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Old 06-04-2013, 12:36 PM
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adojrts adojrts is offline
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When training new behaviors to puppies or adult dogs, we always have a high rate of reinforcement. I prefer to just use their kibble throughout the day when working in the home or in a low distracting environment. I also don't feed meals, all food comes from me. However I do have high quality homemade rewards for jackpots, rewarding a brilliant response or when working in a distracting place. I will reduce the amount of kibble to balance out the rewards. The reason I make the homemade rewards (liver, beef heart, chicken hearts & gibblets etc) is I don't want to be putting empty calories and fillers into my pup/dog. I rarely use hotdogs and store bought treats and never use anything with dyes in it.

I feed my guys Acana and Fromm, love Fromm because of the tiny kibble pieces, perfect for training.

I have counted out the pieces of kibble that my pup would eat in a day and divide up into how many times I can reward at the highest rate of reinforcement which is 1 kibble every 3 seconds in each 2 minute training session
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:39 PM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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Oooh, I have to add... I've also been buying sample packs of Orijen kibble to mix with the nuggets from fresh pet that I cut up... because my dogs LOVE the new Orijen kibble and the wet treats soak up into those more so they're all squishy and tasty. And more balanced, maybe? Or it just makes me feel better.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:19 PM
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We just use the kibble they eat. I occasionally have some treats and will give those instead but since they get the super expensive ones from the fancy pet store they are a rare treat. They have never complained and I might feed just a bit less but probably not even noticeable to them.

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Old 06-04-2013, 04:11 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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My dogs get so many treats daily that I don't adjust their food down when we train; I adjust it up if we don't. More often than not, they don't need the extra. Gusto in particular gets a lot of training throughout the day, and one or sometimes two focused training sessions. Meg doesn't get as much training, but she's also a pretty easy keeper.

If they do something really active with a relatively low rate of treating (off leash hikes, where they get treated for recalls, but definitely burn off more than they eat), I might give them a bit extra food that night.

My guys get anything and everything for treats. There's almost always leftover meat from dinners in our fridge (I just cut up leftover barbeque chicken for agility tonight); they get cheese and deli meats and hot dogs. I always keep a bag or two of things like Zukes in my training bag, for reasonably high value treats that don't need to be kept cool. We actually just tried the FreshPets the other day, and Gusto loves them, but I was warned to freeze them in smaller portions, because they do go bad pretty fast.

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Old 06-04-2013, 04:37 PM
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Red.Apricot Red.Apricot is offline
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
My go to is Ziwipeak. Nice quality, dogs go nuts for it, complete meal. The one downside is expense but really I would pay $6-10 for a much smaller bag of other brand treats (wellness, zukes, solid gold, etc). So $30 for 2 lbs of really good treats that last a while works too. They last a lot longer for me han if id bought $30 of Zukes. I also use NB rolls sometimes, plain chicken, and sometimes jackpot treats like hotdogs. But the base treat I use is Ziwipeak.
Elsie really hates ziwipeak treats for some reason. Zobby loves them, but she won't eat them at all.

I don't have to worry about adjusting Elsie's food; she's crazy skinny, but we do for Zobby. His meals ARE his treats most days.
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