We all know how useful treats are when teaching your dog certain behaviors, but have you ever noticed that your dog likes one treat at home but could care less about it when out and about? Or maybe after 10 minutes of training they lose interest in their favorite treat? When it comes to treats, variety is the spice of life! I have no less than 3 types of treats in my treat bag at any given time. I use treats with different flavors and textures so I can keep the dogs interested throughout the entire training session.
So what treats do I use and recommend?
If you have ever had training session with me, you have probably heard me talk about Ziwi Peak. While I tend to rotate through different treats, this is the one treat that I ALWAYS have in my treat bag. Ziwi Peak is a brand out of New Zealand that uses only high quality ingredients that are sourced from humane, ethical and sustainably managed farms. They don't add grains, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, sugars and glycerins, and you have the option of different protein sources such as lamb, beef, and venison so this is perfect if your dog is struggling with food allergies. While they do make treats, I use the Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food. The dogs LOVE it and I don't have to hold back when training because I know they are getting nutritious food (I just cut back a little at their next meal). The size is perfect for training and can each morsel can be broken up into fourths if you have a smaller dog. The small bag lasts a very long time, so even though it's more expensive than your average bag or treats, it's a great value and I think it's worth every penny.
My next go to would be freeze-dried single ingredient treats such as chicken, fish, beef liver, heart, and other gross animal products that dogs can't seem to get enough of. There are many brands that make these treats so you can find them almost anywhere. Kiwi Kitchens, Sojos, and Pure Bites are my favorites!
A dog favorite that I use when the level of distraction is high or when dealing with a picky dog would be Instinct Raw Boost Mixers. These are designed as meal toppers to mix with kibble but I like them even more as dog treats. They are healthy and the perfect size and shape to use as treats.
I am always trying new and different types of treats because dogs' preferences change day to day, or situation to situation. Just like us, our dogs have preferences so keep searching for those delicious treats your dog will do anything for. Keep it interesting and find what your individual dog will work for!