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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone,

Not 100% sure which area to post this under so my apologies if this is incorrect. I've got a 4 month old (basically GSD, if you can view my other posts) and I'm just a little unsure on how much to limit the treats he gets while training.

He learns things extremely fast (after 3-4 repetitions he usually understands the signal/voice command at a 75% success rate) so we can hammer out lots of reps in a session. I've only recently started cutting down on the treat as the reward for some of his oldest commands. My question is what is over-treating at this age? I've got a mixture of treats I can use, I have some small soft liver treats, some typical dog "biscuits", frozen watermelon (which he LOVES, but that's more of a once and awhile extra special thing), and baby carrots as well as his kibble. He gets a carrot everytime he does his business both ways outside and he's now been accident free for a whole week even with me being at work all day.

For true training sessions I typically take a mixture of biscuits, liver and kibble and mix it all in a bag, about half treats and half kibble. Let's say for example that I take him on a walk to teach him leash manners and to walk beside me. Should i treat him 20 times over a 15 minute walk?

I'm sorry if it's a hard question to answer; I've just noticed that sometimes if he has a lot of treats it can effect his poops consistency so I try to keep it below that threshold but it's tricky to balance enough training reps with too many treats.


I should also add that what I've been giving him thus far has not caused him to be overweight or anything like that so I'm not concerned so much with weight implications, but more so for bowel-issues.
 

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It really depends on the size and type of treats. Freeze dried liver is a high value treat but I can see that a lot of it would be too much for a puppy tummy. And I've never seen a dog biscuit that was small enough to use as a training treats.

Part kibble is good, but are you measuring it out and deducting the amount of treat kibble from meal kibble? When I'm going to be using a lot of treats for training, they're tiny, less than the size of a small pea. Zukes Mini Naturals are a good size, but even with them I used to pinch them into 2-4 pieces each.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It really depends on the size and type of treats. Freeze dried liver is a high value treat but I can see that a lot of it would be too much for a puppy tummy. And I've never seen a dog biscuit that was small enough to use as a training treats.

Part kibble is good, but are you measuring it out and deducting the amount of treat kibble from meal kibble? When I'm going to be using a lot of treats for training, they're tiny, less than the size of a small pea. Zukes Mini Naturals are a good size, but even with them I used to pinch them into 2-4 pieces each.
I break the biscuits up into really small pieces if I use them for training. And yeah I deduct half a cup of kibble from his daily meal amount to account for training and kong filling, he really loves throwing his kong around the room to get all the kibble to fall out
 

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I like to use complete foods whenever I can if I'm doing heavy food training. That way I don't have to worry about it, if they eat a lot training then I cut down on the meal and they are getting what they need regardless.

Natural balance and Red Barn both make soft treat rolls that are complete foods. Ziwipeak is good too, probably much healthier than the first one and you don't have to cut it which is a bonus.
 

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I also use my dogs regular kibble and any treats he gets comes out of his food allowance for the day, that way he isn't over eating.

If I am training something new or something old in a hard/new environment I will use some treats of higher value until it sinks in and then move back to regular kibble.
 

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What I usually do is just use their kibble (I've had extremely food motivated dogs) and then just take that out of what I would feed them for the day so they aren't being fed too much. What you can do is size out what you feed in a meal and then just take the kibble out of that and feed the remainder at meal time.
 
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