The below are my suggestions for training treats that my dogs enjoy and I have found beneficial in building enthusiasm and excitement for the exercises and games that I play with them.
However different treats will be more or less attractive to different dogs. Ella has always LOVED fishy treats, but the first time I gave puppy Jade a prawn she looked at me with complete disgust and spat it out! :D
I would advise trying small quantities of the below to find out if your dog likes them and also if they are going to agree with their tummy too - particularly if you have a dog with a sensitive digestion.
I have always started using these types of treats from when they are very young, and can only remember a couple of times where things didn't agree with one of my puppies tummies which resulted in some rather icky diarrhoea!
We found Lintbells YuDigest really helpful in settling things down along with skipping the next meal (or two if necessary) then feeding a small amount of cooled scrambled eggs or cooked chicken breast & rice. Provided that sorted things out I might do that for another couple of meals before reintroducing puppy's usual food.
But with that said, my puppies have always so far been medium sized dogs - terriers & collies, rather than small breeds which may or may not make a difference to their tolerance to new foods. It certainly makes a difference to the quantity that they can physically take, but a greedy puppy might overeat resulting in an upset tummy which we obviously want to avoid.
As with my advice above for adult dogs, I would advise trying small quantities of the below to find out if your dog likes them and also if they are going to agree with their tummy too.
Very new puppies are often more likely to have stomach upsets due to the nature of the things happening to them:
- Settling into a new home
- New water source (if puppy has been purchased from some distance away)
- Possible new dog food
- Vaccinations putting pressure on the immune system
- Natural stresses of socialisation and development - even with a happy and confident puppy
With those caveats in mind, here's the list as road tested by my dogs! :)
1. Liver Cake
You can either make this yourself using our recipe, or look to buy some from the lovely people at Klassy Canine Bakery - . It's a really, magically good training treat - and if you make it yourself, it's also extremely cheap!
2. Cocktail Sausages
Our running-late-for-training-class stalwart - easy to pick up a packet from the supermarket, and break off bits as you go.
3. Hotdog Sausages
Excellent training treat for being able to throw on the floor, hotdog sausages don't crumble or break up, so they're ideal if you're playing clicker games where you wish to throw food about.
Various cheeses work well - but your best bet is something that isn't going to crumble in your pocket. Also bear in mind the weather - when it's warm you might well find it turns into a gooey mess and you dog might find it a bit sticky on a hot day. Squeezy cheese tubes are ideal for teaching small dogs - squeezing a little for them to lick as a reward instead of filling them up with big lumps of food.
Any strong smelling meat will do well for training - some do have a lot of salt, so mixing up with others is probably best and not using this all the time. The benefit of using just a little amongst other treats is that the smell will permeate through the rest, this is one our dogs love.
When I first start training a puppy I usually start with something milder like cooked chicken or the wafer thin type they sell in the sandwich aisle of the supermarket, so that they're not having something too rich which might upset their tummy. This can be made more interesting by frying up with a little garlic to make it smell even nicer.
7. Seafood or Crab Sticks
Just from the seafood section in your local supermarket, these cut up into delicious chunks for training and are good if you have a dog with a slightly more delicate stomach.
Leftover anything is an ideal training treat, and roast dinner is no exception. Much better to use up for training that go to waste!
9. Corned Beef
Similar to the salami, can be salty so wouldn't advise using all the time, but dogs do love this one. Not the easiest treat for throwing about, but if you're doing static exercises this would go down very nicely.
Along with Corned Beef, easy one to have in the cupboard rather than having to keep fresh. Dogs love this meaty taste, your only problem might be other members of the household pinching bits as you're cutting it up!
Plus if you're good at baking, we have many recipes that you can have a go at making up for your dog - click on the link below for more details: