Category Archives: treats

How to Succeed at Treat Training with Your Dog

By Tamara McRill

Have you been trying to positively reinforce good behavior in your dog by treat training, but it just isn’t working? The problem could be in your technique. Simply giving your pet a bit of food without these best practices could be just a waste of both your time. I know, because I’ve been there and had to refine my technique.

Eliminating these common treat training mistakes from your routine will help you get your dog sitting pretty.

1. Sub-Par Treats

Dogs may have a reputation for eating any and everything, but any old treat may not be enough to motivate them to pay attention. My three dogs each have treats they just don’t like. Dusty won’t take anything that isn’t meaty. Although most treats for training purposes should ideally come from your pet’s daily food allowance, make sure what you are using as a lure or reward is actually a dog treat your pet desires. Otherwise there is no incentive for them to complete a desired action.

2. You Don’t Mix It Up Enough

That’s not to say you should be giving your dog his favorite snacks every time—you shouldn’t. It’s best to try and alternate treats so your pet isn’t sure when her favorite will appear. My dogs love to be rewarded with CANIDAE Snap Biscuits, but I use a variety of treats so they stay focused on the task and don’t get bored. In addition to the Snap Biscuits, CANIDAE also offers Snap-Bits and TidNips in three different flavors, so I have a lot of great options!

3. Lack of Praise

Every time you reward your pet with a treat, you should also positively reinforce the reward with genuine praise. This does double-duty by further establishing that they are doing good and placing a higher value on your praise, as it will be associated with a food reward. Soon enough, you’ll be able to sometimes substitute praise as a reward, instead of a treat.

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How to Teach Your Dog Tricks

By Suzanne Alicie

Dogs are highly intelligent creatures and they love to please their people. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but in fact a dog of any age can learn to do tricks; it’s just a matter of how you go about teaching them. Dogs are similar to children in that they all have different personalities and even different learning styles. Some dogs love to perform and eagerly soak up any new tricks the first few times you teach them, while some may take a little more time and effort. On the other hand, there are also dogs like my Bear – she knows exactly what is expected but seems to think she can make the humans do a few tricks of their own before she will deign to lift a paw!

Repetition is the key to teaching your dog tricks, the same as with training your dog. Essentially sitting, heeling and even walking on a leash are all tricks your dog has learned. When you want to teach them to shake, beg, dance or roll over, it’s just a matter of letting them know what you want them to do, offering them a CANIDAE TidNips treat when they do it successfully, and repeating the action over and over until your dog associates a certain word or gesture with the trick.

Keep in mind that while your dog may have certain qualities of a child it is not a person and it takes time and dedication to both train and teach your dog to do tricks. Yelling or becoming upset with your dog will not help him learn a trick. First you must teach the dog the action of the trick – yes, this means you may have to get down and roll on the floor! Then you have to work on the word or gesture to make him do the trick on command. Make sure you have plenty of treats on hand and are generous with praise.

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Ways to Save on Pet Food and Treats

By Julia Williams

Finding ways to save money is on a lot of people’s minds nowadays. Tough economic times call for figuring out how to stretch the budget. We all need to eat though, and so do our pets. With that in mind, here are a few ways to save on dog food, cat food, pet treats and even horse feed!

Coupons

Until recently, I wasn’t much of a couponer because it didn’t seem worth the trouble. TLC’s Extreme Couponing show sparked my desire to begin using coupons, and once I saw how much I could actually save, couponing has become a way of life. Some people think you can only buy junk with coupons, but it’s not true. You can find coupons for just about anything – including healthy pet food.

Many pet food companies have coupons for dog food, cat food and pet treats on their website and/or their Facebook page. CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company has several different high value coupons on their website that anyone can request. You can save up to $4 off FELIDAE pureELEMENTS or pureSEA dry cat food, and up to $5 off CANIDAE pureSKY or pureLAND dry dog food.

The CANIDAE website also has coupons for TidNips™ treats for both dogs and cats. These coupons are even better because they are BOGO (in couponing lingo, that means buy one get one). So, you buy one package of Tidnips treats (which my cats ecstatically endorse) and you get one free! If you happen to have a horse, CANIDAE even has a BOGO coupon for its line of horse feed called EQUIDAE. In a couponer’s world, free is the magic word. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t get something good for free, because it’s simply not true!

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How to Choose a Healthy Pet Treat

By Julia Williams

When I give my kitties their nightly snack of TidNips treats, I feel like the best Cat Mom in the world. It’s not because they love these treats (well, of course they do!) or that they all prance around the kitchen doing the feline version of Dancing with the Stars (it’s quite the lavish production!). It’s not because their exuberant meows and purrs let me know they think these things are the best invention since catnip. It’s because I know I’m giving them a treat that not only tastes good to them and makes them unabashedly happy, but they’re healthy for them too. June Cleaver would approve of TidNips, I’m sure of it!

