7 Amazing High Value Training Treats Almost All Dogs Love
As a modern dog trainer, you know the importance of figuring out each individual dog’s likes/dislikes when it comes to training treats. However, there are some foods/treats that are almost always considered high value in the minds (or mouths?) of dogs. Just be mindful that as so many of these high value food items are not specifically for dogs, they may be extremely high in fat or sodium, or just have questionable ingredients (see #1!), so save them for training complex behaviors or locations that will require super high value rewards.
Kraft Easy Cheese, AKA “Squeeze Cheese”
Perhaps the penultimate high value treat. Was ever a human food more perfectly designed for dog training than squeeze cheese? That lovely metal can with a nozzle at the end is perfect for relatively mess-free treating. And you cannot get a more ideal treating method for muzzle training because the nozzle fits so well through the muzzle. It comes in several flavors, though anything other than American or Cheddar can be difficult to find. There is an elusive bacon flavor that is rumored to be THE ONE.
Old reliable. There are very few dogs that don’t go crazy for peanut butter. Whether you give them a quick swipe with their tongue directly out of the jaw, or dip a spoon or finger in to let them lick it, peanut butter is going to keep even the most distracted of dogs working with your clients. It is also handy smeared on the refrigerator or another vertical surface to occupy a dog while getting a nail trim, or of course stuffed and frozen in Kongs or other stuffable toys.
Baby food is soft and stinky, pretty much ideal for dog training. Also, seeing as how it is designed to keep human infants alive and healthy, it often contains less questionable ingredients than something like Easy Cheese or hot dogs. Baby food also now comes in squeezable pouches for easy mess-free treating.
Kind of like peanut butter, hot dogs are a classic super high value training treat. Whenever possible, get the nitrate/nitrite-free ones so they are at least slightly less unhealthy. And remember, one hot dog can garner over a hundred treats if cut well.
Freeze-dried or dehydrated meat/organs is considered “doggy crack” by those in the know. Though it’s not overly stinky, it still can get the attention of most any dog in your vicinity. One drawback is that the pieces are often kind of large, requiring a little work to break them into more appropriate treat-sized pieces. The effort is worth it for such a mess-free, healthy, high value treat.
Fresh, warm, salty, greasy french fries. Nectar of the gods (dogs?). Incredibly unhealthy, so definitely only use these in extreme moderation. However, the lovely thing is they are soft so they are very easily torn into very small pieces so you can get a lot of training mileage out of just a handful of fries.
These are relatively newer on the market but dogs seem to go nuts for them. They smell really good, they’re small, they’re soft, not messy, and very inexpensive. Almost the ideal high value training treat.
What are some other treats your clients’ dogs consider high value?
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