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Discussion Starter #1
The new pup will be starting obedience training in Sept/Oct. I know that I need to be careful to not over feed. So, I am thinking that for training treats I will boil chicken and cut it into little bite size pieces.

I am also wanting to be careful to not up his calcium/phosphorus intake through out the day....

On training class days should I feed him less of his kibble?

Is this the best option, or are their other training treats that would be better?
Any suggestions?
 

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You want as much variety in your training treat mix as possible. This will keep your pup on it's toes and not get bored with just one kind. The kind of treat you want us one that your pup will do anything for. This may be something that isn't ideally nutritious. But the good thing about training treats is that they should be VERY small pieces, so they actually don't contribute much to your pup's diet. Remember that it's not about how big the treat is, it's the fact that you're giving your puppy a treat. It won't matter to him if it's pea sized or not. Keeping treats small also keeps him from getting full and sluggish in class as well.

What we do, is go down the treat aisle and pick out at least ten different kinds, at least one treat type for each protein source. The soft or chewy kinds are more popular with the pooches. Of course we try and pick out the healthier ones. We end up spending probably close to $100 but that supply will last about 6 months. We then take these treats home and spend an hour chopping them all up into pea sized treats. We store them in a big air tight jar and take dome out whenever we go anywhere with the dogs. We also add in a "fresh" treat to the mix like cut up hot dog, jerky, string cheese or meat to give just a bit more incentive to our treats.

Start training the minute your pup gets in your door. He should know the basics going into his first day of class :wink:
 

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Dried lamb lung is ideal. You can break it off into pieces as small as a pea or even smaller. I've never had a dog that didn't go crazy for it. It keeps in your bait bag really well, doesn't need refridgerated, is all natural, and Rocky is still nuts for it after two years of being trained with it. We carry it on walks with us and when we meet new dogs, we offer them a tiny bite to make friends. Or when strangers meet Rocky, I have them offer him a piece. I get it from Free Range Baa Baa (thru petfooddirect or directly from them) or Merrick or Best Bully Sticks (the cheapest) or Petco.

In puppy kindergarten, they used Pet Botanics dog food rolls. Rocky and Chelsy go nuts for this stuff. You can cut it up into tiny bite size pieces and put it in baggies. I freeze most of the baggies and keep one bag in the refridgerator for current training. These are my HIGH VALUE treats for the really important lessons and the new stuff. They sell the dog food rolls at Petsmart and online. It is all natural, also. Mostly lamb parts or chicken parts, depending on the flavor you get. The dogs will do anything for these treats but you should keep the baggies in the fridge after you are done training and after you cut open the roll because technically it is dog food. That's why I freeze some of the baggies.

Rocky has learned almost anything with just those two treats. In fact, he refuses almost any other treats now. Picky dog. He snubs Evo biscuits.
 

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i agree with the dried lamb lung, free range has an excellent product of them! Product my rotties love them and it is great for training, but you gotta break up the pieces because something they do have big pieces
 

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No offense, but I think you are waaaay overthinking this.

The chicken is probably a good source. But keep in mind that the amount of food you are actually giving the dog during training sessions is minimal: you are cutting the pieces up to very tiny size to only "give the dog a taste", not to actually FEED h/h.

We use very low sodium chicken hot dogs. Our dog also responds well to Old Mother Hubbard mini-cookies. (1 cookie can be broken down into 2-4 pieces .) Or, if we have leftover protein from a meal (chicken, pork, beef, whatever) we may also use that as a training treat.

However, I do agree that the treats should be something "special" that is only given out during training sessions. That helps to key the dog into the difference between "play time" and "training time".

JMHO,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
^^^^ No offense, but I think that people who have large breed puppies DO need to be aware of the amount of training treats and general treats they are giving their puppies.

A key thing that is very important when having a large breed puppy is to not over feed. I think that some people don't remember to take into account the amount of treats they are giving their puppies through out the day. If you give training treats plus other treats through out the day plus the puppies kibble 3 x a day you more than likely are over feeding and that may cause problems.

I wouldn't be "over thinking" this so much if I was dealing with a GSH Pointer puppy who as an adult is on average 60 pounds. Our new pup will be 130+ pounds as an adult. I wanna do things right and be aware of everything he is eating. I want to get ideas of superior treats that are healthy. Ideas so he can have some variety. I always feel better safe than sorry to be on top of things.

Just my opinion. :smile:
 

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Sara, its not just your opinion, it's fact that an owner must be aware of amount of food and what kind of food a giant breed puppy eats. I think it's great how detail oriented you are with this new puppy, even since he isn't even home yet! Keep up with the questions as you think of them! There are plenty fo giant breed dog owners here with plenty of experience :wink:

Its better to over think things than not care at all!
 

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^^^^ No offense, but I think that people who have large breed puppies DO need to be aware of the amount of training treats and general treats they are giving their puppies.

