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Hello,

I have a 11 week old Sheltie that I'm workin on training and I'm wondering if anyone has good suggestions for training treats. I was using hot dogs but i dont know how healthy those are for him. I also tried cheese flavored biscuit treats and hard sweet potato treats but they take too long for him to chew and he gets distracted or doesnt eat them.

Thanks
 

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Natural Balance dog food makes a formula that looks like a sausage roll. They're super stinky and a nice soft texture, and you can cut them up into whatever size tidbit you want. I like using them for training because even though it's not their regular food, at least it is dog FOOD instead of a treat and I don't feel like I'm stuffing them with junk food.

The other thing I use a lot is just plain cooked chicken breast. Just buy a bag of the frozen ones at the grocery store, throw them in the crock pot covered with water, and cook all day on low. Again, it's not their regular food but it's not junky and for many dogs it's very high value.
 

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I wouldn't use hot dogs for training as you'll likely be going through a lot of treats.

Sometimes we use Old Mother Hubbard for training treats. They are low calorie and have decent ingredients.

http://www.oldmotherhubbard.com/product.aspx?&cat=1&pid=20

Plain cheerios are an affordable low cal treat.
Green beans cut up into small pieces also make great treats.

Shelties are very fun to train, good luck :)
 

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I love the Natural Balance rolls too. They make great training treats.

My other go to is liver. I use pig or cow liver and boil it then cut it up into nice little pieces. Then depending on the weather I either place them on a cookie sheet to bake for a little while or just use them as is from the boiling. If it's hot out I like to cook them more.
 

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I like to use Bil Jak. Cheap, not terrible, and you can easily make the treats exactly the size you want. Our dogs absolutely love it. Carrots are another favorite.
 

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We use Pet Botanicals Training Rewards, but ONLY the no-corn formula. It's new and I can't even find a reference for you on a website.. we found it in Pet Smart, they had the normal Training Rewards but hidden up on a top shelf was this blue package that was a no-corn formula. We now use these. They are tender and delicious, she loves 'em.

We're thinking of switching to hotdogs though because we go through a LOT of treats. Recently we switched away from too many training treats and we're actually using her kibble as rewards.. it works better than I thought it would.
 

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PetsMart used to have a bag of Authority Liver Treats for about $1.50 . I cut those into dime-sized slices.... when you are comfortable with that, cut the slices into fourths... That's what I use for my 65 lb dog!

With a training treat, you're going for a tasty marker of the correct behavior, rather than a reward. This way the training doesn't rhythm while the dog chews on a large treat. Also, 3 tiny treats, presented rapidly one at a time, are a better reward that one large treat.
 

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I think hot dogs are okay, but I wouldn't (and don't) use them everyday. It really depends on what your dog likes and how food motivated they are.

How about kibble? My dream is to own a dog who will work for kibble.... You can just portion out a meal and throw it in a bait bag. I think its a great way to train using food.

Carrots.

Natural Balance rolls (someone described them above. You can also freeze the cut up pieces so they are not as crumbly)

However, if you have a picky dog you might want to experiment. For tomorrow's group class, Ozzie will be getting ground turkey, ground pork and beef heart. For some reason he won't eat cubed (like hot dog or NB) treats but likes ground products. So, I get messy hands... ;)

Try a whole variety of different things and see what your dog responds to the best. Keep different 'levels' of treats around. Okay ones (like Charlie Bears) for around the house training, good ones (like hot dogs) for new things and walks and awesome (steak, fish) ones for jack pot rewards and really distracting environments.
 

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Hello,

I have a 11 week old Sheltie that I'm workin on training and I'm wondering if anyone has good suggestions for training treats. I was using hot dogs but i dont know how healthy those are for him. I also tried cheese flavored biscuit treats and hard sweet potato treats but they take too long for him to chew and he gets distracted or doesnt eat them.

Thanks
Hotdogs, in moderation, are OK to use as training treats for most dogs provided the dog isn't allergic, or his digestion isn't easily upset etc. I recommend the house-brand chicken wieners, since they're inexpensive and possibly less upsetting than the beef or beef + pork.

Freeze them first, which will facilitate cutting them into dime-thickness pieces much more easily. You should be able to get about 75 to 100 pcs from one hotdog; you can cut up the whole pack at one time which will make many treats.

The idea with the dime-thickness is that your dog should be able to just instantly "inhale" them, without chewing. If you're a really good carver, or if you have access to a commercial-style electric meat slicer, you can even cut the pieces paper thin. The thinner the better, especially with a small pup.

Take out say, 25 pcs at a time, allow them to thaw first, and use them accordingly during each training session. Keep the remainder in a ziploc bag in the freezer for future thawing / use. Should last quite a while, considering it's an 11 week Sheltie.
 

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We use hotdogs and small cheese chunks as our high value treats when trying to nail something important down.....like recall! If she gets a lot I make sure to adjust her meals.
I personally hate sitting around cutting up store-bought treats, so the two things I've used for this is the "Caesar" treats for small dogs (Caeda is getting bigger so the size works for her), or I make my own and can cut to size with a pizza slicer, pretty easy and she likes them. Fairly low fat and calories too, so I've got no worries pez dispensing to her and I only adjust her meals a little. These hard treats though aren't the best for high-value reinforcement.
 

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I've used several different things. Bil Jac frozen food works really well. It's soft, already shaped, and doesn't transfer any smell to your hands, plus it can be remolded into smaller or larger pieces if you wish. I've also gone the hotdog, cheerio route with my older dog. The instructor for his class suggested cutting the hotdogs into small bits, then heating them with cheerios so that the cheerios would absorb the oils and smell. We were able to make a week worth of treats from a couple hotdogs and a cup of cheerios.
 

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I grab a slice a bread and break it up into little bread balls.

Wally probably would work for kibble, especially if he loves it for his meal, but I don't feed him kibble typically.

Other than bread balls, I'm using "Little Stars" which are tiny and he loves them (they don't smell like much to me, but I ain't no dog).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I forgot to come back and say thanks for the suggestions. The Natural Balance sausage roll really works great, Oliver loves it. The small roll ~5$ has lasted me the last 2 weeks so far even with large amounts of training. Its pretty easy to dice into little pea size cubes and reshapes as needed.
 

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I use pieces of kibble, sometimes peas, bits of table scraps (cooked meat), etc.
 

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I've used Natural Balance rolls, cheese, hot dogs, cheerios, and meatballs. My newest find is mini turkeyroni! Sure I could buy turkeyroni and cut it into smaller pieces, but buying the mini size that comes packaged in 1-ounce pouches fits neatly in a pocket and saves me valuable time. Seems to be a hit so far!
 
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