- How to give puppy treats
- When to give treats
- Treat-based puppy training
- Benefits of puppy treats
- What to look for and what to avoid
- Yummy Treats We Recommend
Your pup deserves a little snack from time to time. Treats can also be used as rewards for being a good boy or good girl. This positive reinforcement makes training and obedience drills easy tasks for most owners. Also, giving out some chewies makes your doggo love you more. In my experience, I will be welcomed with a wagging tail every time I go home and toss some rawhide bones. But if not, my pooch will be snobbish and will complain with a low but long growl. Since snacks are part of our daily routine, I see to it that my jar is filled with these best dog treats.
Dogs, even those little babies, have a very strong sense of smell, much so if you have a Beagle running in circles at this moment. With a yummy food on your hands, they will surrender to your commands. But as I progress as an informed pet owner, I discovered that you shouldn’t give treats just because you want to or your dog is craving for it.
How to give puppy treats
Never give out a treat to an overly excited dog. Your pooch will associate the yummy reward to being rowdy and yappy. They will keep repeating this behavior to get what they want. Such a thing is like walking in the opposite direction of your destination. Instead of utilizing treats to promote discipline and patience, you’re fueling your pet’s behavioral problem.
As a general rule, always give treats when the pup is in a calm and listening state. That way, you can instill the sense of emotional restraint. Your pup will have to behave to get his yummy chew.
Puppies are naturally yappy and they will become more flustered when they smell food. They can sniff food for as far as 25 feet so they’ll know once you open that jarful of guilty pleasures. When a rowdy behavior takes place, air your disapproval with a firm “no”. Don’t let the treat slip from your hands until they behave and pay attention to your command.
Usually, the pup will sit on its butt with a violently wagging tail and licking tongue. With this, your dog will start to learn that he has to be calm to get his treat. This can be a pain to do at first, but it will pay off once your pup turned into an adult doggo.
When to give treats
You don’t pop puppy treats whenever you like. The same with their major meals, you have to schedule it to avoid overeating. Giving treats in between meals is a basic rule. Of course, you can give treats after a meal as a “dessert”. But if you’re using it for training, you’re sabotaging your progress. It’s best to pull the snack out when they are half hungry.
Some dogs lose their interest even if the best dog treats are being offered. The trick here is to engage their senses and have them hooked to your treat. Using your thumb and first two fingers, put it close to their nose so they can smell. Afterward, put in front of their eyes and then to their ears. This way, you will establish the presence of a treat. Slowly lift the treat up so the dog will be forced to lower his butt and sit. If he starts to jump, let out a firm “no”.
Just don’t make this tempting phase linger too much. Your dog will soon lose attention and loathe snack time. The last thing you’ll want to happen is your pooch climbing up the countertop to claim their treat without the fuss you’re giving.
Treat-based puppy training
Food is your pup’s weakness. If you want your little pooch to obey and listen, hold a piece of treat. This can be used to encourage your dog to understand visual and verbal cues. Doing this repeatedly will help tame bad behavior and instill patience. I must admit, this isn’t as easy as it sounds but the following tips will help you out just like how it did its magic on my dog:
Don’t stick to the lure forever
Using treats to get your puppy do what you want is good, but you shouldn’t stick to it for the rest of his dog life. They will start to consider the treats as a bribe for their obedience, thus they won’t follow unless you have food to give. The trick here is to ditch the treat once your pup got used to the manner of lowering his butt and paying attention. Later on, perform the same gestures but without the treat.
Don’t use it as a bribe
The ugly truth about puppy training is that dog owners usually end up bribing their dogs for achieving a task. As you progress on the puppy training, you should rely on treats less. You can compensate for the reward with affection by petting or hugging your dog. This will work best especially if you’ll ignore them when they don’t answer a command.
Since you want your dog to learn new tricks, you’re likely bent to lay all your cards. But don’t do so with the number of treats. Just have a small portion for the day’s training and don’t go beyond that. Your pup may grow fat if you don’t put a capping on their reinforcement snacks.
Pair it with a clicker
If you want a higher success rate with training, pair your treats with a clicker. Your dog will soon associate the clicking and the treat to achievement. Start decreasing the treat portion until you get rid of it. Clicking alone will soon be enough to encourage your dog to heed your commands.
Rotate a variety of treats
Every dog has varying preferences for treats. Try different delights and see which one your pup is dying to get. Below, I reviewed two of the treats that my little pooch can’t get enough of. Still, check if it does the same with your pet.
