Sunday, August 18, 2013

Great Healthful Cheap Dog Training Treats

Natural Balance Beef Roll (4 lb). About $12 at Amazon as of this bloggerpost
Natural Balance Rolls.  They come in other flavors, but my dog likes the Beef "formula."  (Formula is dog food company lingo for "we're not allowed to call it what we want to call it because it doesn't have enough of the good stuff by weight).  But Natural Balance Rolls do have plenty of good stuff.   Most Dogs LOVE Natural Balance and it's very healthful.  It costs about half what comparable dog treats cost and it's almost certainly better for your dog than most of those.  You do have to chop it up (about the size of a big pea works for most dogs for training).   Jean Donaldson - a well known and really good dog trainer and teacher - recommends the stuff in her "Teach Your Dog Like a Pro" CD and that's how I found out about it.

Dog training treats are another one of those personal preference/trade off things for both dog and owner.  An effective training treat has to be something your dog WANTS. Badly. Otherwise, you're going to spend a lot of time without a lot of result.  And the result you do get (eventually), won't be as strong.   So going too cheap or going for a treat because it appeals to you (for health or smell or convenience) more than it appeals to your dog is not going to save you much in the long run.

Their's an old saying about contractors for home repair and such. Pick two: Fast, Cheap, or Good.  You can't have all 3.  Dog treats are not quite that simple.  There are four things you're going to want:
Healthy, Cheap, Convenient, Tasty.   You can throw in "not disgusting" too.  If you're squeamish.

If you're willing to throw convenience and price out the window, I'd say your best choices are either baked chicken (which you have to chop up into little pieces - and bake!), or "Stella and Chewies" brand freeze dried raw patties.  Your dog will love both.  They are super healthful.  But both are a pain to prepare in quantity. And $$$. 

If you don't care about health (let's say your not heartless, but you just don't give your dog so many treats that it's much of an issue), you're on your own.   If you don't care about price, but want healthful, convenient,  and tasty, google for "Raw freeze dried dog treats."  Most of what you come up with will probably work fine, but you're going to pay about $8/ounce.

For Pogo and me, I like the Natural Balance.