Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Using a lot of treats

When we use food in training, it can be hard to figure out exactly how to do all the work without making our dogs overweight or filling up a small dog at the start of class. We spent quite a while talking about this in class last night.

- For at home training of behaviors, easy behaviors, maintaining behaviors, use kibble.
- If your dog food comes in smaller sized pieces, use those!
- Get a different brand/kind of dog food (fish!) to use as 'training treats'. More balanced nutrition than other treats, but still different and exciting.
- Measure out food and use that for training.

And with other actual treats...
- Use something lower calories, and cut it very small.
- With many dogs, mixing these things in with kibble can make the boring dog food all the more exciting.
- Use licking treats (canned food, low fat cream cheese, etc)

Other thoughts:
- Develop and utilize other non food reinforcers
- Plan and use food for the things you really need to work on.

I'm sure there are more food tips to list!

2 comments:

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

At work we get freeze dried liver treats and grind them up until it's dust. Then we sprinkle that into our jar of random kibble and the dogs just love it!

Kristen said...

I knew I had a bag of fish dust in my car for SOME reason. I hadn't been able to throw it away!

GREAT idea!