So...we have only been offering Piper praise and lots of it, for going potty and other good deeds. However, her puppy smile is saying she's over it and wants us to up the booty a tad. LOL
Offering a treat every time she potties and then everytime she does well with training seems like a lot of treats though.
We also have a homemade treat recipe, but the main ingredient is flour..so is that not essentially "grain fed" which isn't good for them?
What do you offer your puppy for a treat? And how many do they get a day? I was thinking of cooking up a chicken breast and giving small chunks of that, but I'd like something store bought too, just for ease of use.
There is nothing wrong with grain unless a dog has an allergy or intolerance. I stick to organic, but that's just me... I do it for my whole family.
Any whole meats and cheese are fine treats, and also very high value. I buy pork loin roast when they are on sale, roast one, cube it small and freeze it in small "snack sized" bags. This lasts a LONG time. Chicken or turkey breast is good too, but roasted tends to be a bit messy. Poultry is better boiled, and longer than you would for human tastes... you want it pretty rubbery and dry so it holds together well when you cut it. String cheese sticks are a really easy option. Pull it into narrow "strings", then break off tiny bites as needed, or if you are getting ready for a class, where you'll need a lot, cut it up ahead of time.
There are a bunch of freeze-dried meat training treats available... try a bunch of different kinds. One of Kodi's favorites, and cheaper than many, is Merrick's "Lamb Training Treats". This is freeze dried lamb lung, which sounds gross, but most dogs go NUTS over it, and it's easy to break or cut into tiny pieces. I stay away from freeze dried buffalo, because it's very tough and I find it hard to cut into small enough pieces. There are a bunch of soft, organic training treats also, but you have to go to boutique or at least "non-big-box" shops to find them.
The biggest thing to remember when you choose training treats is taht it has to be soft enough that you can easily break (or at least cut) it into tiny pieces, Even the smallest commercial sized training treats, (Like "Tricky Trainers") are too big for training even an adult Hav, and WAY too big for a small puppy. With the small, soft, commercial treats like Tricky Trainers, I break them into thirds when I use them. They're handy to have around when you don't hae any home made options available, but they are a lot more expensive in the long run!!!
And remember... do not "just" give treats for no reason... all treats must be earned. But when training new behaviors (and by new, I mean anything that's not TOTALLY confirmed, and NOTHING is totally confirmed with a young puppy) be REALLY generous with the training treat rewards. For especially good work, or trying really hard, give "jackpots" of at least 4-6 treats one at a time, right in a row, along with a TON of praise. This make a REALLY strong impact on a dog's mind!