So you finally did it. You became a dog owner. And not just any dog owner… You are now the proud doggie parent of a wonderful Miniature Schnauzer. Congratulations!
In order to live a long and happy life together, you need to set some ground rules. While many dog training methods exist, one thing is for sure. You’ll need some motivating and tasty treats! No, not for you – for the dog!
When considering a training treat, however, you need to take a few things into consideration. While you want something tasty enough to keep your dog motivated during training sessions, you also need to be health conscious. Most training treats found in the pet store are like potato chips. They might taste great and they might motivate your dog, but they are terribly unhealthy. Here are some great treat ideas when training your Schnauzer.
For some reason, most dogs love carrots. Many dog owners use carrots as their main training treat. Simply slice up 2 or 3 carrots into bite sized amounts. You don’t need to go too big here, just large enough so your dog will beg for more. Not only do dogs seem to love them, but they are also a much cheaper and a much healthier alternative to many store bought training treats.
Of course, typical meat-based treats work wonders as well. The “go to” treat for many dog owners are small pieces of hotdogs. Want to kick things up a notch? Nuke them in the microwave or cook them up first, then cut them into very small pieces (about the size of a pea or a little larger). Most dogs will do just about anything to get a piece!
You normally can’t go wrong with cheese! It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of cheese you get, dogs love it. For the most part, you should avoid spicy cheese like pepper jack as sometimes, the spices can cause a dog discomfort. It is also helpful to buy string cheese because it can be easily cut up into small pieces. Again, you don’t need to overdo it here. Very small pieces cut up to about the size of a pea is generally enough to be motivating. It’s better to start small and increase size if necessary than the other way around.
Liver treats can be considered the chocolate for dogs, because it is extremely rare to find a dog that doesn’t like the taste of liver. For us humans, liver treats are smelly and can be a little messy, but for dogs, a liver treat will cause a dog to stop everything and focus on doing whatever is necessary to get that tasty treat! A great option for liver treats is to get freeze dried treats. Freeze dried liver treats are usually already cut into convenient sizes, they last a LONG time, and you can buy big tubs of it for relatively cheap.
Not all dogs take to unbuttered popcorn, but if your dog likes it, you’ve got a huge winner on your hands. Since unbuttered popcorn is so low in calories, you can give a lot to your dog without much worry. The only main consideration here is to make sure your dog has no allergies to corn. Most dogs don’t, but corn is one of the main allergens for many dogs, so make sure you watch for any digestion issues or abdominal discomfort.
The Two Things To Watch For: Sodium and Calories
While treats are almost mandatory for successful dog training, there are two things you should be careful of. The first is the sodium content in any treat you decide to use. High amounts of sodium is not good for dogs and can even cause dehydration, so try to choose a low sodium option. Another consideration is the amount of calories your dog is receiving. Training treats, even given in small quantities, can cause weight gain in your dog if you’re not careful about the amount of calories your dog is consuming.
Keep Training Fun!
No matter what type of treat you use for training your dog, the most important thing is to always have fun during training sessions! No treat can make up for that. If you or your dog is frustrated, no treat will help with that. It’s time to just take a little break. We all get a little frustrated from time to time when training our dogs, so know when to keep going and when to call it quits. And remember, ALWAYS end on a good note with an extra large piece of your dogs favorite training treat. Soon enough, you’ll find that treats are no longer necessary and you’ll have a well behaved Schnauzer you can take just about anywhere!