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I have a small terrier mix who I’m doing a lot of training with and I’ve been wondering what people’s suggestions are when it comes to treats for smaller dogs. With my larger dog, I can easily give her plenty of small training treats during sessions and jackpots of a few treats at a time when she does really well. However, with my smaller dog, I want to make sure that I’m not overfeeding him. Unfortunately, he rarely shows any interest in toys, and as a former stray he isn’t always comfortable being petted too much, so food is the only way to reward him.

I’ve seen suggestions in the past to lower the amount of food he is given at mealtimes to balance it out but I know the training treats aren’t as nutritious as his regular food, so I doubt that would be very healthy. Any thoughts?
 

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You can use his meals themselves as training treats if he is food motivated. Just dole out the same amount of dry food that you would feed for a meal over the course of a training session. Jackpot reward via more kibble pieces in one go and an enthusiatic voice.

If he modestly food motivated, you can swap the equal amount of normal food for a smellier type. Fish based formulas are good for this.

You can swap equal (in calorie, not volume) amounts of a nutrionally balanced meat roll or semi-moist food for a meal's worth of dry food and its much more enticing. Or use this for jackpot rewarding

You can take the dry food meal and make a "trail mix", in a zippy bag or sealed food container, mix a serving of kibble with a small amount of diced cheese, hot dog and/or dried liver. Keep the proportion of high value stuff small. Refridgerate overnight so the smells of the good stuff soak into the kibble. Then dole out during training.
Bonus is the good stuff acts as a randomized reward which is a great training tactic.

You can DIY treats by cooking or drying cheap healthy meats like chicken gizzards and swap up to 25% of calories from a commercial balanced diet for meat without tripping the nutrient scales
 

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As Shell mentioned, using part of his kibble to make a trail mix of training treats is a good option.

You could also use baby food. Some of them come in pouches that you can let the dog lick a bit off of the nozzle, or you can use an oral syringe to dispense stuff that comes in a jar (bonus of that is you will then have the jars to use for other things, like making swabs for nosework).
 

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We have a Cavalier who was tiny as a puppy and I found "Happy Howie" rolls to be perfect! It comes in different size chubs, and you can cut it to any size reward you need. A 1lb roll makes about 200-300 treats depending on how small you cut them...store extras in freezer. I found that the lamb flavor is pretty crumbly, but the turkey flavor is perfect texture-wise. He never got an upset stomach from eating them...and we gave him LOTS! They are loved by all 3 of our dogs :)
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Food rewards only need to be big enough for a smell and a taste.

If overfeeding is a concern, then the treats can be part of the dog's daily food ration. Just measure out his daily ration to take treats from that supply.

My dog responds well to nail trimming with treats. I just give him bits of kibble that are part of his measured daily food ration. 1 Paw = 1 Treat. All 4 paws done = Jackpot. When I started trimming he was a pup. In the beginning it was 1 toe = 1 treat. 1 paw = jackpot. 4 paws = Lottery Win (jackpot + big praise and play)
 
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