Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The problem is that I am feeding them so many treats and they are so tiny that there's no room for kibble after training! All the food I am getting into them really is treats. They do work for kibble but not as enthusiastically. I've noticed Mia's gained some pudge. One of the problems I never really thought of about having a small dog...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,075 Posts
Maybe a different brand of dog food for treats ... something new and smelly? :) Or rub the regular kibble with hot dog to make it smell yummy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,262 Posts
I've been considering buying a different brand of kibble to use as treats - something super premium that I couldn't necessarily afford to feed as regular kibble. I also use a mix of 75-80% regular kibble and 20-25% treats for most training sessions. Only when we're learning something new do I increase the portion of treats.

I also like Abbylynn's idea of rubbing the kibble in with something super smelly to make it more appealing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
I make "trail mix" for my guys. So cut up pieces of hot dog (REALLY small) mixed with kibble, mixed with some other treats (there are usually cut up pieces of cheese sticks in there, too). Seems to work pretty well! I also just cut out portions of meals on days that we do heavy training.

I have also used other kibble as treats, too, like free samples of expensive kinds. That works, too, since it's not the norm and they are often more excited for it. Heck, I sometimes even use Pen and Bubbles' kibble as a treat for Kimma and Kimma's kibble as a treat for Pen and Bubbles (since they are on different kinds).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Yeah, there is just so much more wiggle room with a big dog. I was having the same problem with Kabota, being used to having a dog twice the size.

I don't know if it would help with your dog, because Kabota is super food motivated, but just a different flavor of kibble from what I'm currently feeding seems to work as a treat. Then I just subtract that from his meals and I'm set.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,262 Posts
I make "trail mix" for my guys. So cut up pieces of hot dog (REALLY small) mixed with kibble, mixed with some other treats (there are usually cut up pieces of cheese sticks in there, too). Seems to work pretty well! I also just cut out portions of meals on days that we do heavy training.

I have also used other kibble as treats, too, like free samples of expensive kinds. That works, too, since it's not the norm and they are often more excited for it. Heck, I sometimes even use Pen and Bubbles' kibble as a treat for Kimma and Kimma's kibble as a treat for Pen and Bubbles (since they are on different kinds).
We use the Trader Joe's cocktail dogs cut into 22-26 pieces - super tiny pieces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
The problem is that I am feeding them so many treats and they are so tiny that there's no room for kibble after training! All the food I am getting into them really is treats. They do work for kibble but not as enthusiastically. I've noticed Mia's gained some pudge. One of the problems I never really thought of about having a small dog...
Trail mix is a good idea. I'd also use kibble at home, good stuff where there are more distractions (or newer behaviors). As ball motivated as Mia is, you can also use play for reinforcement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Maybe try soaking the kibble in no-sodium added chicken broth? Or use treats that could replace a portion of their kibble such as pork chops, steak, cooked liver etc. I'll second using play as a reward, it could also double as a way to cut back on Mia's newly acquired 'pudge' lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,145 Posts
I do a mix, too - a small percentage of really high value like cooked chicken or hot dogs, a bigger percentage of cut up Natural Balance rolls, and various other brands of treats and/or kibble all mixed together in one baggie.

The funny thing is, although the others don't seem to care, it seems like Maisy works harder when I use the mixture than if I have, say, a whole baggie of chicken. I think there's a bit of the slot machine mentality at play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That's a great idea to mix the kibble and somethign smellier and yummier together. I had thought about that and wondered if it would make her more enthusiastic for kibble as a reward.

She does like her tennis balls too and I'm trying to harness that power a little better. She's sometimes still so focused on the ball that she doesn't think as well as she does for food rewards. It works fine for proofing sits and stays and stuff (though I will say she responds faster to food) but for new behaviors I haven't gotten the ball to work as a reward.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top