I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on treats I can give my three year old. Even though to Josie, being allowed to go through the trash would be heaven, I'm looking to give her something a little bit healthier!
A lot depends on whether Josie is overweight (which happens more often than not with our beloved beagles).
I've just about completely stopped giving mine milk bones or other dog biscuit treats - I think some of the better dog foods have their own brands of treats which are supposed to be healthier. Are you looking for training treats, or just treats? I know this sounds really silly, but mine love Cheerios - so I use A CHEERIO for a training treat - VERY low calorie and no wheat or corn! All mine love baby carrots - or you can slice regular carrots and keep them handy in a plastic bag. I also slice hot dogs VERY thin and use slices of hot dog as treats - or TINY (and I do mean TINY) cubes of cheese. It's really more the IDEA of the treats than the amount. I have 9 beagles - where else could I get treats for everyone for the price of one hot dog?? You can buy freeze dried treats of liver, chicken, I've even seen duck, those are fairly pricey (I don't buy them because I have too many dogs), but for one dog a pickage of those broken in small pieces would be a lot healthier than going through the garbage (no matter what Josie thinks). All my dogs love veggies and fruit - so they sometimes get bites of whatever fruits or vegetables I happen to have around. You can also make healthy treats for Josie. We have quite a few recipes for doggie treats on Beagle Bay. If you're interested, I'll copy some for you.
Those are just a few of the things I give my kids for treats. Just kind of depends on what you're looking for.
Glenda gave me the idea of using Cheerios. There are almost no calories and Maggie likes them. I also use the Gerber Graduate Puffs. We use those for times when we are practicing at home and she will be getting more treats. I also give Maggie pieces of a variety of fruits and veggies. She likes almost all fruit and vegetables.
When we are taking a class or doing something I think is really important I give Maggie freeze dried liver or dehydrated salmon or white fish pieces. The salmon smells terrible but it works for come every time
Definitely carrots, Ella loves those. I usually cut a couple of chicken breasts into very small pieces and then marinade in a load of garlic paste for a few hours. I then slowly oven cook them until they reach an almost biscuit like hardness. The concentrated meatiness and overpowering odour are the perfect tempter for recall training.
Actually I wouldn't have thought of Cheerios, either - but when Romeo and Chloe were pups, I started clicker training them. I had some information from the net and the author suggested using Cheerios - with clicker training - it's click treat - and you want something small to train with. It's worked well for me. For training purposes, it's really NOT the size of the treat, but the IDEA of the treat that's important. You can carry a whole LOT of cheerios in your pocket so they're handy - and they're not fattening - so I still use them for training treats.
darn - and here i've been giving Cadet Gourmet chicken and lamb strips because they were so healthy - only ingredient is chicken or lamb - but paying big bucks for them! man, he's going to cheerios as soon as these are gone...
Actually I used Clicker training when I just had Chloe and Romeo - who were about 3 weeks apart in age - and adopted within a week of each other. I didn't do it for very long, but I really DID love it. They responded well to it - and even years after it, if they heard a clicker they responded. With this wild, crazy pack, I haven't used it. From all reports, you eventually get to the point where you don't have to click/treat. IF I only had one puppy and the time to devote to training, I'd definitely use clicker training. You can get clickers now that at most pet stores - that wasn't true when I started it 7 years ago. That's why the cheerios were such a great idea - they're easy to carry - not messy, and very low calorie. Of course, you're not supposed to give them a BOWL of Cheerios - but often when I'm trying to get EVERYONE to go outside at one time, I'll just toss a handful out to the lawn and they go in search of. IF I could afford the chicken and lamb strips, I would use them - but they are reserved for very special times. With 9 dogs, I have to be a little more frugal.