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Treats for reinforcement? Any ok for puppies?

December 2nd, 2005, 08:45 AM
I have been very firm about our puppy not having any people food. With the Thanksgiving holiday there was a temptation (not by me, but the husband and son had to be watched carefully) to slip him a nibble.

I want him to be healthy and I want him to be well behaved so I was pretty emphatic on letting them know that anyone who gives the dog anything unauthorized by the boss (ME!;) ) will have some "splainin'" to do.

But he is showing signs of trying to please. When he gets too nippy I've been crating him for a minute or two or leaving the room. But I noticed that he's making the connection between "NO" and whatever it is he's doing. I can see it in his eyes when he's looking at me you know? You can see the gears turning.

And he's been pretty good about training also. He doesn't ask to go out but he hasn't had an accident in the house either for a couple days. Last night he started to squat--I said NO and picked him up and right outside. He stopped when I said NO and did his piddle when he got out. Other than that it's been a great couple of days.

Anyway, is there a treat I could give him, he's just 3 months, when he does what we want him to do? Or is that not a good idea?

Thanks in advance. And also I just want to say that when my husband disagrees with me on a puppy issue I tell him "I read on the boards..." and he defers to your expertise !!:thumbs up Thanks so much !!!

December 2nd, 2005, 09:00 AM
we started puppy playschool with my pup when he was around 12wks - and we used treats to reinforce good behavior (and still do). My pup really enjoyed the Solid Gold jerky treats as a pup. these come in turkey, beef and lamb flavors, a bit pricey, but you can break them up easily into TEENY pieces. I also used people food for treats, chicken pieces, hot dogs, and mozzarella cheese.

December 2nd, 2005, 09:10 AM
Giving your puppy people food is not going to teach your puppy to beg unless you are feeding from your plate. You also shouldn't add food items to their kibble otherwise you may end up with a picky puppy that won't eat unless something has been added. As long as the food item is safe and good for them then you may use it, don't use scraps. If you wouldn't eat it don't feed it to your dogs.
If you are going to give anything I would always make them work for it.
You can safely give 20% of their daily diet in treats but you may choose to use the healthier options such as beef/chicken livers, lambs lung. For all treats use very tiny pieces.

December 2nd, 2005, 09:10 AM
Some people will tell you to stay away from treat training but I'm all for it. :thumbs up The smellier (in a good way) the treat, the better! Use tiny, tiny pieces, and praise your pooch along with it!

December 2nd, 2005, 09:13 AM

December 2nd, 2005, 12:05 PM
Cloud Star also makes new treats that are tiny gingerbread men made out of potato. They're really tiny, so you can give a few without worrying about affecting their diet.

Lucky Rescue
December 2nd, 2005, 12:12 PM
Housetraining is so important that I think a treat is in order when puppy goes in the right place.:)

Use special treats that he gets no other time, like tiny bits of hot dog. Most dogs go nuts for that.

Another thing dogs really love are the "Pounce" cat treats.They're very small too!

December 2nd, 2005, 06:39 PM
The best treat of all is your soft, happy voice and your loving touch and warm eye contact.
Next best could be his own food, defrosted Broccoli bits (no calories and high nutrition) or tiny bits of cheese are great. You don't have to go out of your way to buy special treats. Avoid any 'soft' processed treats at all costs - they are usually very high in salt and sugar.
Fresh food is best for your dog and don't worry about creating a picky eater. Dogs are built to eat fresh food. It's what is best for them. Even adding yogurt everyday to his rations will keep his gut much healthier over all.

December 3rd, 2005, 08:47 AM
The best treat of all is your soft, happy voice and your loving touch and warm eye contact.

Next best could be his own food, defrosted Broccoli bits (no calories and high nutrition) or tiny bits of cheese are great.

We used Charley's kibble as treats for him until he was about 7 months old... Its easy to carry around, you know they love it and this way you don't have to worry about over feeding.

The veggies are good ideas too, our little guy will eat almost anything with great gusto.