I usually do targeted training 2-3 times a day for a few minutes at a time so Iím noticing itís easy to lose track of how much he had of something earlier in the day if I donít plan the whole dayís portions ahead. I just wanted to make sure I have an idea of how much cheese is okay in a day.
Personally, I would not give my dogs cheese daily.
I think heíd go crazy for mini marshmallows because he LOVES whipped cream, but I only give it to him once a week or so. Iím going to put that one on my shopping list for a fun treat for when weíre playing, because he gets really excitable with the whipped cream. Maybe because itís so infrequent.
The marshmallows are probably not as bad for him as whipped cream, because, although, of course, they are completely sugar, at least they don't have the fat that whipped cream has.
For throughout the day he definitely doesnít go for his kibble, so lately Iíve been using a different package of commercial treats I donít want to buy again. I would like to replace it with something that doesnít need to be refrigerated and can be kept throughout the house. Iíve been stocking up on random clearance sugar bowls and bathroom canisters to keep all over the house. I tried a peanut butter based treat and he only goes for it if itís right before a meal so it doesnít seem like the best reinforcement. Iíve heard of people using the freeze dried kibble as treats, so Iíve wondered if that might seem like more of a novelty than his regular kibble. What kind should I try first?
As long as he doesn't have any food restrictions, I'd go to a high end "boutique" type dog food store and see what they have in the way of sample sized packages. Try out a bunch of different ones and see what he likes. You don't even have to worry about how high quality they are (although that's nice too) because you won't be feeding large quantities.
Right now I only use cheese outside (itís the best for snapping him out of a distraction) or to introduce something new.
Be careful about trying to "lure" attention with food. Food can very often overcome distraction in the short term. But in the long term, you can't use either food or corrections in the ring, and don't WANT to use them all the time in every day life. You want a dog who will do what you ask because they CHOOSE to work with you. ...Then reward them, rather than luring.
Work on new behaviors first in quiet, non-distracting settings, then when they are REALLY fluent in those laces (so you can count on them responding correctly at least 80% of the time, on the first cue, without food) it's time to slowly increase distraction. Otherwise you end up with a dog that will only work if they know you have the cookie in your hand.
Is lunch meat too high in sodium? We donít really eat a lot of meat other than chicken at dinner and lunch meat for my kids.
Depends on the lunch meat. There are low sodium options. But lunch meat is hard to cut into small, easily delivers cubes, and the easier and more precise delivery is, the faster they learn. Pork roast are cheap. Even if you don't want to eat them, buy them on sale. Cook one or two at a time. Cook it longer than you would for humans, so it's would be considered "dry and tough" by human standards. Then let it cool and cube it really small. Freeze it in small baggies, and pull out a new bag as you need it.
I take the Merrick with me in the car and use it more for outings. When iím early to pick up my daughter from dance itís the absolute best because I can keep him from barking out the window at the girls leaving the earlier class by having him practice ďsitĒ and ďfind itĒ and heís incredibly motivated.
That's a fine time to use whatever works. Then it's MUCH more about "management" and NOT practicing unwanted behaviors than it is about learning new skills!
It seems like liver is a longstanding dog favorite. There are so many brands, has anyone found one to have less of a smell over another?
Well, beef is another thing Kodi can't eat, so I don't buy. I occasionally buy freeze dried bison liver, but it is VERY hard... not, IMO, a good training treat. I do use it as a distraction in the vets office... that sort of thing. They sell BIG bags of lamb lung in Petco and Petsmart, and on Amazon. That's a LITTLE softer, so a bit easier to break up, and doesn't smell quite as strong. Because you can buy it in quantity, it's cheaper, as freeze dried meat goes.