• Liz MacHaffie

Rewards and Treats

Updated: May 7

What can be used for rewards? You can use ANYTHING your pet enjoys! This might include:

  • Treats

  • Toys

  • Playtime

  • Attention

  • Being let off leash

  • Getting to sniff stuff, like that really exciting tree or another dog’s butt

Reward Value

Not all rewards are created equally! Your pet probably has preferences for certain rewards over others. We use the terms “low-value” and “high-value”.

Training Treat Suggestions

The best training treats are bite-sized, low calorie, easy to eat, and easy on tummies. Not all of the treats on the list below fulfill each of those qualities, but many do!

  • Your dog's regular kibble

  • Kibble that is new or different to your dog

  • Tricky Trainers Crunchy or Chewy training treats

  • Zuke's Mini Naturals

  • Real Meat brand dog food (comes in a jerky form, the Venison and Turkey is easiest to break apart)

  • Pet Botanics Training Rewards

  • Pet Fresh Select Roasted Meals (Need refrigeration, but economical and most dogs LOVE them!)

  • Diced chicken

  • Canned food (ground, not chunky) in a silicone travel squeeze tube

  • Meat and veggie baby food pouches

  • Freeze dried chicken, beef liver, and/or cheese

  • Freeze dried shrimp or salmon (Stinky, but great for cats and dogs who can't have chicken or beef)

When Can I Stop Rewarding?

When you want your pet to stop working! (How long would you go to work without a paycheck?) But that doesn’t mean you have to reward every single repetition forever! You can also rotate between food and other types of rewards.

Here’s how often to reward:

  • Learning a behavior: Every time he gets it right.

  • Maintaining a behavior: Randomly. Frequently enough that behavior doesn’t weaken or fall apart.

Have fun experimenting and being creative with what rewards work best for your pet!!!

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