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So question: We are trying to train our dog and we are using pea sized hot dog pieces as treats. There are lots of things we are training her and lots of training taking place. I fear we are stuffing her full of hot dog pieces. Is there an issue with taking a portion of her meal - say lunch - and using that kibble as the treats we feed her during training?
 

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So question: We are trying to train our dog and we are using pea sized hot dog pieces as treats. There are lots of things we are training her and lots of training taking place. I fear we are stuffing her full of hot dog pieces. Is there an issue with taking a portion of her meal - say lunch - and using that kibble as the treats we feed her during training?
Not at all. If a dog will work for dog food, all the better (better as in easier, simpler, less chance of over-feeding). Doling out kibble as treats is a great way to keep the diet in check (avoiding digestive upset). You can also make a kind of trail mix by putting her kibble and some hot dog bits, cheese bits or such into a sandwich bag and mixing up the rewards that way.

I use dog food for normal stuff like sit, shake, stay. Hot dogs or chicken or other high value treats are for something like recall (come when called) or "leave it" where safety is a big deal.
 

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I have been using almost 100% of my dog's daily kibble allotment for training and I only use special/high value rewards in the most distracting circumstances.
 

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Ginger was fat at the time and I was shoveling a treat every few seconds for the duration of the class and she kept losing weight. Training itself burns a good number of calories.

I couldn't use kibble as the pieces are too large, I went through at least 300 bits in one hour long class. You can substitute about 25% of good quality stuff for kibble and the diet is still balanced so if you are concerned and your pup doesn't want to work for kibble then try using plain meat instead. Cooked chicken breast shreds and isn't greasy so you can offer the teeniest bits and most of the slime on your hands is dog saliva rather than grease. Cooked pork loin is lean but doesn't shred as well.

That said, when I fed kibble my dogs loved working for it. I mostly used it at home though, they got more interesting stuff when out and at class.
 

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As an additional note, I train my adult dog using his kibble. For whatever reason, he seems to think that a piece of kibble eaten from the palm of my hand tastes better than a few cups of kibble in his dish ;-) Moreover, he didn't know how to catch, but learned very quickly as I tossed kibble to him and said 'catch!' Now, when I toss him a piece of kibble, it is an extra treat [based on his reaction], working as well as using the expensive training treats.

Tossing seems to work any time, even if he just finished dinner or if there is kibble in his dish. Tossed tastes better.
 

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I do this with both my puppy and my older dog. Mainly because my older dog gets an upset stomach if he eats too many treats. While he's in his actual training class (an hour a week) he gets the good treats. But otherwise he just gets his normal kibble.

My 2 month old puppy just loves anything food related and training him 3 times a day in 5 minutes intervals.... yeah I'd be spending way too much on treats. He scarfs them down without chewing anyway so it's not like he's tasting it.

The only thing I do is make sure we aren't giving them treats close after supper or the older dog kind of looks at me like "I know what you're doing... where's the good stuff" the pup still hasn't caught on.
 

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When I know I'm going to be doing a lot of training on a given day, I measure out all their food into a container, give them roughly a third for breakfast (I can't think when I'm hungry, so I assume my dogs are the same), and whatever is left over after our training sessions is what they get for dinner.

Another option is a "trail mix" of kibble, dehydrated/freeze-dried treats, and the odd bit of something like Pupperoni.
 

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I mix it up. Sometimes I use Kibble and sometimes Natural Balance Dog Food rolls (I cut them up into pieces) and sometimes Hot dogs, sometimes steak... and even frozen pieces of FreshPet (especially good for puppy tracking).

Mixing it up can be helpful.. dog never knows what is coming UNLESS I am training something like Recall and then I use great stuff (steak)
 
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