Treats are great. There, we said it. They are especially great when it comes to training your Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Whether you are starting at the beginning with a bouncy puppy, or teaching your older dog a few more manners, treats, used either as a lure or reward, can be a great help in getting the desired results. So we have put together a review of the best treats for training Staffies.
It’s pretty well known that dogs love their grub. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are no different and will respond positively to tidbits, treats and snacks, making teaching them new commands a lot easier. Having said that, it’s important to provide your Staff with the RIGHT treats, get it wrong and you could find yourself spending a lot of money for a lot of nothing. A pup that isn’t excited by a treat will ignore it (and you!). Finding the perfect treat for training your dog may take a bit of trial and error, but will be well worth the effort in the end.
Use Both Low-Value and High-Value Treats
“What are low-value and high-value treats?”, we hear you yell! Look at it this way. If someone offers you a single chocolate button from the supermarket in one hand and a hand made chocolate bar coated in edible gold leaf and made by the finest chocolatier in the world, which one are you gunna choose? That, in essence, is the difference between low-value and high-value treats. Sure, you’ll never turn down a chocolate button, but boy, the things you would do to get your hands on that fancy schmancy chocolate, huh?
High-value treats are generally used as a strong lure or as a big reward when your Staffie does something great. Low-value treats should be used more often as reward for standard responses. Mixing the two types of treat up will ensure your pup stays focused and interested in their training.
Obviously, although we use chocolate as an example in a human setting, you should never feed your dog chocolate treats. Instead, use kibble as a low-value treat and things like cheese, chicken or frankfurters as a higher value treat.
If you are feeling super invested in the treat training process, you can even make your own little tid bits. There are lots of recipes on the net. If time (or baking skills) aren’t on your side, then treats bought from shops can be just as healthy and tasty.
What Does The Perfect Treat Look Like?
There are a few features you should keep your eye out for when buying your Staffy treats. Here are the main ones:
- Size– Treats should be small. Tiny treats not only prevent too many calories from being consumed in training sessions, but also allows your dog to swallow them quickly and remain focused on the task in hand.
- Convenience– Think about where you will be carrying the treats. If in a special pouch, great. If in your pocket, the last thing you want is treat crumbs lining it after a training session!
- Healthy– You get what you pay for when it come to treats. Check the ingredients and seek advice from a vet if necessary. Make sure your treat won’t do your dog any harm before feeding it to them!
- Delicious– Taste is important. If a treat tastes like a leathery old boot, it’s unlikely to excite your dog. Think about the flavor and texture of a treat and try to match it to your Staffie’s preferences.
Points To Remember When Using Treats As Rewards
- Don’t forget to withhold food prior to a training session. You don’t want your pup piling on the pounds!
- Treats should never constitute more than 10% of your Staffie’s diet. Try and keep them only for training rewards and not as a ‘you are being so cute today, Fido’ reward!
- Don’t be tempted to use ‘leftovers’ as training treats. The added spices and salt we add to our food isn’t great for dog tummies. Table scraps shouldn’t be used as treats.
Best Dog Treats For Training Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Here are our recommendations for commercially made treats to use during training with your Staffie:
Pedigree Dentastix can be found in most supermarkets and are a great way of providing training treats for your dog, whilst keeping them healthy. DENTASTIX reduce tartar build up by 80%, are sugar free and low in fat, containing just 82 calories.
The treats can be easily chopped up into smaller pieces, giving your dog a tasty snack to chew on whilst cleaning its teeth. Vets recommend the snack as being good for dental health and their gently abrasive texture is a sure fire hit with dogs! They will also be a hit with you as they are easy to carry and aren’t greasy or crumbly, meaning clean pockets!
Veni-Dog Pure Venison Super Treats are the crème de la crème of dog treats.
- Naturally air dried? Check.
- 100% pure venison meat? Check.
- Gluten free and hypo-allergenic? Check!
These bad boys have no additives whatsoever and are a high quality, high value treat, perfect for giving your Staffie when he has been a REALLY good boy! They are fantastic for dogs with food intolerances and can be cut into small pieces very easily. A great treat for your Staffordshire Bull terrier.
The words ‘moist liver’ won’t set the human culinary world alight, but to dogs, this is like fillet steak. Feelwells Moist Liver Training Treats are just the thing to make your Staffie sit up (or stay, wait, down, rollover) and take notice.
These treats are especially made for training sessions. They are made of a mixture of oats, liver and lots of vitamins and minerals.
Whilst they are unsuitable for puppies under the age of three months, they are great for initial training due to their small size. Plus, your pup will be asking you to ‘de-liver’ more and more because of the great taste. (Sorry. Not sorry.)
Thrive ProReward Chicken Treats for Dogs are a great choice for training your Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Made from 100% chicken, and coming in a tiny size perfect for reward or clicker training, these treats will definitely get your Staff’s taste buds tingling.
These are considered ‘high reward’ treats by the manufacturers, so a tube should last a fairly long time. The intense flavor helps your dog focus on you and the chewy texture will keep them coming back for more and more.
The chews are low in fat, smell as good as a dog treat can, due to being air dried and have a pleasant texture, meaning no greasy hands for you! They even come in Duck and Liver flavours if you want to mix your Staffie’s training time treats up a bit.
Treat Pouches To Make Treat Time Easy
No one particularly wants a pocket full of treats. Some of them smell less than fragrant and others may crumble or stain. A treat pouch, therefore, is an indispensable piece of kit when it comes to training your Staff puppy. Treat pouches are reusable, so good for the environment and will keep you and your clothes fresh as a daisy!
Our top tip for a treat bag is The CLIX Treat Bag. It’s hugely practical and has lots of useful features. The opening is wide enough to allow easy access to treats, whilst the drawstring close ensures none of the snacks fall out, and makes the pouch both rain proof and dog proof!
In addition, there is a zipped compartment on the back of the bag, for keys, poop bags or storage of treats and a clip and belt loop for easy attachment to yourself. The CLIX Treat Bag also looks pretty cool too and comes in three different colours: Red, Purple and Combat.
How To Use Dog Treats Correctly During Training
Now you know what kind of dog treats to give your Stafford puppy, when to give them and how to give them. To supplement this article, we have created a more in-depth look at how to use treats correctly during training itself.
The article describes how to encourage a well behaved, obedient dog using treats, whilst avoiding him or her only responding to commands when you have a snack in your hand. Learn how to correctly reward behaviour with treats during training by reading: How to use Dog Treats Correctly During Training
We do hope that the information provided has helped you with decision making when it comes to training treats for your SBT puppy.
Remember that not all dogs respond to treats in the same way, so experimenting a little and being patient will reap rewards in the end.
The treats listed above are a great starting point for working out what will work for YOUR dog. They are all healthy, delicious and easy for you to handle and hopefully your Staffie will love them too!