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Treat Dosing

April 3rd, 2006, 12:36 PM
One thing that's been concerning me is in all the books I've read, there's always "and then give him a treat or something". It might just be that junk food (ie human treats) are more likely to be bad for you than good, but the thought of giving a dog like 4-5 treats a day is kind of worrying. I mean isn't it going to end up that they'll be eating almost a 3rd meal of treats?


April 3rd, 2006, 01:02 PM
but the thought of giving a dog like 4-5 treats a day is kind of worrying.

then you would probably have a stroke if you came to one of the training classes I attend. 4-5 treats? lol... try more in the neighborhood of 20-30 treats. (not that amount daily, but when training, I don't count treats)

HOWEVER, I do not feed my dog "junk". I never buy my "treats" at a grocery store - not that an occassional "beggin strip" will do your dog in... but occassional treats are different from training treats, IMO.

for training I use TEENY TINY PIECES of things like white meat chicken (no skin, no fat), cheese (mozzarella), liver biscotti, Solid Gold jerky, roast beef, etc... I try to always find the most organic, crap-free, all natural treats I can. (I often pay a hefty price for some) I train by using a click & reward system, it works very well for my dog (all dogs are different though).

My dog doesn't eat as much as others though - he doesn't eat breakfast or lunch (his choice). He eats his dinner BUT on days we attend training classes, he eats dinner AFTER class, and it's a smaller meal (because he just had X amount of treats).

I've been click/reward training since he was 12 wks old, and he's happy, healthy, at a perfect weight, and well trained.

April 3rd, 2006, 07:59 PM
I agree- the more cookies you give in a day, the smaller each cookie should be...

jesse's mommy
April 3rd, 2006, 08:04 PM
Don't forget you can take one treat or cookie and break it up into little pieces. This way you get five treats out of one. :thumbs up

I use Cheerios a lot of Jesse with training. Less work for me to do and she loves it. She knows she only gets them when she's doing something right so it's her "special" treat.

April 4th, 2006, 07:37 AM
I break up the treats and this way one treat lasts a little longer. I only give premium treats, all natural. They are more expensive, but I think that Misty and Princess are worth it. Something else you can do is replace one meal with hand feeding during training. This of course works only with kibble. Sometimes, instead of the treats, I use their kibble and give one at a time as a reward. Both Misty and Princess love their kibble and are always happy to get them from me.

April 4th, 2006, 08:25 AM
I rarely use treats as a reward. Instead I will use praise. If you use treats your dog will always expect a food reward.
If you have to use a treat, why not try a piece of carrot. My dog loves them. You can also use pieces of kibble. Just reduce the amount you give at meal time.

April 4th, 2006, 08:34 AM
Coppperbelle, I understand what you are saying. You did touch on a very good point. Treats have to be phased out during training, otherwise you will end up with a dog that will only do what is asked when you have a treat, otherwise they will ignore you.

With my dogs, during the initial training phase I use treats as a reward along with praise. They are way more food motivated than anything else. I gradually replace the treat with just praise reward. I like to use treats every once in a while, not just to reward them for good behavior or for doing what is asked but just because I believe, just as people, they too like something different. My dogs are expected to listen because I have asked them to do something, not just because I have a treat.

April 4th, 2006, 05:55 PM
I have just stopped using the conventional treats available at stores. Starting today Lucy will get pure pieces of dry lamb or chicken liver as very very special treats. Other than that her new food(CANINE LIFE) is the new treat. She will only get fed after performing the usual tricks(jump, sit, jump again, sit, stay, roll over, and fetch) This will help her eat more slowly while appreciating her food more than ever.

It's a true achievement if your dog thinks of her/his regular food as a treat. This will result in great obedience and easy digestion.

I got 2 full bags of MilkBone chewy bits and I don't think I'll give them to Lucy. Anyone want them?!