treat problem! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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treat problem!

ok so i got my 5 month old gsd last week. she is beautiful and the sweetest dog. we pretty much rescued her from the people we bought her from. she had no contact with other dogs or people and she was locked in their backyard her whole life. Despite her skittish behavior, trust issues, insecurity etc etc etc i think the previous owner just fed her human food, and this is where my problem lies. Shes starting to accept dog food but she is super super picky. Also i am really wanting to start training her in basic things like leash training and obedience training. however she WILL NOT eat treats lol. ive purchased like 3 types of treats from walmart, ive been to local pet shops and got some fancy stuff like freeze dried treats and other special kinds. She HATES every treat ive bought for her, she like just moves her head to the side and holds her mouth shut lol.

what can i do about this?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 12:11 AM
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What kinda of Dog food are you feeding her? You can always mix in a little bit of "human food" to her kibble to try to entice her to eat it. Maybe a little shredded cheese mixed in or a tablespoon of yogurt, or even an egg scrambled up and stirred into it. Slowly get her used to eating kibble. If she is healthy and is just being picky though, I would set her food down for about 10 minutes for breakfast and then pick it up until dinner. Then repeat the 10 minutes allowed for dinner.

For trainng treats I don't use dog treats. I actually use human food lol. I see a lot of the dog treats are loaded with unhealthy stuff. I use pieces of hot dog (chicken, turkey, or beef), pea sized pieces of string cheese, and cheerios.

Congrats on your new pup.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 08:12 AM
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also as a 'treat' I use human frozen italian meatballs) Take a few out, nuke em, drain out the juices cut into tiny pieces..

Cooked chicken, liver those work well too.

I have same question as Kira, what are you feeding? as well as human food mixed in, (cooked chicken etc) you could add some canned food as well.

GSD's CAN be picky eaters)

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 08:25 AM
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My puppy is very picky about treats too. While in training class he wouldn't touch the treats that they had. He loves boiled hot dogs, or cheese. I've also learned that frozen baby carrots are a favorite of his too, especially while he is teething.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 09:19 AM
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I agree with the others, the definition of training 'treat' for me is NOT generally anything in the dogfood aisle. Liverwurst, cheese, chicken, raviolis, leftover pizza, hotdogs.............. THOSE are all 'treats' for my dogs.

And those are what I use to train.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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well thanks for the the help! i really appreciate it i thought i was the only one with a picky eater.

as far as what i feed her... we bought her a bag of purina puppy chow. i later found out that she could eat regular dog food at 5 months cause shes gonna be a BIG girl
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 12:10 PM
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i use really good human food for my training treats as well....i buy the frozen calf liver bake it in the oven with garlic powder and cut it up in small pieces and freeze it in a tupperware container, and take them out when i need them....i have yet to see a dog that didn't like those, in fact at class i have the whole four-legged crew there trying to get is good to change up the treats every now and then..don't forget dogs go for the smell of food, adding garlic powder helps attract them.........
if for some reason you cannot get her to take treats like that, you will probably have to use toys for rewards, or start tugging with her and getting her crazy for a tug toy........ it takes alot more work if the dog isn't food motivated.........


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 12:57 PM
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Eekk! lol. Puppy Chow really isn't a good kibble to feed. When feeding kibble you want to stay away from corn, wheat, soy and any type of "by-products". For the most part that means staying away from anything in the grocery store.

I assumed you chose the large breed formula so this might look different than what you have if you are feeding the regular puppy food.

Purina Puppy Chow Large breed Formula: Whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)....

Even if you can afford the super pricey ultra premium dog food, or raw, something slightly better would still be helpful for the pup and might help with eating his kibble.

Look at the Dog food, Canidae All Life Stages.

Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)....

It might cost more to feed, but because the protein in this my bio available (since it is from animal origins not plant like corn gluten or soy) the pup will eat less.

Another example: Blue Buffalo Large breed Fish and sweet potato

Deboned Whitefish, Peas, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Barley, Menhaden Fish Meal (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Fish Flavor, Whole Potatoes....

Another option, Natural Balance

Chicken, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Carrots, Chicken Fat...

You can see the difference in the ingredients of the food.

Even something less than those.... There is a kirkland dog food that is pretty cheap, and it found at Cosco if you have one in your area.

Sorry I tend to ramble


Fur Family:
Dakota "Koda" GSD 02/20/2008
Chloe Calico 9/21/2007

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too"
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 07:56 PM
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Of course it helps a lot if your dog is hungry when you are training. I notice a BIG difference in his reaction to treats if we are training just before meal time. Also if your dog is excited he will have a bigger tendency to refuse treats - at least mine acts like that.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 08:07 PM
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One of Halo's favorite treats is freeze dried cheddar by Pure Bites: PureBites® Freeze Dried Cheddar Treats

They're a little big to use as regular training treats and they don't cut up well because they tend to crumble, but you can break them in half or sometimes smaller with your fingers. I use them to prevent reactions when we see other dogs, I just toss a couple in the treat bag when we go out on our training walks and use as necessary. She is REALLY interested when I grab the cheddar! *dog, what dog?*

I found some great salmon jerky at Costco that's a big hit here too, and it's easy to cut into small pieces in advance. Little cubes of Natural Balance roll is good too, but it has to be kept in the fridge.

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