By Paula Sunday:
Here are a few dog treat questions often asked by dog owners:
“My dog will chew up a dog treat too quickly. Any suggestions to keep a bored dog busy?”
Sure. Here’s one way:
Look for stuffable toys that are labeled for hard chewers. A stuffable toy is something that has a tough surface and openings you can put food in. I use the Kong brand. Choose the right size for your dog.
One of my favorite techniques is to fill a toy with several ingredients and freeze it. You can add a couple of tablespoons of soft cheese or canned food. Another option is to put a dog bone in the toy opening, pour some broth over it, then put the toy into a baggy and freeze it. Try whatever foods your dog likes that you can freeze. This will keep her busy for awhile.
“I love to train my dog, but sometimes he gets bored with treats I use to reward him. I’ve heard trainers say, ‘Use better treats.’ What are some of your favorites?”
You’re going to smile when I tell you that the best dog treat I’ve found is a pancake. I was from Missouri on this one — I needed to try it to believe it– so I did.
Sure enough, paws up all around. Even my fussy chows trained best with pancakes. You can break the pancakes up into little pieces and freeze them. When the treats you’re using during dog training don’t seem to be working, try pancakes. Make your own or buy them frozen. They both work. If you use a lot of them during a session, cut back on your dog’s next meal. They can be fattening. Watch out.
One of the world’s best trainers, Turid Rugaas, gave me this tip. She owns and runs the Hagen Hundeskole dog training school in Norway.
Using a challenging toy to make your dog work a little harder for treats can help keep you from having a bored dog on your hands, and the pancake tip should help make dog training more interesting for your pet.