Training Treats & Kong Treats
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Thread: Training Treats & Kong Treats

  1. #1
    Senior Member NCPupLove's Avatar
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    Training Treats & Kong Treats

    I'm not quite sure I'm posting this in the correct forum but here goes.

    Continuing our prep for the puppy.....I have come to the conclusion that I am going to need treats and a lot of them. General cocensus is the Kong is a great toy to give the puppy. My question is what do you place in them? I saw the cheese whiz type stuff they were selling to go with the kong but thought this looked terribly unhealthy. Peanut butter is not an option for our household as my three kids are severely allergic to it. I read something that said place kibble in the kong but what exactly is kibble? I would love some options for the Kong toys.

    Second question is what types of treats are good and healthy to use for training a puppy? Should one be worried about weight gain and giving the puppy all these treats? What treats are the best?
    Thanks!

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    Senior Member RaeganW's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    Kibble is dog food.

    Honestly you can stick anything in them. I've done dog food, carrots, hot dogs, yogurt, etc. Another fun thing to do is put some plain yogurt and maybe some kibble or hot dog pieces in the kong and then freeze it over night. It'll last for ages. If you so a search on stuff kong, you'll find a lot of threads with some "recipies."

    For training treats, think tiny tiny tiny. Like the size of the eraser on a pencil or your pinky nail. You can use hot dogs cut up really small, or just pieces of dog food if that keeps your pup's attention. Most store bought treats are really too big, but if you need some in a hurry there are worse things you can do to your dog. Some places sell like jerky which you can cut/tear up in to tiny pieces. I'm not 100% sure about puppies and weight gain, but I just sort of play it by ear/sight/feel. If your dog seems a little pudgy, cut back on his meals a little.
    Tell a Lab, ask a Golden, negotiate with a Chessie, play with a Toller

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    You can use any sort of creamy stuff instead of PB. Cream cheese, cheezwhiz, yogurt.
    I usually recommend in the beginning stuff a small amount of kibble (hard dog food) in the kong and then top it off with a small amount of the creamy stuff to entice the pup to lick at the kong and then they will be required to work a bit longer to get the kibble out. It's a great way to feed meals.

    I use canned dog food layered with kibble and some liver treats and freeze it if I need Cracker to be "busy" for a while.

    As for treats. The ones suggested above are great. Since I go through a LOT of training treats with all the dogs I work with I usually buy a Natural Balance dog food roll, keep it in the fridge and just cut off what I need each day, diced into little tiny pieces. They smell "smoked" don't have a lot of crap in them, are calorie wise and last a long time. It is a heck of a lot cheaper than packaged treats too.

    A lot of human food is okay for dogs, so cheese, natural deli meats, fruit and veggies can be used too.

    Just no grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts. These are all toxic to dogs.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member NCPupLove's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    I know I will have to figure this out once I have the puppy but I do know that Wheatens are prone to sensitive stomachs (although his parents appear to not be overly sensitive)so I suppose I will be doing a lot of trial and error Where do you find the natural balance dog food roll?

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    Yes, it's kind of "see how it goes" when it comes to treats and stomachs. I use kibble for in house training (the easy stuff) and graduate to yummy stuff for the harder stuff or class/outside work.
    We use a lot of freeze dried liver in class (though I carry the Nat. Balance in my treat bag) and the trick to prevent "rich food runs" is the piece of treat is simply a taste, literally a piece of treat the size of a very small pea, if that. The smaller the better. Easier to eat, doesn't fill them up and doesn't really even make it to the stomach.

    I get the natural balance at my local petstore. The big box stores don't tend to carry it here in Toronto.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    Mushed up microwaved beef liver makes good Kong glue. My dogs love cooked carrots and sweet peas. Those can be mushed up also to form a goo.

    I'm careful not to give them too much liver or vegetables, because I don't want them to get excessive amounts of vitamin D or fiber. You can tell if they are getting too much fiber by monitoring the output end of the process.

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    We have tried different things from sausage to cheese to Petco cookies...and Tucker seems to like Milk Bones best! We get the "small" kind and break them into tiny pieces. Typically though, puppies tend to like whatever is stinkiest

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    I usually layer the Kong with cream cheese, beef roll (diced into little pieces), green cow tripe (a favorite!), diced cheese, deli meat and yogurt. Riley isn't a peanut butter fan and when he was a little guy, he really preferred puppy biscuits broken into tiny pieces without any of the gooey stuff. He wanted something he could shake out of the Kong, rather than having to lick it out.

