Q) What are the best puppy training treats? A) Whatever your pup loves!
Use this guide to help you discover the best puppy training treats for your pup. Plus a few other puppy musings.
Think Squishy, Tiny, and Stinky
Squishy, so you‘re able to tear the treats into itty bitty pieces. Half the size of a pencil eraser.
Tiny, since you‘ll be using lots.
Stinky, often more appealing than bland, but as always, it‘s up to your pup.
Bonus. A toy. Some pups prefer a game of tug to a treat. My go-to is a long, lightweight tug toy with a squeaker in it.
When you‘re on the move, keep your treats (and toy) in a treat pouch. Use one that is comfortable and provides you with fast, easy access. I use the Rapid Rewards treat pouch.
My Puppy Won‘t Eat Treats When I Go Outside
If your puppy won‘t eat treats when you go outside the first thing to determine is why?
You want to be sure your puppy is not feeling overwhelmed and this is why he won’t eat. Is his tail tucked? Does he stop and sit with a tightly closed mouth, tense facial muscles, and a lifted front paw? Is he trying to get away from the action, other dogs, people, or loud noises?
Learn about dog body language and consult with a professional, certified dog trainer. Avoid putting your pup in situations he finds stressful.
We put a lot of pressure on our pups to fit into situations that are often unpleasant or overstimulating. Rethinking this is always worthwhile. What works for one puppy/person team might not work for you and your puppy. That‘s okay!
Daily Calories – could they be the best puppy training treats?
There are countless things to teach, reinforce, and create positive associations with. Use meal portions when possible. Ideally, your pup loves his meals. Use them!
Food in a bowl in the kitchen is a waste of a precious resource. Don‘t squander the food and miss out on an opportunity to use it more creatively. Did you know that it is often more fun for your pup to receive meals in creative ways? For example, you can hand feed, stuff in toys, and of course, use them for training treats. #ditchthebowl.
Whole Food (aka people food) and Why I Love Using It
Whole food can be a healthy addition to your pup‘s regular diet. It is easy to tear into tiny pieces, full of moisture, and sometimes less expensive than processed dog treats. If you are interested, check out some examples and find recipes here.
Nothing Wasted – Everything Gained
Take the time to experiment, get creative, and be thoughtful about your treats. What‘s best right now? Soft treats, harder treats for tossing, treats that get the pup‘s attention when he sees something really interesting… what does your pup LOVE? This will contribute to your teaching being more fun and effective. Happy Puppy Raising!