This month, our free trial from Chewy.com was Dogswell Vitality Chicken Breast jerky dog treats.
I'll just say it right at the top: dogs go nuts for these things. Jerky snacks just seem to be the best thing my dogs have ever sniffed or savored.
As you know, we like to put our new dog treats to the test by seeing if the pups will work for them. A winter evening where I don't really feel like going for a long walk, and Dahlia is bouncing off the walls and and sinking her teeth into every corner of Fozzie, is the perfect opportunity to do some trick training.
Now most dogs who have been trained using positive methods are more than happy to go into trick mode, as they know there's something in it for them. The question is to what extent the dogs completely lose their composure and offer enthusiastic novel behaviors when they know a particular treat is in store.
These treats made my dogs just completely flip out. First up were the paw behaviors, in which both Fozzie and Dahlia were pawing all over the place in an effort to prove themselves worthy of a jerky treat.
OK guys, let's learn a brand new trick: roll over.
In moments they were throwing themselves on the ground and twisting over with paws in the air.
No problem, if it'll help you reach those little wafers of ecstasy.
Now let's try getting on that medicine ball.
Proof that high-value treats accelerate learning, and make canines into creative and innovative thinkers.
The other great use for high-value treats is to work on counterconditioning with a dog who is afraid of something. A perfect opportunity came when my once-monthly hound clients came by to have a wash and a nail trim.
Poor Candy had some ACL surgery not too long ago, so maybe she was a bit strung out from being crated for a few weeks. In any case, she was unusually nervous and wasn't having any of it when I got close to her paws. Only way to even start to make her feel better about the clippers was to wave one of those jerky treats over my lap, and touch the clippers to those paws.
At which point she jumped off my lap in short order...but climbed right back up when another jerky treat came out.
Poor nervous dog. Glad she at least got some good treats out of that experience.
Thanks Chewy.com for another fantastic snack experience.
What's YOUR favorite application for a high-value treat?