As we all know, our pets –though most are highly intelligent creatures capable of doing amazing things – can’t as yet read nutrition labels. I wouldn’t put it past them to learn how to do that one day, but right now their only criteria for food and treats is that they taste good. Smart humans that we are, we know there are lots of things that taste good but aren’t necessarily good for us. Sure, sometimes we eat them anyway simply because we like the taste. And while I suppose you could do that with pet treats too, there is no reason to – because good, healthy treats exist, and your pet will love them just as much as any treat that has icky ingredients they shouldn’t be eating.

If a responsible pet owner goes to the trouble of feeding a high quality food because they want their four-legged friend to be in good health, why wouldn’t their standards be just as high for their pet’s treats? One reason is that while many pet owners will take the time to carefully research a particular brand of pet food before deciding to buy it, they don’t always do the same thing for treats. Pet treats are sometimes viewed as the potato chip or candy equivalent, i.e. a “treat” so it doesn’t have to be healthy. Personally, I view treats as an important part of a healthy diet, and I wouldn’t buy my cats “junk” treats even if they meowed for them by name.

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“Just Say No” to Your Pet, Because You Love Them

By Julia Williams

Just as parents often have to say no to their children when they want things that aren’t good for them, so too do responsible pet owners. Children and pets are not always able to discern danger or consequences, and it’s our job to keep them healthy and safe. I don’t especially like saying no to my cats when they want something I know they shouldn’t have (such as more food or treats when they’ve already had plenty) but as a responsible pet owner I know I need to. Knowing it is one thing; actually doing it can require nerves of steel and an unwavering conviction that I am right, and the cats are wrong. Anyone who has a “foodie” pet knows exactly what I mean.

Our pets beg with insistent meows and loud barks. They look at us with pleading eyes that make us think they will just keel over unless they get more food or treats. They try to “guilt” us into caving in, because they want what they want, and have no thought other than getting it. Pets live in the moment; there is no rationalization we can give them for saying no. We just have to, because we know what’s best for them, and because we love them.

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How to Train Your Puppy to Obey Basic Commands


By Suzanne Alicie

Puppies are cute and cuddly, and generally out of control. One of the first things a new puppy needs is training in basic commands. Sit, Stay, and Lie Down are the most basics commands to teach a puppy. When it comes to training a puppy it is important to be firm and consistent. Puppies learn from consistency and repetition, and responsible pet owners know that proper training can turn a wild puppy into a well mannered dog.

Teach Your Puppy to Sit

Initially you will need to get down on your puppy’s level and help him sit. A gentle push on the haunches while saying “sit” to your puppy will help him get the idea. When your puppy sits upon command the first few times, be sure to reward him with praise and a treat. One of the things we do in our house is make the dogs sit while we prepare their food bowls. It is a ritual that helps even hyperactive dogs contain a bit of that energy and mind their manners when being fed. Sit is a common command and one of the easiest to teach, even a young puppy.

Teach Your Puppy to Stay

This is a command that is a bit more difficult to teach. Puppies tend to want to follow, because they simply want to be close to you. To teach this command initially, you don’t want to step away from the puppy and tell him to stay. The easiest way to teach a young puppy to stay is to use a treat. Since repetition is the key it may be easier on your puppy’s tummy to break treats into many pieces, or use smaller treats like the CANIDAE Snap-Bits™.

Place a piece of the treat on the floor in between you and your puppy. Tell him to stay and hold a hand in front of him so that he can’t reach the treat. Scoot the treat closer to him until it is right in front of his nose, while repeating “stay.” In time you will find that when you say “stay” your puppy will do so, but it takes repetition. Consistency is the key, as well as not overwhelming the puppy with too many commands to learn all at once. Concentrate on one act at a time.

Teach Your Puppy to Lie Down

Lie down is another simple command, and an easy transition from sit. Many times when your puppy is sitting if you tap the floor under his nose he will lie down to touch your hand. So once you have repeated this action several times, start to say “lie down” when you reach toward the floor. Before you know it your puppy will lie down as soon as he hears the words. Again, treats and praise along with the repetition and consistency will help your puppy learn the command quickly.

Puppies are loving and eager to please. If you begin training early and consistently, it should not be difficult to train your puppy to obey these basic commands, and then you can move on to other tricks. Puppies can learn just about anything you feel like taking the time to teach them, from sitting pretty to dancing, jumping and speaking.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.