Dogs learn much faster if the rate of reinforcement is high. Food treats for training new behaviors allow for lots of quick reinforcers and it’s easier and faster to deliver a small food treat than, say, a thrown tennis ball. This makes small food treats ideal for teaching new behaviors. But how do you know what training treats to choose?
Find Your Dog’s “HIGH VALUE” Treat!
There are different types of treats, treats that are easy to use for day-to-day training and long-lasting treats that are good for things like crate training. Choosing the right treats can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful training session.
Pick Different Options Of Treats…
-Based on protein types like fish, poultry, beef, or lamb.
-Based on their texture type like semi-moist, jerky, or wet.
–Long-lasting treats that are good for situations like crate training.
-Include non-meat-based treats, such as peanut butter.
Treat Size, THINK SMALL!
For day-to-day training look for treats, you can easily break them into small pieces so they can be quickly consumed. The size of a pea or a pencil eraser is a good size. Stay away from treats like crunchy biscuits that are usually too large or take a long time to chew. This type will fill up the dog too quickly and/or cause unwanted weight gain.
During a successful 3 minutes training session, you could easily feed 30 treats! So make sure to avoid feeding treats high in fat or made with ingredients like flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives. Instead, go for ingredients you recognize! Single or minimum ingredient treats are best. Consider reducing meal size slightly to account for the extra calories.
Variety Keeps Them Excited!
Variety is essential to the training process because dogs can get bored and lose interest when eating the same treat every day. Training with different kinds of treats will keep your dog excited for what treats are coming next. We find that mixing 3 or more kinds of treats in the same training pouch is best.
Follow these 5 tips and you will start to think and treat your treats (pun intended) with more respect and love, but most importantly, you and your pup will get the best out of each treat.