If im training around the house I cut up hotdogs, sarge would mow the grass for a hotdog!! lol. I just cut them up in small peices and it works great. We buy them at the store when there on sale and keep them in the freezer with a pack in the fridge all the time. Its cheap enough and he really loves them.
I have used hotdogs and cheese sticks. My husband once told me I look like a pez dispenser because I would pack my checks full, and ask them to watch me and then spit the hotdog out once they focused on me. Too funny what we will go throught, and I hate hotdogs.
I make a lot of Ris' training treats. For store-bought stuff, I use Wellness Pure Rewards. They're basically meat jerky with very few ingredients. Ris loves 'em. I have also used string cheese, hot dogs, Natural Balance lamb and rice roll, and Zuke's Mini Naturals. However, due to Ris' GI issues, I had to eliminate many of them.
The behavioralist I worked with used hot dogs in training sessions as well. She'd cut one in half lengthwise, then turn it one quarter turn so that the cut halfs are horizontal to the counter surface and cut in half lengthwise again so you have four, equal quarters. Then she'd hold the quarters together and chop them into small pieces. She said she could get 120 treats out of one hot dog.
The most common training food I use is Natural Balance lamb rolls. It's soft, and I usually cut it length-wise so I hold the 'log' in my hand and quickly & easily reward my pup w/o having to reach for my bait bag all the time. I also cut them up into pencil eraser-tip sized pieces, so a small roll will actually last me a long time.
I have also used soft treats made by Wellness (not too often 'cos it's expensive), left-over beef roast or baked chicken, cold cuts, and sometimes the kitty kibble.
My kitty is naturally-raised but he still gets kibble once in a while to prep him for cases when we go on holidays. So I employ the kibble for other uses so the bag doesn't go stale from just sitting around too long.
I use Canz and Merrick dehydrated meat snacks pretty much exclusively. (Like the Wellness, there's just not much in there besides the meat.) Occasionally I'll use cheese, but when I forget it in my bait bag, it gets all moldy
. So I tend to stick to the meat snacks. I cut them up ahead of time (the Merrick fillets are easily broken by hand, the Canz, I use a pair of scissors), so I'm feeding smaller bits and saving $$.
For Zamboni, I also use grain-free kibble (Instinct.) I use a flavor formula she doesn't eat for meals, so it's high value to her.