Not unlike a lot of things every dog person has their own opinion on the use of treats with our canine friends. We will give you at least what we think the years of dog ownership has taught us at Gun Dog Outfitter about dog treats and their use. Our view is somewhat skewed to the world of hunting dogs especially Labrador retrievers but when it comes to treats a canine is well a canine and his reaction to treats is pretty much governed by the genetics passed on by his ancestors.
Treats and training-we will explore this in more detail at another time. Some trainers use treats religiously during training, some use them a little and some professional trainers never use them and don’t think anyone else should either. As I said more in a later post.
Dogs and eating. It is hard for some to get this but the fact is most if not all dogs have one thing in mind when presented with an opportunity to eat something (some are not particular at what it may be either). Despite what we may think that one thing on his mind is – himself – and eating is at the top of his list. All his sniffing, snooping, digging etc. is geared toward finding food. And when he finds it what’s the one thing on his mind? – eating it as fast as possible and immediately begin the search for more food.
This is true whether the food is a treat from his owners hand, a dead bird in the yard or a T-bone steak.
There are literally thousands of treats available to purchase. What they are made of is important. I am convinced that some manufactures use ingredients that are directed at the dog’s cravings. Not unlike some of us humans when we come face to face with a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a quart of milk. If the treats you use make your dog go essentially nuts find some that don’t. Many large companies use not illegal ingredients but low quality ingredients as a way to increase profits, may lead you to believe that despite their advertising their primary interest may not be your dog. If a company makes a million pounds of treats a year and can save .50 per pound that’s a lot of money. Some of the most well-known manufacturers and prolific advertisers are the worst culprits.
• Buy only treats manufactured in the USA
• Buy only treats that the ingredients are all sourced in the USA
• Pay attention to the nutrient label not the fancy packaging or attractive ads
Treat size makes absolutely no difference if you think that when rewarding Bowser for doing something good that giving him a bigger treat will result in Bowser thinking “boy look at the size of this I must have really done good” you are thinking wrong. Bowser could care less be it 1 oz., 1 lbs. or 5 lbs. Bowser has one thing in mind get this ate before an Alpha dog takes it away and once it is gobbled up he is immediately looking for the next thing he can eat.
When faced with opportunity to eat the above items which one will the dog eat first?
Pretty simple for Bowser, the one that is the closest. Remember it is me, me, me and eat, eat, eat.
In the case of many of the larger dogs, I know it to be true in the case of a Labrador retriever if given an opportunity the dog will attempt to eat all of what is left in the bag of dog-food that he finds himself having the good fortune to be head first into. The goal is still the same eat it as fast as possible and then find what’s next on the menu. Some will even eat themselves into a trip to the vet. They can’t help it their ancestors the wolves are responsible.
Hopefully you have found Dog Treats the Good, the Bad the Ugly interesting if not informing – Gun Dog Outfitter appreciates taking the time to read it.