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You need to use high value dog treats when you’re working on reactivity issues. Reactivity training is hard work for a dog, so you need to compensate him appropriately. Let’s use an analogy for humans so that you can understand what your dog is going through. Let’s say you hate spiders. Will you sit in a room with spiders for $5.00? Absolutely not. Will you sit in a room with spiders for $5,000? Most likely, yes. It’s the same concept for dogs. Reactivity training is much harder than learning to “high five” in your living room, so the type of treat he is rewarded with needs to reflect that.

With reactivity training, you’re making your dog be in the presence of his trigger, which is something that is emotionally stressful. You’re trying to change your dog’s emotional response to that trigger. Plain kibble or healthier treats like fruits and veggies just aren’t a big enough compensation for your dog in this scenario. Those may work fine in the comfort of your own home, but they don’t work for reactivity. So make it worth it to your dog and break out these high value training treats. You’ll thank yourself in the long run, because your training will progress so much quicker and smoother!

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8 High Value DOG TREATS

  1. FREEZE DRIED LIVER
  2. SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE
    • I recommend just buy a block of sharp cheddar cheese and cutting it into little cubes yourself. The cubes only need to be put about the size of a pea. Sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese just has more flavor and smell to it than any other cheese, which is why dogs love it so much. If you want cheddar cheese without the hassle of cutting it yourself, PureBites does make a freeze dried cheese that is Buster approved!
  3. HOTDOGS
    • These are cheap and much easier and quicker to cut up than a block of cheese! I recommend cutting the hotdog into quarters lengthwise. This will give you the perfectly sized training treat.
  4. BOILED CHICKEN/STEAK
    • We’ve all heard to feed boiled chicken and rice when our dogs have an upset tummy, but you can use that as treats too! Just boil the chicken, steak (you can even use pork!) as you normally would, and then either chop it into pieces or crumble it up.
  5. TUNA FUDGE
    • If you are in the dog training world, you’ve definitely heard about this. It is super cheap and easy to make, and it’s basically the equivalent of doggie crack. You can modify it if you need to (I’ve made it with applesauce in place of eggs). I also tend to leave out the garlic powder, but that is just a personal preference.
    • Here’s a link to the full recipe.
  6. PEANUT BUTTER
    • This is Buster’s favorite! Peanut butter can be hard to work with outside, but it’s possible – I promise! I usually use this in the beginning stages of reactivity training when there is less movement involved. So if you’re in the beginning stages playing the “look at that” games, then this will work wonderfully. All you need to do is bring a peanut butter jar and a slender wooden spoon. Dip the spoon in the jar, offer your dog a lick for looking at this trigger, hide the spoon behind your back, and repeat. Dip the spoon back in the jar to load it up with more peanut butter as necessary.Make sure you label this peanut butter “DOGS!” in black Sharpie all over and put it somewhere different than your normal peanut butter so your husband or children don’t accidentally grab it and start using it for their sandwiches!
  7. Liverwurst
    • There are a ton of different ways to cook this, but be forewarned, it can get a little messy in your training pouch. Make sure you put this in a ziplock baggie instead of eating it directly into your training pouch! Or, you could blend this up and put it in the training tube above!

      Here is a good recipe for treats that aren’t quite as messy.

  8. FILLED CAMPING TUBES
    • So you know those reusable camping tubes you put condiments in? Use them for dog treats! These are my absolute favorite because they’re so customizable. The basic principle is simple – find your ingredients, add water, blend in a blender, fill the camping tubes, and get outside to get training! You simply offer your dog a lick in place of when you would hand or throw him a hard treat.
      Here are some ideas for what to blend up:
      canned dog or cat food
      boiled chicken or steak, some cheese, liver
      peanut butter and applesauce
      Honestly, the options with these are endless. That’s one of the reasons I love them so much!

       

What high value dog treats does dog love the most? Tell me in the comments below! 

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