What Are Training Treats for Dogs?
Whether it’s potty training or leash training, it’s common knowledge that treats are an essential part of the dog training process. But with all the treats out there, how can you tell which are the right ones for your pup? If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between training treats and regular treats, or how exactly to use treats as part of the training process, we’ve got some answers for you!
Photo by Honest Paws
The Difference Between Regular Treats and Training Treats
The difference between regular treats and training treats is in their function. It’s less about ingredients or flavors and more about how effectively the treat can be used for training. In other words, a good training treat is one that is loved by your dog, dispensed easily, and consumed quickly.
Size is one of the most important things to consider when selecting training treats. The treat should be small enough that it doesn’t distract your dog from the larger task at hand. Plus, some treats can be high in calories (depending on what is used), so it’s best to stick with relatively small bite-sized treats that won’t affect your dog’s health even if the treats are fed regularly.
What Treats to Use for Training
Selecting a drool-worthy treat is certainly critical for picking the best training treats, but so is choosing a wholesome treat with nutritional value, as you’ll likely be handing out a good amount while training. Many trainers recommend morsels of cooked or dehydrated meat, as meat is highly desirable. At the same time, you’ll also know that there aren’t any unhealthy fillers or preservatives. You can feel a little less guilty about dishing out the treats and your dog won’t feel so terrible about being spoiled either!
Another factor to consider is whether or not the treat is easy to manage. Opt for a smaller treat that you can reward frequently or a larger treat that can be easily broken up into smaller pieces. Keep in mind that treats are often held in your hand or in your pocket during training. Messy or sticky treats may be enticing to canines, but not as exciting for you to hold or wash out of dirtied pockets.
How to Use Training Treats for Dogs
Many dog pawrents wonder when and how often training treats should be used. Some think that training treats are more effective if given only while actively training. Others argue that treats can be given at any time, because training can happen at any time. Indeed, many encounters can become productive training experiences!
Asking dogs to wait before meals, heel when a guest arrives, or sit at the vet–all of these are in-between moments that can become training opportunities. Keep treats handy in your pocket and dispense immediately after your pooch successfully completes a task. In the beginning, use treats after every repetition to reinforce the behavior. Gradually reduce the amount of treats–but still reward occasionally–once your furry one has gotten the hang of things.
Planning to use treats for potty training? Bark Potty can help make potty training even easier! Grab your fur baby’s fave bag of treats, subscribe to Bark Potty’s real bark pee pad, and check out the training FAQ to see how our natural dog bathroom can make potty training a breeze for you and your pup!