Are Your Treats Driving Your Dog Crazy?

© 2017 Jerry D. Patillo, CPDT-KA
Phoenix Behavior Consulting


Are YOUR favorite treats also your DOG’S favorite treats? Can you get your dog to do the following behaviors in your living room with your favorite treat?

  • “Sit”
  • “Lie Down”
  • “Roll Over”
  • “Do My Income Taxes” (I’m joking)

If so, then you’re probably doing okay. However, maybe you take your dog on a walk in the neighborhood, or to the park, or to the dog park. Do your favorite treats get the same response?

Here’s the test: The next time your dog sniffs at something on the ground, put a fist full of YOUR favorite treats in front of your dog’s nose. Then quickly or slowly (it doesn’t matter — try both), pull the treats away from your dog’s nose. If they distract your dog, then they’re probably going to be okay to use in in-home or group-class training sessions.

If they don’t, then try the following:

  • Raw meat without bones
  • Cooked meat without bones
  • Hot dogs
  • Freeze-dried liver
  • Pup-Peroni®
  • Old Mother Hubbard Bitz®
  • MilkBone®
  • Carrots
  • Frozen peas
  • Anything that drives YOUR dog crazy!

If your dog’s treats don’t pass the test above, then you need to bump up the value of the treats to your dog. It doesn’t matter what you like or what other dogs like. You have to find what drives YOUR dog crazy. If your dog has gastrointestinal issues, then consult with your veterinarian about his/her recommendations. You and your vet have to find something that drives YOUR dog crazy!

Keep your treats small, about the size of your little fingernail or English pea. You want something your dog can gulp down quickly and stay focused on training with you. Your treats can be a little smaller for a toy breed such as a Chihuahua or Shih Tzu. They can be a little larger (maybe the size of a U.S. quarter) for a giant breed such as a Great Dane or mastiff.

If you need help finding the right training treats for your dog, please contact us right away. We can help!

Come! Sit! Learn!