Saturday, 30 April 2011

Pet Training Treats

Posted by Blog Administrator at 20:52
Most animals are pretty much food motivated, meaning they really like food and will do many different things to earn a treat. Dogs are the most obvious about it, as they sit beside the dinner table and beg, but other animals like food a lot, too. This love of food can be very useful for trick training.

The ideal training treat is small and soft so that your pet won’t have to do a lot of chewing. Also make sure that it is something safe for your pet to eat and something he really likes.  This will make him even more eager to work for the treat. Less exciting treats, such as dry kibble, often only work well if your pet hasn’t eaten in awhile.


For dogs, you can use anything from bits of kibble to small chunks of cheese or deli meat. Look around in the dog food aisle of your local pet supply store or grocery store and you’ll find all sorts of different dog treats.  Some dogs prefer tastier treats such as cold cuts, while others are less picky and will settle for biscuits. Find out what your dog really likes to eat before starting, because you won’t get very far if Prince Charming feels he deserves something better than what you’re offering.

 If your dog has food allergies, make sure to offer treats that don’t have the ingredient he is allergic to. The wide variety of dog treats makes it very likely that there will be something he can have.
If you are training a cat, try out some cat treats. Cats are often pickier than dogs, so don’t buy a whole bunch of one type of treat until you’re sure your cat will like it.
Again, you can also use small bits of deli meat or some of your cat’s regular dry cat food

Farm animals such as horses and goats are really easy to find treats for, and most likely you have some in your house. Sure, you can get special horse treats, but most horses are just as happy to get an apple or a carrot. My goat likes Cheerios. Other types of cereal could also work for sheep and goats. Just avoid brands with a ton of sugar. If you’re using apples or carrots, be sure to chop them up into bite-size pieces so that you won’t need a whole bushel of apples for one training session.

You should be able to find treats for almost any type of animal in your local pet supply store. Otherwise, just try out different foods. Be sure that they won’t harm your pet before you let him eat anything new. Small nuts work well for birds, and turtles enjoy fruits and veggies. If your pet is overweight, you can still use treats for training. However, you must make sure that he gets less supper on days that he gets a bunch of treats.

You can even make him work for his supper by having him do tricks to earn each bite. This technique can work really well for animals who aren’t quite as excited about learning new things but love dinnertime. They will quickly catch on that goodies come only after they have practiced some tricks. This also makes feeding time a little more exciting for everyone involved.

One of my dogs will start doing tricks on her own if she’s really hungry and wants her supper! Also, just because your pet is at an ideal weight right now doesn’t mean that he should get a ton of treats in addition to his normal meals. Reduce the amount of food he gets at each meal when you are doing a lot of training so that he eats the same amount every day. This way, he will remain at a healthy weight. If your pet doesn’t like food that much, don’t be discouraged. You can also use toys, play, and praise to encourage him to work and let him know when he has done something right. Rewards must reinforce the animal so he will repeat the behavior, so use whatever your pet likes best.
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