A key thing that is very important when having a large breed puppy is to not over feed. I think that some people don't remember to take into account the amount of treats they are giving their puppies through out the day. If you give training treats plus other treats through out the day plus the puppies kibble 3 x a day you more than likely are over feeding and that may cause problems.

I wouldn't be "over thinking" this so much if I was dealing with a GSH Pointer puppy who as an adult is on average 60 pounds. Our new pup will be 130+ pounds as an adult. I wanna do things right and be aware of everything he is eating. I want to get ideas of superior treats that are healthy. Ideas so he can have some variety. I always feel better safe than sorry to be on top of things.

Just my opinion. :smile:
I agree that you should always be aware of what and how much you are feeding your pup/dog. There's no doubt of that. However, just how much do you plan on giving your dog during training? Remember, I stressed that training treats should be given in VERY small increments... just a mere "taste". Anything more than that defeats the whole purpose of it being a "treat"; it has to be something to get & keep h/h attention, not FEED them.

When our GSP was a puppy we definitely did not feed him prior to taking him to doggie class in order to maximize the attention getting aspects of treating during training. Of course that was when he was on a set feeding schedule of x amount of food x times per day. Now as an adult he gets his set amount of food once a day as he is very good about self-regulating.

Additionally, his food requirements change during the year. Even though he is a high energy dog, his caloric requirements go up even further during hunting/trialing season.

Pax,

 

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Discussion Starter #9
However, just how much do you plan on giving your dog during training?

I'm not sure how you want me to answer this?? It will change with each training session. One day may be more, the next less. Do I plan on FEEDING my dog during training?? NO. Will I feed a whole bag of treats? NO. Will I feed 1/2 a bag? NO. Several to many tiny pieces of broken up treats...yes, probably. It also depends on the exact type of treat your giving, what your working on, and how long the training session is.

I like to work with my pups more than just at an acutal obedience class. We work at home (from day one) a few times a day for 10 minute intervals.
I do realize that training treats are to be VERY small, but when you add up EACH tiny treat for training, plus any additional treats given that day, plus the kibble it does add up! This is something owners of large breed puppies need to be aware of!

Once our pup is a year old and through all the major growing phases, I won't worry as much.
 

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If you're training a dog the right way, its not just at one sit down class once weekly or something. Its all day everyday for a lifetime of a dog. Treats to that extent, even tiny in size, add up. That is why I try and get the healthier treats that will still get my dog to respond. Keeping in mind what goes into your dogs mouth...even at such small quantities is important...no matter what.
 

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Rather than boil chicken especially for training, you can take a couple of the dried chicken fillets and soften them in water. This makes it easy to cut with your kitchen shears into bite size pieces. I have also found that freeze dried liver is a HUGE hit at our house! Because Khan is allergic/sensitive to stuff, I try and use only the treats that are made with 1 ingredient.
String cheese or colby/jack stick cheese is another option. You can keep it in your fist, and let them get "licks" especially when training Sit, Down, Stand.
I found he was sensitive to the string cheese early on (whey), so I tried the yellow cheese which doesn't have as much whey in it. He has grown out of that a little, but I still watch the amount he gets. Turkey dogs cut very small are also a good option. IMO you use something like this if they aren't responding to the "healthier" choices.
Remember you want it to be small so they don't have to stop and chew!

I also agree that too many people forget about the treat in take of their dog. They can't understand why their dogs are chubby when all they get is X amount of food at meal time. Then when you ask them what about treats, they realize that they give the dog treats when they leave, when they get home, just because, a little snack from their own plate, the list goes on especially when you have more than one person doing that.
It is a lot easier to add a little weight to ANY of us (quadraped or biped)
then it is to take it off! :biggrin:
 
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If you're training a dog the right way, its not just at one sit down class once weekly or something. Its all day everyday for a lifetime of a dog. Treats to that extent, even tiny in size, add up. That is why I try and get the healthier treats that will still get my dog to respond. Keeping in mind what goes into your dogs mouth...even at such small quantities is important...no matter what.
These are all valid points, all of which we agree with wholeheartedly. Training for our dog is not merely once a week in a classroom setting. And treating is definitely looked at as part of his whole consumption for the day.

However, I really do think that some of this is getting overblown to the point of being a little obsessive. Yes, keep track of what your dog is eating, but is there really a need to sit an add up tiny bits of meat every time your dog eats something?

Pax,

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, keep track of what your dog is eating, but is there really a need to sit an add up tiny bits of meat every time your dog eats something?

Pax,

Who said you had to post? If you feel it's getting obsessive that's your opinion. You do your thing and I'll do mine. I don't feel it's obsessive, I feel it's more being aware. And, who said ANYTHING about ADDING up tiny pieces of meat??? Just keep a mental note....sheesh! :rolleyes:
 
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