We’re continuing on with our monthly theme this week - national train your pet month! There’s a lot of words that get thrown around when talking about dog training, and it can be super overwhelming to try to understand all of them! A phrase you’ll come across a lot is “high value treats.” But what IS a high value treat, and when should you use them?
What’s a High-Value Treat?
This depends on your specific dog and his or her tastes, but there are a few general rules you can follow:
-moist or freeze-dried
-a rare treat! Something your dog only gets during training
Examples from the healthybud line: beef lung, cod skins, or any of our freeze dried products or booster toppers!
Size and Texture Matter!
You’ll want to keep the size of your treats small. Remember, you want to keep your dog’s treat intake to 10% of their daily food intake as a maximum. If you’re working on a new behaviour or a particularly challenging one, you’ll want to be able to keep the treats flowing! This means that each serving size should be small - one of the reasons the healthybud bites are so handy since they are pre-portioned in a small size! Texture is important, too. You don’t want a treat that is too crumbly as it is hard to give to your dog quickly, and most of it will end up on the floor. You also don’t want anything too hard so you can break it into smaller pieces.
When Should You Use High-Value Treats?
-when teaching a brand new behaviour
-when lots of distractions are present. This could be during a group training class, or if you have a dog that is reactive when there are lots of triggers present.
-when counter-conditioning and working on behaviour modification
Once a behaviour is no longer new, switch to a low-value treat. You don’t want to use high-value treats for everything, since the novelty will wear off and this will eventually become a low-value treat. Low-value treats can be dog-friendly fruits or vegetables, and dry dog treats.
It is a good idea to have a number of different treats on hand for training, from low- to high-value. It can also be helpful to have a selection of high-value treats to choose from to keep them exciting in your dog’s mind!
Let us know what your pup’s favourite high-value treat is!
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
-The healthybud team