Reward each step, not the whole activity
You simply can’t push a dog to perform the whole task before rewarding him big time. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. If you try to do so, the training session will turn into a commotion between you and your pet. For example, if you’re trying to make the pup lie down, reward him with one treat when he sits. Another if he crouches then one more if he fully laid his neck on the ground. Step by step just like a little kid.
Here are some tips from Zak George on how you can teach your dog to listen without the treats!
Benefits of puppy treats
Most pet owners who are a bit cash-strapped think that dog meals can also double as treats. Just have a few pieces of kibble and let your dog have it. Although this will work as a positive reinforcement, both you and the dog will miss the benefits of the best dog treats. Here are some of those:
If you have a three or four-month-old pup, you have to prepare for teething. You can utilize chewy toys and chewy treats to ease the discomfort on their gums. Most chewy puppy treats promote dental health by removing foot bits trapped between their little daggers. For a teething pup, choose a chewy bone instead of crunchy kibbles although both can work well.
Food treats aren’t just beneficial for the pup; it’s also advantageous for you as the owner. You can use this as a reward for obedience. Since puppies have short attention spans (like toddlers, I must say), food will keep them engaged and under your spell.
I’ve seen a lot of puppies go obese because of their owner’s failure to plan their meals. A Beagle with a plump tummy is overwhelmingly cute, but it’s not healthy. Using treats in between meals, you can arrest hunger and prevent them from whining until the next meal. I always prefer chewy meals because it takes time to eat and my puppy gets occupied for at least 20 minutes.
Aside from their usual meals, pups can get an extra dose of nutrition from treats. There are organic options that you can get which includes fatty acids for a better coat, chamomile for easing teething, and jerky to clean their teeth.
Low-fat treats help ease hunger and it also cuts the risk of pancreatitis on your pup. Excessively fatty foods can cause this illness which can compromise the life of your pet. Still, you should watch out for unnecessary meals that can defeat this benefit.
For the sake of variety, puppy treats will be a great addition on your pet’s diet. It’s rare for dogs to get tired of a certain food, but a separate snack doesn’t hurt.
What to look for and what to avoid
With meticulous eyes, examine the ingredient’s list to know what’s inside. It’s not enough that it has a yummy flavor, the components should be suitable for your pup, much so if he has allergies or sensitivities. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it’s probably a synthetic stuff that’s not good for your pooch.
You can opt for organic ones depending on what you and your dog want. Always keep their palate in consideration since no matter how nutritious a treat is, they won’t find it appealing if it doesn’t taste good. It’s like feeding toddlers with veggies.
Feel free to ask your vet about the best dog treats for your pup. Specialty stores are also knowledgeable about this and they can probably give some options for you to peruse.
Keep in mind that human treats are no-gos for dogs. There are some that can slip, but a lot of it will piss their stomachs. Here are some that you should avoid both as an ingredient of the treat and as a random snack for your pet:
-Anything with coffee
-Salty food items
Yummy Treats We Recommend
Dingo Rawhide Mini Bones
This one is my favorite of all the puppy treats I’ve seen. My pup will agree since he can’t get enough of digging his little daggers on the chewy stuff. This is rawhide wrapped with real chicken and shaped into tiny bones. It helps clean the teeth of my dog plus it eases the pain of teething. The rawhide material allows them to chew without tearing off.
Each piece is small enough to suit the mouth of my puppy, but I suggest that you monitor them when you give out this treat. The rawhide can choke them when they get overly excited with gnarling.
I suggest that you get the 12-piece pack with twist sticks first to see if your dog will like it. After months of having this on during training and random feeding, I’m confident enough to purchase the 210-piece pack.
Wellness Natural Soft Puppy Bites
“Just for puppies”, that’s what the Wellness Natural Soft Puppy Bites says on its packaging. What I love about this is its all-natural ingredients packed with superfoods and tasty salmon that add to the luring taste and smell. This treat comes in five flavors, but my dog prefers the Soft Lamb & Salmon.
The pieces are small enough for puppies to chew but soft enough so they won’t choke on it. Although my pooch shows less enthusiasm whenever I give this treat, it doesn’t fail to hook his attention.
Anyway, I recommend that you give treats to puppies at least six months old. Otherwise, let them nurse on their mother or enjoy moist food first.
By getting the best dog treats, you can have a weapon that will magnetize the attention of your puppy. It can be a challenge to use it for your advantage, but a few tricks should do its charm.