I need better treats!!

I'm always encouraged to up my treat game. And I try, but I don't want to feed them junk, and I feel like I'm failing. I found freeze dried minnows (disgusting, but the dogs liked them) but of course when I went back to get more they didn't have any. Not to mention that they're 10 dollars an ounce. So I bought freeze dried salmon and freeze dried chicken hearts. The chicken hearts especially were a hit. But they're huge and they don't break or tear or cut so they're not really great training treats. The salmon is the same. I can cut it, but then it's all crumbly and no one loves running their dogs with crumbs left in the ring. I make my own treats and they like them, but they're not that exciting. Most of the commercial treats are okay, but nothing to do back flips over. They like a turkey hot dog, and string cheese. But the make my fingers gross. I bet you money that pupperoni would be the most amazing thing in the world. I just don't want to go there. I feel like I've tried all the healthy treats and there's nothing that makes them crazy. I see other people feeding their dogs meatballs and hot dogs (not the healthy ones.) Any other suggestions for treats that the dogs would do anything for? And maybe my dogs just aren't that food motivated. I feel like there is an advantage to a dog who gets really excited about a treat.

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  • I do think it is more about being food motivated than about the particular kind of treat. Jasper gets excited over any treat. Freeze dried liver is like crack to him, but he will do anything for just about any treat I offer, lol. 

    The freeze dried organ stuff is what you want. Lamb lung if you can find it. Otherwise, the liver, which you can break or cut. 

    • Some of that is hard to find. Maybe I need to make a chewy order. I've had some trainers who swear by Ziwi Peak dog food. They say it's like 96% meat. It's also 40 dollars for a 2 pound bag. I could feed that if I had a chihuahua. But by weight it's still a lot cheaper than the minnows. Maybe I should try it. 

      Willow would rather go visiting people than eat treats. She would be an amazing therapy dog except sometimes she jumps up to say hi. She just loves everyone and she loves a meet and greet.

  • Riley goes nuts over the freeze dried beef lung we bought her a while ago.  She was never a super treat motivated dog (or anything motivated really, she is a lazy bum lol) but she REALLY likes those.   She is more treat motivated than she used to be though.

    Toby I can tell already is way more treat motivated.  I call both dogs inside and he is beside me and sitting for his cookie before Riley is even halfway back.  

    • I wonder if Toby will make Riley a little more treat motivated. A little competition sometimes does that. 


      • Maybe!  Since she's reached adulthood she has been more treat motivated in general, she definitely gets jealous if Toby is being trained and she is not.  Riley doesn't say anything but she stares at us with this wounded look lol.

        It's tough with the treats because we're trying to figure out if Riley has a food allergy so she has to stay away from certain things (she can't have Toby's chicken PureBites right now as we're trying out pork/beef with her).  Toby is old enough now to have her treats though and they are on the same kibble, I just keep Toby's beloved chicken for when he's on the grooming table.

  • I don't do much in the way of treats so pretty much anything works- however that does not include fruit or veggies. 

    • I think part of my problem is that I do too many treats. I'm like a pez dispenser. It's never that special. There are always treats.

      • Yea, that's a problem. Why should they work for something they get for free? 

        • I've been corrected for that. I treat even when they do the exercise wrong. I know I need to get more selective in my rewarding. But I love them. It feels mean not to give them the treat.

          • Food does not equal love. And treating them when they do the exercise wrong is confusing, not loving, lol. The work you do training them is what is loving, it makes them safer and more secure in the world. Don't undermine that. :)

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