We have this concept in life named “infinity,” and inside of that concept is the idea of variety. Many people enjoy doing the same thing repeatedly. I get bored with it and I really do believe that dogs get bored, too. You can prove this to yourself by doing some different activity with your dog or by buying him a new treat.
Treats to Reinforce Behavior
I wrote earlier this month about using treats to reinforce behavior, and I really think that if your dog has done something out of the ordinary, he deserves a special, new treat just to keep things fresh and special.
Are the Treats You Buy Working?
Here’s a list of different and special kinds of treats for your golden retrievers. Try them and see if the responses of your dog doesn’t show a bit more pleasure and happiness.
- Freeze chicken or beef bullion in ice cube trays. After a training session, place these in a bowl for your dog. They work particularly well on a hot day and it’s a nice change up from water.
- Bake a sweet potato until soft. Cut it up into chunks and include the skin. This works really well for behavior modification treats.
- Dehydrate apples, bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes or zucchini for your golden. They are a nice surprise for obedient behavior and you’ll certainly keep him interested in doing well if he doesn't know what wonderful thing his reward will be “this time.”
- Frozen green beans are a nice surprise treat for your dog. He’ll love the change, and if you offer it in the summer time, he’ll enjoy the coolness, too.
- Turkey cut into chunks is a thriller treat for your dog.
Treats for Other Good Reasons
You’ll want to be careful when buying treats for your golden retriever puppy that you don’t put him into harms way with anything that might cause him to choke. Things like animal bones, hooves, rawhide, ears and bully sticks might cause choking or they might be treated with unnecessary chemicals that your puppy just doesn't need.
If you’re going to give your dog human food, your best bet is to use only fresh food as it is the healthiest. Some cooked foods containing sauces or gravies might not work as well. This kind of treat has to be limited – in fact, you should factor it in so that it’s no more than 10% of his daily allotment – so that your dog does not become overweight.
Try a wide variety of treats with your golden retriever puppy and watch closely to see which one he responds to the best. At Wisteria Goldens, we keep the ones that highly motivate our golden retriever puppies for a high reward when training challenging cues. It makes for a happier relationship and we at Wisteria Goldens are all about that!