Ok So, Maybe I Cheated A Little Again For X...
But there aren't that many foods that start with X, especially not ones that are dog friendly. Yesterday I ran out of training treats (agaaain) for the boys and had to whip something up quick. Fenrir, who is 9 months old now, has been having some issues when out on his leash that I want to nip as soon as possible. Of course I use positive training methods for my pups, and that means lots of treats. When it comes to Fenrir, it also means the treats have to be super high value. He's my picky puppy, and won't work for peanuts (or peanut butter, most types of commercial treats...you get the picture).
In my experience, the highest value treats you can offer belong to the meats and cheese families. Cheese is always ok as backup, but something about carrying cheese in my pocket, especially on a warm day, just isn't very appealing.
Luckily I had some frozen meats - beef liver and hearts - saved for the dogs. I thawed them out, cut them into bite sized pieces, and stuck them in my food dehydrator. A few hours later and I had some high quality, dried treats to take with me and Fen on our afternoon walk.
I had a dehydrator tray free, so I also made a tray of apple treats for my rabbit, Barnaby.
What Makes A Treat Xtra Awesome?
What's considered to be a high value treat will depend on your dog. My Papillon, Kitsune, would probably try to move the moon for a piece of apple or a stray black bean. He's HIGHLY food motivated and will work for treats that other dogs might not be too crazy about.
Fenrir, on the other hand, is super picky and not as motivated by food. I can sometimes use lower value treats to brush up on his training in the house, but when it comes to working outdoors we have to go big or go home. This is where the real meats and, sometimes, pieces of cheese come in. Anything less and Fen usually shows no interest.
I'd love to hear from other dog owners - what does your dog consider to be a high value treat? What foods really motivate him/her when you're working on training?
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme here.