I want to talk more about rewarding your dog and the differences in treats you can use. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. With my personal dogs, I work them for their food, and I use that as a treat. That doesn’t mean I don’t use treats. I really like using treats now and again because it’s a nice way to spoil my dogs for all of their wonderful behaviors. You’ve noticed the title of this article is “Crunchy, Soft, Big and Small Differences,” and I want to share a little information about each of those.
Crunchy treats can be a perfect treat. However, I don’t use them all that much. I tend to use crunchy treats if I have my dog on a place stay and they needed to stay for a longer period of time. The reason for that is, whenever you go to hand a dog a crunchy treat, they tend to fall apart, and some of the pieces fall to the ground if you’re trying to do heeling or some other kind of game like recall, for instance, those little pieces tend to get in the way. When you’re doing stay work though since it crumbles there where the dog should stay. It’s actually helpful.
Soft treats are mainly what I use. I really like soft treats because they are very easy to consume. For instance, today, we had a pretty small treat we were working with, which is good, but it was also a hard treat. We were trying to do the “coming when called” game with it. Unfortunately, because the treat wasn’t soft enough, the dog would spit it out. When that happens, the dog wasn’t getting the reinforcement that the exercise called for. Soft treats work well for a large range of exercises because it’s so easy for the dog to consume quickly. If you’re looking to keep a young dog in some stay, the soft treats may be too quickly consumed, so you will have to slow down the speed to keep your dog engaged.
Big treats will be useful when maybe the dog has done a great job and got 10-20 repetitions correct; then I can come in with the big treat to be the jackpot that ends it. Let me give you an example of what I’m currently doing with my dog Gabby. I’ll do a little bit of heeling work and little tricks for food, and I give Gabby a piece or two here and there. Then, once I’ve given her a third or half of the bowl, I’ll send her to one of her places and give her the remaining bowl of food, which she quickly devours. So, you can use the big treats to be the finishing touches on your training sessions. For those of you that are new and you are training with a puppy. Why not use the remaining portion of the food in the bowl to lead them to their crate and have them settle there. Then give them the bowl of food for a job well done.
Small and soft treats are the main thing I’m using because it’s effortless to transact. I like small treats, but be careful because you can make them too small. You never want it to be too tiny to where it’s inconsequential. It does need to be small but also meaningful enough for your dog.
I hope this was helpful! Please remember you can always go to my YouTube Channel for more tips or find more right here on my website at www.longoriahausdogtraining.com. Send me a text if you have any questions about this or anything else (832) 734-5189