These days with modern dog training techniques we recommend using food as the primary motivator.  It all gets a little tricky when we have a dog who loves to scoff food and has a tendency to put on weight, it seems by just sniffing it.  If this is something you experience with your dog, there are some other healthy options you can try.

I like to have a mixture of treats, in a jar, kind of like a pick and mix bag of lollies.  Dogs have their favourites and it helps make things a little more interesting if they don’t know exactly what flavour they’ll be receiving.

For dogs who need to watch their waistline, you can try diced carrots, beans, peas, broccoli, dehydrated chicken, lean beef, dehydrated liver, and fish.

If you’d rather a prepared option check out the ingredients and calorie count on the back of the pack. Choose brands that are low in sugar, fat and other preservatives, there is likely to be a reasonable selection wherever you purchase your dog supplies, read the labels and do a comparison (like we do for our own food). Your vet will also be able to recommend a suitable pre-packaged product.

Be aware of how many training treats you give your dog on a daily basis.  Treats and tidbits should be on average around 10% of a dog’s daily intake.  If you think your dog gets a little more because that’s how your lifestyle works, that’s ok just be aware and adjust the size of his meals accordingly. Awareness around the quantity and quality of treats is important especially if you are leaving enrichment toys containing treats when you leave for work every day.  So being aware of what’s in a treat and the calorie count is really important.  Remember exercise is important to maintain a balanced lifestyle.