What do you use....


New Member
I use my pockets or hold a few at a time in my hand if I'm training in the house. I don't use pouches very often b/c I find that my dogs look at the pouch and know that when I'm wearing it they will get treats from it and then when I'm not they don't listen, or listen less when out in public. I have experienced that with my BC mix rescue. She caught on to the pouch really quickly. Depending on what kind of training I'm doing I will use tug for reward. Toys can be great reward to some dogs. Just food for thought.


New Member
I also don't like pouches because the pouch signals food, while no pouch is (possibly) no food. I hold treats in my hand or in my pocket.


Experienced Member
Like others above, I don't like pouches because you find the dog works for the pouch contents, not for you. I pretty much now always wear combat-type trousers, with plenty of pockets so that I always have treats on me, and in random pockets.


New Member
Several people have raised a good point. If you use treat pouches or bait bags, it is important to make sure the pouch doesn't become a discriminative stimulus (meaning that the dog only works if he sees the treat pouch because he knows this signals food is present). It can be distracting to some dogs, or, in other cases if the dog must first SEE that the reward is present before he will listen for behaviors that he already knows well, then this is bribery! :)

You can prevent the pouch from becoming a discriminative stimulus by not always giving the treats from it - sometimes produce treats from your pocket, sometimes already have it in hand, sometimes have the treat on a table and go to get it even though you may still be wearing the pouch. (many people who compete do use bait bags in training whereas in the competition ring no food is allowed) it also helps to keep the pouch toward the back of your body so it is not as visible to your dog or so he can't stare at it and be distracted by it (unless you are working with your back to the dog most of the time....!)

Another way is by not limiting the rewards to just treats (whether coming from the pouch or pocket as the dog can also learn to stare at your pocket too if you always use the same pocket) but also using toys, praise or for everyday life using environmental rewards.

That way the presence of the treat pouch doesn't become associated with training and listening to you, it's just this object that's sometimes there and sometimes not, and sometimes rewards come out of it and sometimes not...so, the pouch itself is irrelevant to the dog as far as listening to you for behaviors he already knows well....and you can still reap the conveniences of having such a pouch on you, for example it's convenient for holding balls and toys - many schutzhund competitors often use these during training though maybe not exactly this style or model of pouch, they seem to favor the bigger apron-like pouches for holding more toys and treats. And you don't get crumbs in your pocket if you are using food... (I don't like to carry moist or slimy or smelly treats - which are what a lot of the high value treats for my dog are- in my pockets)


Experienced Member
i use my hand but i hold them in a bag in my pocket just cause i use cooked liver and i dont the juice leaking in my pocket -eww, but if im at home chances are ill put their treats in their food bowl, they only go near their bowl if i release them for it so i know its pretty safe

Jean Cote

Staff member
Put treats in your mouth and spit them at your dog and he'll always look there!!! HaHa It sounds gross but many trainers do it. :)

night watch

New Member
Jean I may just be crazy enough to try that! I prefer my girls look to me for everything. I tried a pouch and didnt like the attention it gets, so I wasted the money and always end up w/ treat crumbs in my pocket! I guess Im too cheap to use baggies lol. Then there is the pack mentality of the subordinate getting scraps from the mouth of the alpha, hmmm........


Well-Known Member
I too carry some treats in my hand, and some more in my pockets. However, this is only really at the first stage I teach my dog something, as I use it as a lure.

As soon as I can I progress to having a pot on the side with treats in. My dog then works for the treats, but the treats are a bit distanced from them. Like Storm22 I release my dog to the pot for their reward.

Yes, I know of a few people who put a treat in their mouth and spit it to the dog. Not something I have tried, but it gets really good presents (sit in front of handler) as the dog stretches up to the handlers face (and is then watching for the next command).

Breeze I tend to use toy rewards for...I have a toy on me somewhere most of the time, but she also understands toy on the table (like the food pot on the table) and play without a toy.


New Member
Jean;8900 said:
Put treats in your mouth and spit them at your dog and he'll always look there!!! HaHa It sounds gross but many trainers do it. :)
Um.. beware.. dogs learn this - I know of more than one who leapt up to "take" his treat and took some lip with it.. unintentional , but unpleasant.

(I use a hardware store pouch. I wear it almost all the time, so the don't know if they are getting something or not... It's the same as pockets.)