What age can I give my puppy treats for obedience training?

My puppy is about 12 weeks old. I want to begin obedience training but I don’t know what to use as a reward treat. I don’t want it to be a big treat but I want it to be good for her. Any ideas?

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8 Responses to What age can I give my puppy treats for obedience training?

  1. Pete says:

    I can’t add anything to the previous suggestions. They all are good. But I would suggest that you be a bit stingy. It’s OK to give a treat at the end of the session, but do not give something after every response throughout the session. If you do this, the animal will associate obedience only with the treat, and later on when you are "operational" (no treats), it may very well become a little recalcitrant. You want to ingrain the perception that obedience is its own reward. Good luck!!

  2. hellosunshine_hb says:

    Frozen peas are great! They are the perfect size. If you use store-bought treats (made for dogs) they usually come far too big, so just cut them down before hand, so that they are pea-sized. Zukes makes some nice small ones, and they are very aromatic, great for training.

  3. Bear says:

    I use summer sausage cut up into little pieces. Cheese, apples and carrots as well.

  4. Nina K says:

    Something nice and healthy in small pieces. Use cooked chicken (no sauce on it or too much seasoning please) Of some of its own food that you know it likes.

    I’ve heard of puppies getting trained at 10 weeks old (maybe a little younger) so your good to go.

  5. Toki W says:

    Start right now!

  6. an8ale says:

    Our obiedience trainer dosen’t allow us to use treats. He says when obidience is concerned, you don’t want the dog to become "treat wise" Meaning, they only obey when they know theyre getting a treat. We have had MUCH success using praise as a treat.
    Now we still use treats for silly things when the trainers not here, we use liver traing treats. They are pricy, but Ive researched and they seem to be the best!

  7. Nancy M says:

    Dogs are not good at assessing quantity as much as quality :) I usually use very tiny slivers of treat to reward a dog with when I use treat reward. I often use the Authority brand liver treats – these you can get from Petsmart in a good sized bag. I usually break the individual treat up into several parts and use the pieces as rewards. I use the BillJac ones too but if I can get the Authority ones, I use them as they come in a bigger quantity. They don’t make a mess in your pocket and aren’t as stinky as a lot of treats can be. I love the puffed up freeze dried lambie treats but they smell baaaaaaad – the dogs love them but I gag now and then! haha Do not FEED the dog with the treats — you aren’t trying to fill the dog up but to reward it for offering behavior that you desire – extend the time out that he offers the behavior but don’t shove a ton of treats at him – tiny slivers well timed for rewards shouldn’t fill the dog up. Good luck.

    add: I have never been accused of being a purely positive trainer by any means but I DO think that when you are dealing with a puppy, you have to realize that the attention span is very short and quick and treats are the best way to work with them – you aren’t necessarily ‘training’ so much as getting the dog used to the idea and happy with it. Treats should never be the ONLY reward the dog/puppy gets but they are an adjunct and any trainer that can’t figure out how to wean a dog/puppy off of treat rewarding and have them learn and enjoy obedience regardless of the reward is not a very good trainer on face.

  8. PedigreesMutts&Such says:

    Hi congrats on your new puppy. 12 weeks is a great time to start. great and healthy treats that your pup will love, I like to go natural with no junk in it. you might even want to check out the clicker training tool you can find in some pet stores that will come with a booklet to help on how it works. you may also find them on line. they work great with the treat. you click the clicker when she or he does it then reward with the treat and say good. The idea is over time stop the click then stop the treat and just give verbal praise. you can even use this for when you are house braking when her or she goes in the area to do the business you click treat and praise. hope this was helpful and good luck.

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