I can’t stress it enough! Dogs do what works for them. High value rewards can be different for each individual dog, but it’s worth finding out what your dog values most in training to get the behaviors you want.
I focus on high value rewards because these are tools in your kit to work on more challenging, more important skills with your dog. People have asked me “Why won’t my dog come when called at the dog park?” If you’re carrying basic kibble — that might not be enough of an incentive to leave off interesting smells or play buddies over in the corner.
I recently picked up a few Bark Pouches which are a great way to reward your dogs but keep your hands from smelling like hotdogs, chicken, or cheese! (Unless you’re into that sort of thing). What’s great is you can also make your own! Why might you make your own?
Waste reduction – customize to your dog’s high value treats – special dietary needs for your pup – add supplemental nutrition – lots of reasons!
DIY DOG TREAT POUCH
Materials You Need
- Reusable Food Pouches – Like These or These.
- A food processor or high power blender
- Any combination of the following:
- Canned or pouched Tuna
- Canned or pouched Salmon
- All beef hotdogs
- Cream Cheese – Plain
- Greek Yogurt – Plain
- Kefir (Goat) Yogurt – Plain
- Cheddar Cheese – use real cheese, not “cheese product.”
- Other meats or treat that your dog goes wild for
Steps to make your own DIY Dog Treat Pouch
- Pick a combo of a main protein and binder. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
-Peanutbutter, bananas and greek yogurt
-Salmon and Cream Cheese
-Hotdogs and Cream Cheese
-Tuna and Greek Yogurt or Kefir Yogurt
-Cheddar cheese, hotdogs and Cream Cheese
- Add your chosen ingredients into the food processor or blender and pulse till well chopped up and mixed.
- Play with the proportions until you get a thick but squeezable consistency (think baby food).
- Using a spatula or spoon, scoop your mixture into your reusable food pouches.
- These will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, longer in the freezer.
- Use when training high complexity skills and see if your dog responds better!
Are you on Instagram? Follow me at @agoodfeeling_inco and let me know what you fill your reusable pouches with! Also, sign up for my mailing list by going to my home page. You’ll get a free e-book on canine enrichment with lots of tips and tricks.
Stuck on a particularly difficult behavior modification for your pup? I offer remote sessions via Skype and Google Hangout. Email me to find out more!