Selecting the ideal treat

We like to use dry treats rather than something moist or soggy, and many dry and semidry treats are available. You do, however, need to be careful of both salt and sugar content so that treats don't ruin your dog's diet. Experiment to find out what your dog likes and what he responds to. Trying to train a dog with treats he doesn't like is pointless. Treats also aren't going to be very effective after Buddy has just been fed.

Our dogs' favorites are homemade liver treats, which we use sparingly so as not to upset their stomachs. They're simple to make using the following steps and contain no salt or sugar:

1. Parboil some beef liver and let cool.

2. Cut liver into K-inch cubes.

3. Place on a baking sheet and liberally sprinkle with garlic powder.

4. Bake in a 250-degree oven until dry, about one hour.

5. Store in the refrigerator.

Our dogs also like carrots (actually, anything that's edible), but obviously not as much as they like liver.

Kong treats

Next to pure liver, our dogs like the TOTs (Training Opportunity Treats) made by the Kong Company (kongcompany.com). TOTs are made of liver and milo — a gluten-free grain that's highly digestible — and contain no salt or sugar. (Milo is a variety of sorghum that resembles millet.) TOTs are just the right size for a training treat and are dry and don't need to be refrigerated. Unless exposed to moisture, they have a good chance of lasting a long time. Few dogs can resist this treat.

thedog8it!

Another excellent training treat is made by thedog8it! Inc. (thedog8it.com). The treats are called Bribery Bits, and they're also dry and don't require refrigeration. They're made with human-grade ingredients and are organic whenever possible. Bribery Bits come in different flavors, such as Chicken Liver & Garlic and Cheese & Herb, and the original recipe is made with whole smoked kipper fillets. They sound so good, it's hard to believe they're intended just for dogs. The base grain is organic barley flour. Dogs love them.

Dog Potty Training

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