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Does anybody here use treats for training? What do you recommend? I recently bought some Merrick Power Bites (real chicken flavor) which are very small, star-shaped treats that I think would be good training. When it comes to training, do you mix treats with actual kibble? I don't know if any of you are familiar with Stonnie Davis on Youtube, but I've been watching his videos (I love them!) and he seems to hand out A LOT of treats during training sessions.

And I have a question about puppy food - do you feed your pup kibble or wet food or both?
 

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If you mean Stonnie Dennis, I am familiar with him and am not a fan for a variety of reasons.

But back to your main point, yes I do use treats in training. My treats at home are generally just my dogs' meals, as well as toys. In more distracting environments, I up the ante to include real meat and cheese.

As far as how many treats I give out, well that really depends on the behaviour. If it is a brand new shaping exercise, then the treats certainly seem to flow like water! Behaviours that are well under-control get very few treats, and more life rewards like getting to go play, or chucking a ball.

I feed purely kibble (although hoping to transition back to raw in the not so distant future).
 

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Does anybody here use treats for training? What do you recommend? I recently bought some Merrick Power Bites (real chicken flavor) which are very small, star-shaped treats that I think would be good training. When it comes to training, do you mix treats with actual kibble? I don't know if any of you are familiar with Stonnie Davis on Youtube, but I've been watching his videos (I love them!) and he seems to hand out A LOT of treats during training sessions.

And I have a question about puppy food - do you feed your pup kibble or wet food or both?
I think you'll find that almost everyone here uses treats for training :)

I use Zukes training treats typically. I'll also use cheese or hot dogs, cut into small bites. I don't mix with kibble because kibble doesn't have a high enough value for her.

Depending on what we're working on, I use a lot of treats! If we're in CGC class, by the end, she'll take the treat but put it on the floor. Haha.

I have always fed her kibble- Wellness CORE. I also feed The Honest Kitchen periodically to keep her system used to it because that's what I bring camping/hiking/backpacking.
 

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Does anybody here use treats for training? What do you recommend? I recently bought some Merrick Power Bites (real chicken flavor) which are very small, star-shaped treats that I think would be good training. When it comes to training, do you mix treats with actual kibble? I don't know if any of you are familiar with Stonnie Davis on Youtube, but I've been watching his videos (I love them!) and he seems to hand out A LOT of treats during training sessions.

And I have a question about puppy food - do you feed your pup kibble or wet food or both?
Hey there,

When I started training my puppy, I used dehydrated meat. It's real meat and could be compared to what the Honest Kitchen offers, except in convenient small treat portions. I bought them at PetSmart (in Canada) and they were reasonably priced given they weren't filled with junk! I think its nice to give something different than their usual meal because, well... its a treat :)

In my opinion, it is good to give your pup a treat for training purposes but I realized my dog was becoming dependent on the treat because I was giving her one every time she did a trick (meaning she would only want to do the trick if she knew she would get a treat) so I started, to give her treats every couple times she would do a trick and now she realizes she may or may not get one but she does the trick now just for praise! PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! I find praise is even helpful when training them to go outside. I NEVER hit my dog when she had an accident and it has proven to be successful. If you hit a dog, they are more likely to hide and go (inside) and become sneaky because they fear getting in trouble - and too I think its mean! I never hit my dog, just would pick her up and run her outside every time she would squat and she learned quick. When she went outside I would praise her and give her a treat here and there. She picked up super quick!

As for the puppy food question, I fed my dog Bella Blue Buffalo Wilderness since she was a puppy up until about 6 months ago when I realized she developed an allergy. I've come to realize through this forum that Blue Buffalo is not a high quality food, unlike what they say. Although I am getting off track of your initial question, I wanted to throw that out there!! :) From what I understand dogs don't really develop allergy symptoms until after 2, (my dog was 2 1/2). So just keep an eye out! The food I just recently switched to is Natural Balance limited ingredient and she seems to like it!

But back to your question, I mainly fed my dog kibble but on occasion would either mix the same brand of wet food in with kibble and for a BIG treat, just gave her wet food, no kibble. You have to make sure that when you mix food it is ok for your dog - If you decide on one brand, its safest I find to keep the wet food the same brand as the dog food to ensure your dog doesn't get sick! If you switch them cold turkey to another brand its more than likely going to make your dog sick! :)

Hope this helps!
Kerri
 
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If you mean Stonnie Dennis, I am familiar with him and am not a fan for a variety of reasons.
Er, yes, that's who I meant!