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    Kong stuffing-

    canned dog food
    canned sweet potato
    yogurt
    baby food meat


    I usually use one of the "wet" items above and mix in some dry dog food (kibble) or biscuits. I often freeze it since it lasts longer.

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    Senior Member Poly's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    We prefer minimally-processed for our training treats.

    Our "basic training" treat is string cheese. Most dogs that are food-motivated take to it very well.

    We cut each cheese "log" into about twelve pieces - some long and wormy and some just rounds - for different training scenarios. Treats of this size are no problem for large dogs even during heavy training sessions, assuming you are keeping the dog lean as you should be doing. For smaller dogs, you do have to take into account the extra calories and adjust the diet accordingly if you have a heavy training session.

    Semi-soft treats such as this are suitable for just about all training scenarios.

    Some dogs, especially mature dogs that have been kept away from dairy products for some time, do not produce enough lactase to handle even these small amounts of cheese. Obviously, in those cases, we can't use cheese as a training treat. So we do have alternatives.

    One candidate is baby carrots, cutting each carrot into four lengthwise pieces. Another is frozen cut green beans which are partially thawed. Some dogs do not like one or both of these, so try them out first.

    Kibble, especially a different one from your dog's regular food, is another treat candidate. Again, some dogs are completely unmotivated by any kibble -although they do take to the other treats - so you have to try these out.

    Finally, there is "liver/meat paste", which you can buy but is better if you can make it at home. This can be rolled into convenient-sized treat balls. Almost all dogs like it - even the ones that are generally not food-motivated - but we still consider it our training treat of last resort because it's very perishable and not the most convenient to carry around.

    One thing about hard and semi-hard treats like kibble, frozen beans, carrots, and the like. Make sure the training scenario is such that your dog has time to chew them and is not being rushed, which will tempt him to try to swallow without chewing. Obviously, there are going to be training scenarios where that is not possible - don't force the issue. You'll simply have a dog that is choking and coughing, and you'll lose the training rhythm.

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    My dogs throw up Colby jack cheese, but they thrive on cheddar or Velveeta processed cheese-food substitute. I guess it depends on how much of the lactose the microscopic cheese-critters leave in the vat.

    They [the dogs, not cheese-critters] go nuts over cooked carrots and sweet peas, but not green beans.

    Yesterday was liver day. I get beef liver in plastic pouches. Poke a whole in the pouch and nuke it in its own juices until mushy and still a little pink inside. Or it can be cooked in its own juices in a slow cooker on high. The juice makes good kibble gravy. True confession: I ate most of it in sandwiches.

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    if your dog is as greedy as mine, you can feed her kibble for training, I feed my dog TOTW which she goes crazy for and its tiny perfect for a reward treat, she loves it, doesn't care if its feeding time or training time... I toss a single kibble bit at her and she catches it in mid air.

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    Some places sell like jerky which you can cut up in to tiny pieces. I'm not 100% sure about puppies and weight gain. I am going to need treats and a lot of them General cocensus is the Kong is a great toy to give the puppy.I'm very careful about them . I do not give them too much liver or vegetables, because I don't want to get excessive amounts of vitamin D.

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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    You are getting lots of good advice! We use Zeke's Mini Naturals for treats. They are tiny little treats, on the soft side, and they're low calorie.
    I was a little concerned about over feeding because we have a mini dachshund and they are piggies! But, break all of the treats into tiny pieces, and sometimes just use kibble, and it really hasn't been an issue!
    Make sure your pup gets lots of play, and some good exercise. That can help!

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    Senior Member NCPupLove's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    Thanks for all the great suggestions! This has given me some fantastic ideas!

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    Senior Member Robrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Training Treats & Kong Treats

    I find that the larger hard treats work better for Murphy. Whether it be milk bones or the hard kong treats. If its soft he gets the stuffing out way to fast and is done in a matter of minutes.
    I wouldnt recommened the cheezwhiz kong stuffing they sell, its far over priced and is probably less nutritous than plain cheezwhiz which about 1/4 the cost.

    Certified SAR/Therapy Dog/AKC CGC and Award for Canine Excellence

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