How to Prepare Treats at Home

How to Prepare Treats at Home

Training your puppy is a delightful journey, and treats play a pivotal role in this adventure. But not all treats are created equal. As dedicated pup parents, it's essential to understand the value and impact of the treats we use, especially when training. Let's delve into the world of high-value and low-value treats and how you can prepare and utilize them effectively at home.

1. Understanding high-value vs. low-value treats

  • High-Value Treats: These are the treats that your dog would do backflips for! They're usually softer, smellier, and very different from their regular diet. They work exceptionally well when teaching new commands or training in environments with high distractions. Examples include boiled chicken, string cheese, or liver.
  • Low-Value Treats: These treats are usually a bit more common for your pup, like their dry food. While they might not have the "wow" factor of high-value treats, they're excellent for training exercises in low-distraction environments or maintaining already learned behaviors.

    2. Easy home-prepped training treats

    • Boiled Chicken: An excellent high-value treat, rich in protein and low in fat. Boil chicken breasts without any additives like salt or seasoning for about 12-15 minutes, let cool, then shred into small pieces. Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
    • String Cheese: Dogs often love cheese, making it a great high-value treat. Use string cheese as it's easy to portion and generally less messy. Remember to use it in moderation due to its fat content.
    • Boiled Sausage: A great high-value treat, especially for training. Choose plain, unseasoned sausage to ensure it's safe for dogs. Boil the sausage in water without any additives like salt or spices for about 10-15 minutes, ensuring it's fully cooked. After boiling, allow the sausage to cool completely, then slice it into small, pea-sized pieces, ideal for training purposes. Store the cooked sausage in the refrigerator and aim to use it within a few days to maintain freshness.
    • Turkey: Plain, cooked turkey (without spices or seasoning) is another great option. It's lean and high in protein. As with other meats, cook thoroughly, let it cool, and then chop it into small, manageable pieces.
    • Homemade Peanut Butter Bites: Mix natural peanut butter (xylitol-free) with flour to create a dough. Form small balls and bake at a low temperature until dry. These treats are appealing due to their unique taste.
    • Carrots: A healthy low-calorie option. Serve raw or steamed, cut into small pieces.
    • Apple Slices: Fresh and hydrating, ensure to remove seeds and core. Serve in small sizes.
    • Sweet Potato Chews: Thinly slice sweet potatoes and bake at a low temperature until dry and chewy.

      3. How much is too much?

      When training, remember the treat size matters. Ideally, training treats should be small, about the size of a pea. This allows for repeated rewards without overfeeding. Also, be sure to monitor the total number of treats given and adjust your dog’s main meals accordingly to maintain a balanced diet.

      4. Using treats effectively

      • Teaching New Commands: Opt for high-value treats. Their added allure can motivate your dog to focus on the new task at hand.
      • Training in High Distraction Areas: Whether it's a busy park or around other dogs, high-value treats can help retain your pup's attention.
      • Regular Practice and Reinforcement: For known commands or indoor practices, your dog's kibble or low-value treats are perfect.

        5. PupSensei pro tip

        Utilize the PupSensei Magnetic Treat Pouch from your Puppy Training Kit to keep your treats handy and fresh. Especially for soft treats like boiled chicken or cheese, having them in an accessible pouch can make training sessions run much smoother.

        In essence, treats are more than just tasty morsels; they're powerful tools in shaping behavior and building a bond with your pup. By understanding and using them wisely, you're setting the stage for many happy and productive training sessions.

        With PupSensei's guidance, nurture the bond between you and your furry friend. Dive deeper into our insights, tips, and paw-sitive wisdom by staying connected.

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