for really good performances. Don't worry about over using the treats initially - if you have to use them to get through the first couple of classes with your dog paying attention to you, you're ahead of the game.
Where treats become a crutch is when the dog KNOWS the command, but won't respond until it sees a treat. Then, you're bribing him, not rewarding him.