You may have heard the term ‘high value treats’ especially if you have just started training your puppy, but what exactly are they?
The majority of dogs are food motivated, and they see food as a huge reward! So, we can effectively use food to teach our dogs all sorts of new behaviours, we can teach them tricks, we can help them to stay calm and we can stop them pulling on the lead – to name a few!
But we need different types of food for different environments and for different tricks. A simple thing to remember is the more distracting an environment is, the tastier treat you need.
Here are some examples:
Kibble, Dried Dog Food – Low Value
This treat is suitable for general praise for behaviours they already know, or for teaching easy tricks to confident dogs in low distracting environments. E.g. inside in your house when nobody is home and it is quiet.
Supermarket Dog Treat – Mid Value
These sorts of treats are usually a bit tastier and smellier than regular dried dog food. So, this would be suitable for an environment where there are more distractions, perhaps your garden or even out on a walk.
Chicken, Sausage, Cheese, Peanut Butter – High Value
These treats are perfect for distracting environments and teaching difficult tricks. Experiment with a few different high value treats to find out which ones your dog loves the most (always check that the food is safe for dogs). Your high value treat is your dog’s absolute favourite food that they go crazy over.
If your dog doesn’t listen to you or isn’t interested in the treat, you either need to up the value, or lower the distractions.
Keep in mind
If you are indoors, there are no distractions, and yet your dog still doesn’t want their absolute favourite food, they could be feeling unwell. If you notice a change in behaviour or you are concerned about anything, the best thing to do is to speak to your vet.