High Value Training Treats for Dogs
Your dog may love kibble but it does not make the best training treat
Motivation is ultimately the internal engine that gets your dog going, but you cannot have motivation without having a strong reward. If you want to makes this equation work for you during your dog's training session, you want to do some homework on what makes your dog eager to work for you. After all, as humans we should understand the concept very well; don't you feel more motivated to work for a well paying job, versus one that pays you minimum wage? The same applies to dogs.
Best Rewards to Use During Dog Training
One of the most common scenarios in dog training are dog owners that claim ''my dog is really not much food oriented''. As you attempt to investigate the motives behind a dog being so skittish, you quickly find out why when the owner starts working the dog and grasps some kibble out of the pocket to reward the dog. Dogs do not want kibble as rewards (at least most of them). They are used to see kibble every day and if they are trained in a new place with distractions around they will most likely turn their nose away almost in disgust.
What you need in this case, are high value rewards, foods that your dog craves and that are worth more than anything that may be distracting him, squirrels and the neighbor's cat included. Once introduced to these high value foods, dogs with a reputation of being ''finicky'' start sniffing as if life came back to being wonderful and they start drooling buckets of saliva. But what are exactly high value treats? Dogs may know this too well, but owners must too.
• Freeze Dried Liver
Most dogs cannot resist the smell of freeze dried liver and this is why most trainers ensure they have a pack of it on hand. Liver is in a dog eye's something irresistible that will change a dog's attitude over training almost over night. Finicky dogs come back to life and start drooling as soon as they acknowledge a piece and they start looking forward for their next training session with new enthusiasm.
• Green Beef Tripe
Some dog owners claim that their dogs completely change at the sight and smell of Green Beef Tripe treats. Not many have heard about these treats but they are certainly worth a try. If you are fortunate enough to find a store that stocks these and you want a motivated dog, these treats will certainly gain lots of attention. Owner beware; tripe treats are one of the stinkiest foods you may ever deal with.
• Hot Dogs
Hot dogs make good training treats since they can be cut up in small pieces and they are soft to eat without making a mess. Most dogs like hot dogs and look forward to training when they discover their existence. Hot dogs are also on the cheap side and convenient since you can get many pieces out of a pack of four that cost less than one dollar.
• Left Over Chicken or Steak
You may have noticed how your dog sniffs the air when your are cooking roasted chicken or steak. Well, try offering them to him during your next training session and see if it makes a difference. Most likely your dog will be drooling eager to eat some of that juicy meat. The main issue though is that they may be messy to carry.
Most dogs find the taste of cheese irresistible and therefore would do anything for it. One of the favorites is string cheese since strings can be peeled off easily and the dog will ''heel'' just to grab on one side. Dogs may develop different tastes for different cheeses, some may like Cheddar, some may prefer mozzarella, other may like Brie. Best to not indulge too much though to prevent flatulence and an upset stomach.
Of course, just like people, dogs may develop different tastes. There are some dogs that would do back flips for a piece of carrot or frozen peas. Some dogs love Cheerios while others may like a specific brand of dog treats. Often, mixing a variety of tasty treats will create great interest in a dog since he will not know what may come next. Experiment and see what works best for your dog. Chances are if you notice his ears are pricked up high, his eyes are wide open and he is ready to listen to your command shivering in anticipation, you got the right type of treat!