The value of the treats that you use when you are training your puppy or dog should be high.
Treats are meant to be used as a motivator. A form of payment for your puppy or dog.
If we compare the training treats that we use as a monetary wage for our dog this gives us a clearer understanding of the value of the treat. I would value kibble and processed treats at being equivalent to 1 penny and the cooked or dehydrated meat and fish treats would be equivalent to a £20 note.
I have listed below the types of treats that I often see being used in classes and they have been listed from the lowest value to the highest value.
- Kibble (your dogs dry food, very low value.)
- Dried biscuit like treats eg Coachies, Pedigree Treats – contain no meat and are formed with animal derivatives, very low value treat and also not great for your dog as they are very processed)
- Homemade training treats using meat or fish, eggs and flour (a cheaper alternative to just using meat. A recipe will make hundreds of tiny treats that can be frozen)
- Dehydrated meat or fish treats
- Cooked meat or fish (if cooked with a small amount of garlic treats will be higher value)
- Pet pate – there are various brands of pet pate on the market. These are very versatile and can be used as training treats, Kong fillers or for Lickimats
Treats are a payment for our dogs. We often use them to lure and shape a behaviour. If the treat is low value the puppy or dog will be less interested.
If you are working at home with minimal distraction and in a familiar environment then sometimes their kibble will be enough of a reward.
When you are working in a training class or workshop the kibble or dried treat wont be high value enough and your puppy will lose interest.
Some puppies or dogs wont eat if they are stressed or anxious so bear this in mind when you are training them. Increase distance from what may be causing the anxiety or excitement. When pups are over-aroused this can cause anxiety. The paste treats may be better in these situations.
You can make some paste treats yourself and use refillable baby food pouches to dispense the paste during training. (Use some of the ideas from the Kong Filling document that you have access to in the members area).
Increase the value of your treat to motivate them and always have a variety especially for the fussy eaters or the pups that can be very distracted.
My dog treat recipe book can be purchased through my online shop or from the training centre. Recipe Book – Paws 4 Training