But back to your main point, yes I do use treats in training. My treats at home are generally just my dogs' meals, as well as toys. In more distracting environments, I up the ante to include real meat and cheese.

As far as how many treats I give out, well that really depends on the behaviour. If it is a brand new shaping exercise, then the treats certainly seem to flow like water! Behaviours that are well under-control get very few treats, and more life rewards like getting to go play, or chucking a ball.

I feed purely kibble (although hoping to transition back to raw in the not so distant future).
Thanks! So if you're handing out a lot of treats, do you adjust the amount of kibble you feed your pup or do you keep it the same?
 

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Hey there,

When I started training my puppy, I used dehydrated meat. It's real meat and could be compared to what the Honest Kitchen offers, except in convenient small treat portions. I bought them at PetSmart (in Canada) and they were reasonably priced given they weren't filled with junk! I think its nice to give something different than their usual meal because, well... its a treat :)

In my opinion, it is good to give your pup a treat for training purposes but I realized my dog was becoming dependent on the treat because I was giving her one every time she did a trick (meaning she would only want to do the trick if she knew she would get a treat) so I started, to give her treats every couple times she would do a trick and now she realizes she may or may not get one but she does the trick now just for praise! PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! I find praise is even helpful when training them to go outside. I NEVER hit my dog when she had an accident and it has proven to be successful. If you hit a dog, they are more likely to hide and go (inside) and become sneaky because they fear getting in trouble - and too I think its mean! I never hit my dog, just would pick her up and run her outside every time she would squat and she learned quick. When she went outside I would praise her and give her a treat here and there. She picked up super quick!

As for the puppy food question, I fed my dog Bella Blue Buffalo Wilderness since she was a puppy up until about 6 months ago when I realized she developed an allergy. I've come to realize through this forum that Blue Buffalo is not a high quality food, unlike what they say. Although I am getting off track of your initial question, I wanted to throw that out there!! :) From what I understand dogs don't really develop allergy symptoms until after 2, (my dog was 2 1/2). So just keep an eye out! The food I just recently switched to is Natural Balance limited ingredient and she seems to like it!

But back to your question, I mainly fed my dog kibble but on occasion would either mix the same brand of wet food in with kibble and for a BIG treat, just gave her wet food, no kibble. You have to make sure that when you mix food it is ok for your dog - If you decide on one brand, its safest I find to keep the wet food the same brand as the dog food to ensure your dog doesn't get sick! If you switch them cold turkey to another brand its more than likely going to make your dog sick! :)

Hope this helps!
Kerri
Thank you for your input! What about some plain roasted chicken/meat to switch it up? Do you adjust the amount of kibble you feed your dog at meal times depending on how many treats you give?

I'm worried that with treat training my dog will become attached to them...thanks for your tips!

My in-laws feed their GSD Natural Balance. I was looking into their products and I really like the nutritional content in their food along with their actual ingredients.
 

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@turnforthenurse - I do not, or rather I have not yet. My dogs get a lot of exercise, so I haven't noticed any weight gain. However, they are weighed and examined fairly regularly, so I do monitor it.

It helps to use things like chicken breast as it is fairly low-cal. Although both of my guys also work well for ice cubes!

Edit: In response to the getting attached to treats, it is important that you:

a) Remove the lure as quickly as possible
b) Include all sorts of rewards: play, praise, treats, access to the park/backyard etc. :)
 
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Thank you for your input! What about some plain roasted chicken/meat to switch it up? Do you adjust the amount of kibble you feed your dog at meal times depending on how many treats you give?

I'm worried that with treat training my dog will become attached to them...thanks for your tips!

My in-laws feed their GSD Natural Balance. I was looking into their products and I really like the nutritional content in their food along with their actual ingredients.
No problem what so ever! Glad I could help out. I am sure some plan roasted chicken would be good, but just keep an eye out because chicken is a high allergy food. Allergies are really common in some breeds so just beware of what protein you are feeding your dog because some are more of an allergen than others. Also, I would still use a good quality roasted meat with very little to no preservatives.

My dog Bella seems to like Natural Balance so far.. she eats it right away when it is out and she seems to be in better spirits. I also liked that it has limited ingredients. One thing that was pointed out by another poster was that some Natural Balance formulas use potatoes are the carb and potatoes are not the best-they convert to sugar. The Natural Balance I chose is Lamb and Brown Rice which I think is better than potatoes. Another poster also mentioned some high quality foods use peas as a carb which is also great!
 
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