Top Training Treats

Below are the Top Training Treats in my dog’s humble opinion.  I am not saying these are necessarily  “healthy eating choices”  but after multiple taste tests this is what Cookie came up with.

The Taste Test

How did this taste-testing work? While Cookie was out of sight and behind a closed door I stacked  small piles of each of fifteen different treats. I did this after her meal and only had a few of each.  I didn’t want her to be so hungry she scarfed down the closest pile without checking them all out! The treats ranged in texture from dry (biscuit-like and freeze-dried) bite-sized treats to  semi-moist tiny treats.

After I had all fifteen in a row I brought Cookie in and walked her past each pile and asked her to do a “leave it.” Walking 10 feet away, I had her do a sit/stay at about the half way point in the line. And then I released her with an “OK” and watched the fun begin. I noted which treats were eaten first, second, third and so on.

I have to admit that Cookie does not have the most discriminating palette.  It isn’t that she will eat just anything, for instance cauliflower is out of the question. Tomatoes too, though she has been known to roll a cherry tomato around in her mouth a bit before spitting it out. But these five treats were always in the top five  of fifteen after multiple tests.

The Winners

Ziwi Peak Good Dog Rewards  Lamb Liver

Mid-class one day I ran out of the training treats I brought from home. It was a large class, of large puppies, with large appetites. Without giving it much thought, as I was in a bit of a bind, I grabbed a bag of these and ripped into them.  It was towards the end of the class and the puppies were probably a bit tired and pretty full as well. But the noses started twitching and a few of them started moving in on me as if I was fresh kill and with  a great deal of interest. These treats were spectacularly popular even with the picky pups and were a convenient size, though they could be broken into smaller pieces easily thereby extending the value. They were a tad greasy but well worth it. Several of my canine students cleaned my hands up right quick!

Pet Botanics Rolled Dog Food- Lamb & Rice

Another lamb product! If offered, Cookie almost always goes for the lamb products. This is really intended as food rather than treats but with Cookie’s large appetite that wasn’t going to happen. So I started using them as training treats and they are still one of her favorites though she has been eating it for years.  It is very easy to slice and dice into tiny pieces. Generally I make them pea-sized. If you try to make them much smaller they can get crumbly.  This does need to be refrigerated after you cut into it, but if wrapped properly it lasts a good long time in the freezer. This is one of the most economical treats and I return to it again and again.

Yummy Chummies Salmon and Bacon

I was surprised that these were chosen. They aren’t particularly strong smelling but she still picked them out. This is a relatively new addition to our “tool box.”

Whole Life Liver Treats

These are freeze dried and a little larger than I generally like to use for training but she didn’t ask me what I thought! They take a little too long to eat to use in training and they are somewhat crumbly which is a problem in class.  There are those dogs in class who are keen to clean the floor for me, and if there are any crumbs around they are anxious to investigate further.

Ziwi Peak Good Dog Venison Dog Treats

Another great product from Ziwi Peak and New Zealand.

A great source for most of these products is K9Cuisine.  I especially like the way each treat has an image and five tabs. Click on each and you can find information about ingredients, analysis, and even reviews! Great site. Be sure to visit the K9 Cuisine blog as well. Full of great information, stories, and wit.

Cookie’s  final word on the subject?

“Just give me lamb and no one will get hurt.”

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