Foods: Hot dogs. Cheerios and other cereals. Freeze-dried liver. Crumbled ground beef. Pounce cat treats. Pedigree Tandem (break one piece into 3 or 4). Alpo Beef Bites (cut one piece into 6 slices). Alpo Beef Burgers. Rollover. Kibbled dog food (Nutro Max). String cheese. Leftover steak pieces. Hard-boiled eggs. Sardines (hey, they were leftover too). Atta Boy treat sticks. Snausages. Trout pellets. Rabbit pellets. Red licorice (found out tonight my wife's been sneaking this one in). Corn Nuts. Wheat Thins. Cheese Whiz. Popcorn. French fries. Ice cubes. Bread crust. Croutons. Rice cakes. Pureed liver. Dried liver. Canned cat food (use a spoon). Broken fortune cookie pieces. Cooked pasta (many forms). Rice balls. I'm sure there are more...
The reward after the click doesn't have to be food; it can be funâ€¦ with a toy, instead! A fast game of tug-o-war is a powerful reward.
The Training Game is a great way to sharpen your shaping skills and have fun at the same time. It allows you to see and experience other trainers' decision points, and to be aware of what you might have done instead. It also allows trainers to make mistakes, and learn from them, without confusing some poor animal or unsuspecting person! Maybe most valuable of all, it allows you to see the training process from the viewpoint of the trainee, which is often a highly illuminating experience. The training game also helps us get rid of the superstitious behavior of putting the blame for problems on the person or animal we are working with, instead of on the training contingencies, where it belongs.