Thursday, September 12, 2019

What Are High Value Treats?

The term high value treat is used frequently in dog training, but what exactly makes a treat high value? The short answer is flavor. To be high value a treat has to be more important to the dog than whatever distraction is going on around them. When you are working with your dog in the living room or back yard with no distractions, kibble would likely work just fine. When you are at the park surrounded by people, running children and other dogs, a treat has to be much more interesting to keep the dog's attention.
Meme courtesy of At Attention Dog Training.

This is why dog trainers will tell you to practice at home until the dog has mastered the behavior, then head to the park to "proof" the behavior with distractions. It is also important to increase the value of your treats as you increase the distraction level.

I like to use freeze dried foods as training treats. They are small, flavorful and since they are nutritionally complete they are a wonderful part of my dog's daily diet. On days we are doing a lot of training I can subtract from regular meals without sacrificing nutrition. These treats come in a variety of proteins so you can change up flavors to keep your dog interested. 

Treat size and consistency matter too. It is very helpful in training if your dog doesn't have to stop and chew. A small, soft treat is a great reward but it doesn't break up the flow of training. 
These treats also hold up well in your pocket or treat pouch, so you aren't fumbling to get one out. Timing is very important in training, when your dog does something great you want to let them know.

We carry a great variety of training treats, please come in and talk to us. We can help you make a great choice.