Do you feed treats to your dog?

I’ve had dogs for over 40 years and in that time I have spent a fair bit of money on chew sticks, Schmakos and goodness knows what else. I would probably be a lot wealthier right now if I hadn’t bothered and I am sure it didn’t do much for the dogs, albeit that they apparently enjoyed them.

In the past year or two I have gradually moved to not buying any treats at all except for gravy bones (they have one at night before they go to bed) and Fish4Dogs sea jerky Tiddlers. I have started to give them small pieces of chicken carcass since they went onto raw diet one month ago. I still have a small supply of Gentle which I soften in warm water so that I can put it into a Kong. I then freeze them and they amuse the girls for a while. For recall etc I can use small pieces of Gentle for a reward and that works well because it is a nutritious, good food which can be used with raw food.

What are your opinions about treats? Do you give them or not?

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I have been giving a gravy bone when we go out. At night I give a homemade, gluten free camomile biscuit made with oats and brown rice flour. I also give a frozen kong filled with gentle daily and once this batch of gravy bones has gone, I will be giving Gentle as a treat instead. I also take fish for dogs little stars out with me for good behaviour on a walk. As she is fear reactive I have to give them often and these are tiny.

There are also cheese and ham titbits at sandwich making time which I am trying to discourage, I think treats can be really useful for counter conditioning and desensitisation. Even when a response has been relearned, I still continue to treat the behaviour I want to encourage.

I tried small pieces of carrot as a recall treat. It worked well for a while and the other park dogs loved it. They do bore of it quickly and a substitute is needed for a while then it can be reintroduced.

What a great subject for a thread, Dottie, I look forward to reading more replies.

Like you, I give Fish4Dogs sea jerky as a daily treat. For training treats (aka bribes) I’m using Thrive Kind & Gentle 100% chicken treats, which have the advantage of being seriously tiny so I feel I can use as many as I need even for a very small dog, but they are not at all smelly so might not work well with a less greedy dog than mine.

I don’t give any chews as such, but there are always a couple of Stagbar antler bars lying around and the little Cav spends hours happily gnawing on those. Each one lasts him 4-6 weeks, so they work out to be good value.

I give anything and everything. I use free samples of kibble, along with various other treats that usually come as prizes from dog shows or other competitions. I use treats alot during training, and have the occasional ‘jackpot’ treat in my bag that is usually something fishy or anything smelly and a bit larger than what they usually get.

They also get the odd chew. Lizzy has large munchies, as this is the only thing I’ve found that lasts a couple of minutes and breaks up easily to avoid a certain someone swallowing it whole. And Roger gets a small rawhide ring, which thanks to the shape takes him a while to get through. They also have free access to antlers and bull horns, although only Roger really enjoys these.

Good to know about Thrive, George. I haven’t seen these before but it will be nice to alternate with the little stars so that they don’t get too boring. The little stars are the smallest treats I have found. It is tricky when you have a 6kg dog who needs lots of encouragement to be obedient ;D

The tube they come in is pretty small too, which possibly makes them less good value, but means it’s small enough to put in your pocket and rattle it when you want the dog’s attention.

i use dentisticks cut into small pieces but only for rewards on walks out on rare occasions i will get him a knuckle bone from the butchers some of my friends say i am mean not to give treats in the house but surly a long walk in the park is what our dogs love most of all

I hadn’t heard of the Thrive treats either - they look very good indeed. Thank you for letting us know about it. I may even buy a tube. I agree that the rattle of them is a good thing, especially when used for recall training. As Tinyplanets says, the little star shaped Fish4Dogs treats are good for training too. I tried the stag antler thingy a couple of years ago and as nobody was interested in it I gave it to my Labrador owner friend. They do love their puppy sized Nylabone though and will often go to their toy box to pick one up and have a chomp.

Thrive do other treats as well but I don’t know if they are as small as the Kind & Gentle ones, I suspect not since they come in bigger tubes and Thrive do specifically say the Kind & Gentle are ideal for small breeds and puppies.

Treats we’ve used and recommend
For chewy treats - dried duck necks, antlers and cow hooves (non filled) - Tasty Bone range is a good alternative to Nylabone
Training treats - natural - Pet Munchies do a range of Venison and Liver which come in strips but are really easy to break down, Dried sprats, good and fishy but smelly if left in your pocket.
Training treats - Pate (dog specific) is great as it comes in a toothpaste tube and you can squeeze out a pea sized treat and the dog licks it off the tube. These are great cause you can put the top back on and they’re not smelly in your pocket. Arden grange do a range but we’ve found the Trixie ones a bit better it might be that dogs can see the blue packaging better.
Trixie also do a range of tiny mini bone treats - smallest treats I know and they come in a 500g tub for about £4

over the years we have given them anything and everything. but now as Bryan has reached his senior years, he has developed a sensitive tummy, plus we try and watch his weight a lot more as he slows down he doesn’t run about as much.

at present they both have 2 chewdles (small soft cube from home bargains) when they come to work with us, then at bedtime they have a fish for dogs tiddler, a small markie and a munchy roll (preferably a non coloured one)

Poppy also has hotdog sausage when she goes to training class

they both have a chicken thigh once a week as we are also feeding them raw natures menu

don’t forget there is a treat review secion on this site, well worth seeing what is in some of those treats

The Little Cav has some new treats, and he thinks he’s gone to treat heaven. They are…

Cat treats! I intended to buy some more of the Thrive Kind & Gentle 100% chicken treats, and almost bought the cat version by mistake - they look almost identical. Then I noticed that Thrive actually do more varieties of the cat treats than they do of the Kind & Gentle, and one of them is 100% tuna. The Little Cav adores tuna so I bought some of those instead; they’re a little bit smelly but not too much so and he simply loves them.

Well, I bought a dehydrator with best intentions has anyone else used one?

I had planned to make liver treats but the smell of liver cake is bad enough and so its still in its box :o
so if someone could inspire me with recipes that would be amazing
love lou x

I think Muffin would appreciate tuna so I might give them a go.

Louise I cook a livercake which is just liver, wholemeal flour and egg. It does smell pretty bad when cooking but I make a big load, cut it into little pieces and freeze bags full of it so it last ages. It is very popular and most helpful for training.

I use a dehydrator, I’ve done chicken, butternut squash, liver, heart and lung so far. You dry meats at 70°C so little damage to the proteins, you do have to trim as much fat as possible though as it doesn’t dry well.

No smell while drying, even with liver which is a bonus, and the dogs love it, but be sparing with rich offal like liver as too much can cause loose stools.

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To be fair, I’d heard about liver smelling bad too, so first time I dried it I put it in the garage out of the way, I think its when you actually cook it it smells bad

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Mine get a variety of things such as fish4dogs sea jerky whoppers, beef pipes, raw chicken feet, raw sprats (although my gsp won’t touch raw fish) and the occasional raw hide chew or pigs ear.

For training treats I use cut up pieces of cooked chicken or sausage or the millies wofheart 80:20 training treats.

We got some of the Millies 80:20 treats yesterday in a little red bag with merry christmas on from the team lovely surprise and another example of their customer services, will use them at training tonight. Indie have you tried their fish skin chew sticks yet? im being a softy as floss is so fab on ranger im so scared to introduce things again. They look good wonder if they would last.

will dig the dehydrator out over the holidays and try some things thanks david did think of putting it in the garage will be brave!

lou x

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