Treat Ideas Needed!!

Discussion in 'Dog Treats' started by kassidybc, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Alright, well, we are having a dilemma. We need something to use as treats. I have been giving her venison jerky bits for dogs, and they are great treats, but with the amount of training we do we go through an 11$ bag in a week or two. I can't afford to keep buying them all the time. So, I need a cheap, healthy alternative. She is trying to lose weight (although she has already lost 3 or 4 pounds! Yay!) so it should be fairly low calorie.

    The treats I have thought of using are-
    Unsalted unbuttered popcorn

    I haven't used any of those yet, because I didnt know if they were safe. Would those be safe, healthy alternitives? Do you guys have any other ideas for treats? Carrots don't work, she just chokes on them, if I cut them small enough that she won't choke on them she isn't very motivated by them.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    I buy 97cent hot dogs they come 8 to a pack.
  3. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Do you warm them up or use them as is?
  4. southerngirl Honored Member

    I just use them as is. No need to warm them up.
  5. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Ill try that. Ill get some next time we go to the store. Right now we are using plain green beans. She loves them! :)
    southerngirl likes this.
  6. southerngirl Honored Member

    I'll have to see if Missy likes that. I also don't have alot of money to spend on treats.
  7. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I have heard it's a good idea to boil the hot dogs first to remove some of the salt and chemicals. Some people slice them really thin, then microwave them a bit to make them chewier. Also, cheaper hot dogs have a lot more fillers, so things like wheat flour that are not great. Where I shop, packaged cat treats are cheaper than dog treats, plus they are smaller and don't need to be cut up. I started a thread a few weeks ago about using cat kibble as training treats. Just check the ingredients against hot dogs to decide which is healthier.

    My dogs won't eat raw carrots, but they love cooked ones, and they don't need to chew them.
  8. Mutt Experienced Member

    Cheese (young), liverwurst, her own food if she likes it, dried chicken breast (or cooked), dried small fishes (not the ones for cats those are way too salty, I bought a large bag online) or sausage
    Remember that small pieces are enough :)

    I wouldn't go for stuff like popcorn and dogs can't digest carrot (only when it has been in the blender)
    kassidybc likes this.
  9. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Why would you avoid popcorn? Just curious, I've had people tell me it's a great treat, and others say not to use it.
    southerngirl likes this.
  10. Mutt Experienced Member

    Well mainly because a dog can't get any nutritions out of it and it is artificial food, in nature you wouldn't find popcorn (you wouldn't find dogfood either I know, but would want to go for the healthiest diet possible :)). So for a treat I would prefer the things I listed.

    But if you pop corn yourself (so you know no artificial stuff is added) and you are satisfied with, you should give what you feel happy about :)
    southerngirl likes this.
  11. Caiti Experienced Member

    I train the dogs using a mixture of their own food (Orijen Six Fish and Orijen Regional Red) diced cheese, carrots, cooked beef liver, green beans, cheerios, dehydrated sweet potato and little bits of frozen pumpkin (a bit messy but they LOVE it). For agility or outdoor training I also use blueberries.
  12. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    running_dog likes this.
  13. running_dog Honored Member

    Zac is on quite a restricted diet for his health so I give him Acana dried dog food as treats and that works for us. I give him a lot of treats - 1/3 of his diet so he needed to be getting balanced nutrition. I'm hoping to try out some other premium dried dog foods as treats so he will get a bit more variety. Before he was so restricted I used to buy shop treats but I found that he liked even his not so premium regular meals dried food better O_o

    I also used to bake liver cookies for him but I actually think he is just as happy with the Acana - and when I forget and leave some in my coat pocket for a couple of months it isn't utterly revolting :sick:

    Of course there are still things that Zac will light up for (eg/chicken) but for the most part I increase the value of rewards for Zac by changes in how I give him the treats and how frequently I reward him. For example one of the things I have found since switching to using Acana as treats is that Zac finds a rapid training session earning sevarl individual treats much more rewarding than being given a handful of treats or being given individual treat without a training session. Using just one type of treat as reward has made me understand much more about what Zac actually finds rewarding.
  14. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    I think a good example of how high value treats are effective is when I was dremeling Seamus' nails last week.
    I usually give him string cheese after I do each paw. but this time I happened to have buffalo brownies to hand, so that's what I used. He pulled his leg back a time or two as I was doing hist first paw, but not hard. I finished and gave him buffalo brownies.
    For his next leg, he stretched it out as if to say "I'm ready for my man-pedi now, if it means more of those treats!"
    running_dog likes this.
  15. running_dog Honored Member

    Oh yes high value treats can work really well but I (rather than Zac) have learnt a lot more since standardising the treats I use.

    For instance I usually use a very very rapid rate of reinforcement though sometimes I use 300 peck. For me this is much more reliable than simply relying on changing up treats as most of what I am teaching is around building attention. There are some things in Zac's world that can NEVER be trumped by a simple mega treat but using a standard type of treat that won't trump much in itself you have to build gradually layer on layer and that's where you can totally win.

    Obviously this is mostly about me not being very good at using mega treats :rolleyes:
  16. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    sorry, I'm not from the UK. What does "sometimes I use 300 peck" mean?
  17. running_dog Honored Member

    I'm sorry when I read stuff about dog training I have no idea how widely known ideas are and sometimes I don't explain when I should and vice versa.

    I came across 300 Peck in the Sue Ailsby training levels introduction, they are a very good resource and one that I come back to time and again. Well worth a look, I am always amazed at her making the levels so freely available. I've copied and pasted what she says about 300 peck here (for the full context you'll have to view the intro I linked to):
  18. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    So, a peck is a second? (Sorry, it's 6am and I was up late last night at a teachers class)
  19. running_dog Honored Member

    No idea! That's just the term Sue Ailsby used.
    LOL for all I know 300 peck could have been first described by someone called Peck who tested the method on 300 dogs! :LOL:
    However I think you are probably right, applying Occam's razor the most likely reason for the name is that "peck" is indicative of second or click or mark or something like that :).
  20. charmedwolf Moderator

    Running_dog/stdpoodad- 300 peck is named after an experiment that involved teaching pigeons to peck a button 300 times. It's the method they used to teach the pigeons how to do so :)

    And to keep it on topic, mega awesome treats in my house are dried anchovies. Pretty healthy and if you live near an Asian market like me really cheap. I've used cherrios before but don't use a lot of them because they can be high in sugar.
    running_dog likes this.

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