Sunday, May 8, 2011

Training Treats

I have been looking for good training treats for a long time. Oscar is very food-oriented, so when training I usually use treats to get his attention, to motivate him to do what it is I'm trying to teach him, and to reward him when he gets it right. I do sometimes just praise, when I am reinforcing something he already knows how to do, like sit. However, food is necessary when I'm teaching him something new, or when I'm asking him to do something when he is excited (like quiet down when he's barking).

When teaching Oscar something new, I normally use liver treats or break biscuits into small pieces. I've also tried using bits of cheese, or blueberries. While his kibble would be the perfect size for a training treat, it just doesn't interest him enough most of the time. I always worried about overfeeding though, even if I cut down on his kibble for the day. The difficulty I had with most of the store-bought treats I used were that there is no information about how many calories are in one treat, so I always just had to guess how much would be appropriate to give him.

I was in PetSmart yesterday looking for some training treats when I came across My Mighty Wolf treats, which were on sale...that's how they caught my eye! They are soft treats that are free of corn, wheat and soy. The first five ingredients are beef liver, tripe, glycerin, dried potato, and dried honey. Sounded pretty good! The best thing about them was that they were exactly what I was looking for size-wise. They are little squares that are about the size of Oscar's nose, but they are super thin, so they are only 1.3 calories per treat. Also, since they are moist and made of meat, they are also a "smelly" treat (meaning they attract Oscar because of their scent, not that they are stinky), so they actually get Oscar's attention.

I like the packaging, too!  Cute.

Wafer thin.

They're not too big, either - and look
how interested Oscar is in them!

I've practiced a few commands with Oscar using the treats, and he seems to like them. We're working on Quiet - that's going okay. It works better when he's a bit tired, like he was yesterday. He barked once at a passing golden and its owner and that was it. I also praised and treated him when he ran to the window when the kids next door were playing outside but he didn't bark. I'm also teaching him Out, which I'll blog about later on. All in all, I'm pretty pleased about my training treat find, and I think Oscar is too!


Rubie said...

Good to hear that Oscar is as food oriented as ME!! i'll do anything for a treat! I'm VERY good at putting on weight too - my mum is all worried about it......

Tail Wuggles, Rubie.

Oskar said...

I am food oriented, but the treats we have now don't motivate me enough. My mom person is going to look for those & get some for me. Thanks for sharing.

Nubbin wiggles,

Schnauzer Days said...

Ooooh yummy - new treats, that's what we like to read about best. Our human said they look great because they're not too big - as far as we can see that's the only problem with them ;-) Dex & Lou x

Amber-Mae said...

That is some paper thin treat! I like the size of it too. It's not too small nor too big. It would be perfect for bigger doggies like us too! I bet it smells great. Good to know Oscar likes them. We Goldens are VERY food oriented too. HEE HEE

Santa, Minnie and Christmas said...

Food are we! Those look like great treats.

- Christmas and The Girls

Pauline @ Oscah Baby said...

Yummy! I've been on the lookout for low-calories treats, too, but for a totally different reason: Oscar's on a diet!

My Mighty Wolf sounds like a great brand and at 1.3 calories a treat, you can't go wrong! I've recently picked up a box of Zuke's mini bites and each little treat is only 5 calories! Oscar goes crazy over them. :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm going to pick up a bag when I'm at the store this week... variety is really helpful, too.
Sadie loves Wet Noses Little Stars Organic Dog Training Treats (about the size of a pencil eraser).

cherie said...

Tiny treats is a wonderful idea. Will look forward to your training program.
Have a wonderful day!

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