Treats should be small or breakable, soft, smelly, and made out of quality ingredients. A crunchy, grainy treat will leave crumbs on the course and distract your dog and the dogs behind them as well! A treat should be a taste, not a meal. One lick or bite and it’s gone!You can use bigger, crunchier treats as ‘jackpots’ at home, though! I use a medium-large biscuit at the bottom of contacts to reinforce my dogs’ nose touch.
I also work very hard to keep my dogs’ treats ‘mixed up’ so he doesn’t get bored, although I can’t see Quick EVER getting bored with his yummy liver treats! (evil dog broke into the stash of them and ate them all- who knew large amounts of liver caused huge amounts of flatulence in dogs?) Put a mix in your treat bag so your dog won’t know if he’s getting a bit of dried fruit, or a bit of liver, or some potato chip. (don’t judge me! Nova’ll do anything for potato chips.) Pretend you’re a slot machine- your dog does what he wants, and maybe he wins the treat, maybe he doesn’t. It keeps them interested longer! (When training a new behavior, it’s best to treat every time.)
What’s your dogs’ favorite treat that works well for agility? I keep hearing hot dogs are the best, but I can’t stand the smell myself so the dogs don’t get them.