Some Tasty Training Treats

For those of you who like to use tasty bits of food as positive reinforcement in training (eg obediance, agility, tricks, etc) or as bait in tracking or as positive reinfocement in a behavior modification protocol, here are 4 brands that I have used and liked very much. These are also very helpful when trying to get a sick anorexic dog to eat, as they are tasty and high in nutrition.

Tasty Training Treats

When I look for a food treat to use in training, first and foremost, it also

but for most Bouvs that is not a hard criterion to fulfill because most of them are such gluttonous omnivores.
In addition, I have three criteria that relate to ease and pleasantness of use for myself : As less important considerations , it is also preferable but not essential for me if

Two that I have found that I especially like that fill all the above criteria (except possibly the washing machine test, which I don't make a habit of doing) :

" Meaty Treats Jerky Dog Snacks" comes in a plastic tub net weight 50 oz with a mostly red label with yellow & blue print. the word "Jerky" in yellow is very eye catching. half are lamb flavored and half are beef flavored. The treats are thin strips abut 4.5 " long x 3/4" wide x bit under 1/8" thick.easy to break into very small bits. Nutritional content is listed as crude protein 20 % , crude fat 10% for the lamb and protein 27%, fat 10% for the beef. It does include propylene glycol,potassium sorbate, and for the beef FD&C red #40; also some molasses and spices. It has quite a bit of aroma, very attractive to dogs. The manufacturer's web site is <> in Tupelo, MS (a town that admittedly has other claims to fame). I used to be able to get these at Price Club/Costco for a bit under $10 for a 50 oz tub ; but at the moment the local Costco is carrying the Cadet (see below) strips instead. You could also try the big pet superstores ; my local Petco does not have them, but I think that at one point I phoned PetsMart and was told they do carry them, no doubt at higher price than that of Costco.

"Cadet Chicken Breasts" are "oven roasted" dried jerky strips of chicken breast that claims to be made from 100% premium chicken breast fillets with no artificial colors or preservatives. The dried strips are hard, but fairly easy to break into small pieces. strips vary in dimensions. Nutritional content is listed as crude protein 70%, crude fat 2%. The strips havequite a bit of aroma, thus very attractive to dogs. The product comes in a 2 lb re-sealable bag. It is currently available at Costco for $10 for the 2 lb bag. The 2 lbs of dried strips is supposed to be from 8 lbs of fresh chicken. You can break these into very tiny shreds. The manufacturer is <> and e-mail <>. made in China and distributed by IMS Pet Industries in NJ.

A third treat that I really like that fills almost all the criteria :

"Natural Balance" is a compressed meaty saussage roll, like a salami with a plastic membrane casing. It very much fulfils the 3 main criteria and is very tasty to dogs, but it is supposed to be refrigerated after the plastic casing has been opened, a factor that might make it less convenient for some. It comes in 3 varieties : Lamb, Beef, and Turkey, and in 4 sizes, 4 lbs, 2.5 lbs, 1 lb, and a tiny sampler size of 2.75 oz. It is easy to cut into tiny chunks or cut into slices and broken into smaller pieces with your fingers for use in training. It is highly nourishing and very well liked by sick dogs. it has a very strong aroma which is very attractive to dogs. You can get it at PetCo and PetsMart and probably many other pet supply stores. costs are comparable to the other two treats. PetCo currently charges $8.95 for the 4 lb size, $6.49 for 2.5 lbs, $4.28 for 1 lb, and $1.09 for the 2.75 oz sampler. For al 3 flavors, the overall nutritional content is protein 11%, fat 5%, fiber 4 % , and moisture 40%. For the lamb and beef flavors, the first ingredient is meat and the 2nd is organ meet from the named species. See <> of (800) 829-4493 for further information. this is the same manufacturer as for the canned dog food called "Natural Balance" and the kibble of the same name. the company is in Southern California.

My dogs (my own and every foster that I have offered them to) think that these are great and very rewarding !!!! They will work for these if they will work for any food at all.

Very sick dogs who won't at much else will eat the Jerky treats and will eat the Natural Balance -- I have not had chance to see if this is also true for the Cadet chicken, but I would bet on it; a dog with a sore mouth would probably prefer the Cadet strips to be soaked to soften it however.

As with any treat , you may need to ask your vet if the protein and fat contents, which are on the high side for some of these treats, would be a problem for your dog, eg as they might be for a dog with failing kidneys or who is prone to pancratitis. You may also have to consider if any of the ingredients could be an allergy problem for your dog .

In training , I suggest you take advantage of your ability to break these up into very small bits, recognizing that just as young children can't tell a one dollar bill from a thousand dollar bill, so too dogs are usually just as happy to gulp down a very small piece of something that smells great as they would be to gulp a larger piece.

For getting nourishment into sick or underweight or poor appetite dogs, of course you would break them into whatever size your dog found easy to eat. With sick anorexic dogs, you will probably have the best luck if you offer the dog food many times during the day ; some sick dogs can only manage to eat a small amount at one time but will eat more if offered again an hour or so later. For sick dogs, also get Hill's A/D or Eukanuba Maximum Calorie from your vet ; these highly palatable and highly digestable pureed foods can be fed through an oral syringe if necessary.


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 11/4/05 revised 11/6/05
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