Training Treats

Written by Sarah Provost
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Training treats are essential to all kinds of training. They should be small, so you can give the animal many rewards without worrying about him getting filled up or putting on weight. They should be convenient to carry in a pocket and quick for the dog to eat, so as not to slow down the session. And they should be something your pet really likes!

Many trainers believe that the easiest, healthiest and least expensive training treats are real food, such as bits of chopped-up hot dogs, hamburger or bologna. Dogs love them, but they're a little greasy to carry in a pocket. There are also concerns about spoilage, especially if you're training a sporting dog and out in the hot sun all day.

Commercially Prepared Training Treats

Any commercially prepared treats will serve as training treats provided they meet the guidelines above. Chewy treats, for instance, are not appropriate, because they distract the dog from the training session for too long a time. Also, many dog biscuits are too big to be fed in any quantity, and will also take too long to eat. Breaking them up into smaller pieces solves both problems.

Both clicker training and sport training rely on the use of treats as a motivator. Don't forget that there are other kinds of treats beside food. A moment playing with a favorite toy, for instance, might interest your dog more than a dry old biscuit. And don't forget that whatever other treat you may use, your affection and approval are paramount.

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