I’ve recently decided to train my dog (husky/chow/pit mix) with his Nutro dog food. He seems to really love the food. This morning was the first time I trained him with it. It’s not the first /lessons/ of training, however. I trained him since he was 7 weeks. Now he’s 7 months. He knows sit, stay, come, down, wait, up, off, speak, release, and ‘okay’… Of course, he only does them if there are no distractions. He does alright without treats. The only ones he’s really got down packed are ‘release’ and ‘okay’. Still workin’, though. =P So, do you think it’s a good idea to measure his food, and give it to him piece by piece as I work with him on his training? Instead of loading him with treats. I heard it’s not good to give a dog too many treats at one time… What do you think? =)


  1. Lauren M

    That is an excellent idea! That is what we recommend to our clients. Measure his food out for the day, feed him half as his regular meals, then set aside the rest for treats. That way, he is getting all of the food and nutrients he needs in a good quality food, and you aren’t feeding him a lot of extra calories, preservatives, and artificial flavors which is what is in most dog treats. Dogs don’t care what it is! It’s the attention and reward from you that’s important. If you make a big deal out of it and strengthen it with a treat, he’s good to go.

  2. Wilson Wilson

    Its highly reccomended by many dog trainers. The one we paid to train our puppy at petsmart (they really train us though) used its dog food.

  3. clarity

    I think his food should be given to him at his regular mealtimes. You can use very small treats to train him. If he’s active, small treats will not make a difference in his weight, plus he gets a special “payoff” for his performance..

  4. frogcowg

    I use cat food as training treats for my puppy because she kept trying to eat the cat food. If you want to use food you might try getting a small bag of a different dog food, that way your dog won’t think, I get this all the time so why bother. Some people don’t use treats they have a clicker.

  5. mluxia

    I do it all the time-the kibble is really the perfect size and often times the dog does not care what it gets as long as it gets something.

  6. hopskotc

    defenitely!! if your dogs will perform for dog food thats great. Its alot better for them than treats

  7. ontario ashley

    If your dog loves his food that much to work for you that well, I’d say you’ve got a great plan. I also tried using kibble mixed in with treats for training, but I found she didn’t care enough about them to pay any attention.
    I find using kibble while in the house works fairly well, but once we are around distractions I need a really special treat to get her attention.

  8. A. MacRae

    Your dog is the one who determines what is rewarding to him and if he enjoys his dog food then absolutely use it to your advantage! You may have to increase the value of the reward around higher distractions but your dog will let you know if that is the case. Food motivated dogs are generally very easy to train! Just make sure you don’t give commands when you have the food in your hand as your dog will learn to only work when the paycheck is visible. Once your dog understands a command in different environments you can start fading out the food and only rewarding the fastest/most accurate behaviors so your dog will learn to work quickly for you. Once something has become a habit for the dog that he can do anywhere, you can fade the food totally.

  9. tlctreec

    It is fine to train with the regular food you feed him.
    I do that with mine too.
    One of mine is so food motivated I think she would jump the moon for one little piece of dog food. She thinks she is starving. She is not.
    I use the regular dog food most of the time as many ofthe treats are very high in calories and are just full of junk. I feed very high quality dog food and I hate to ruin all the good food with filler and by products and garbage.
    Kepp working with him and he will continue to learn. Remember to have and keep training.

  10. Keeping it simple

    Don’t train him with his dinner food because he eats it everyday so he is used to it. Why don’t you try getting some treats that he loves then train him with those. Don’t train him with his normal dog food because then there wont be anything to look forward to once he has done the trick.

  11. ragapple

    If it works, don’t fight it. it’s actually more common in my obedience club to use a DIFFERENT brand of chow (I use Evo) perferadly a different meat base (therefore flavor), so keep that in mind if the regular chow seems to pale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *