Are Greenies like crack for your dog? (or is there something else?)

Our terrier is pretty willful - she will escape if possible (though she doesn’t seek it actively, will run away if chased outside, only obeys commands half the time, etc.). Now, all that is the result of bad training, I’ll admit that up front.

That said, everything changed when someone gave us half a bag of Greenies when their dog passed away. Now we have a 100% trained dog - all we have to do is head for the Greenie tin and she’ll do anything. [side note: turns out she understood all those commands we’d taught her, we just hadn’t incentivized her right]

That really became clear when it occurred to me to make a big, grand gesture when giving her one. I raise it up in the air, and then slooooowly twist it to snap it into two separate pieces…as a result, on the rare occasion she escapes, I can just find her, raise my arms in the air, start to twist, and she bolts at me like greased lightning. It’s magic.

So are Greenies like that for your dog, or is there some other snack your dog loves deeply?

We just dogsat for a Willful Terrier. Who’d want to go out at 3am (to pee? No, she heard a critter).

Shaking the greenie jar was the only thing that’d get her back in the house.

My dogs LOVE Greenies, and they also LOVE these:

And also the “EcoKind Yak Cheese Dog Chews.” Each one of these last a few days because they are VERY tough.

Our dog is like that for cheese - he can hear the drawer in the fridge open and thinks he’ll get lucky. He also hears the clink of the treat jar pretty well, along with the very specific tone of the Greenies bag.

All of that is better than goose poop, which is like candy to him.

A friend’s dog who stayed with me for a while seemed to like them moderately well, but they certainly weren’t his favorite treat. He’d take one when you put it right in front of his face, somewhat reluctantly it seemed, but he wouldn’t come running for them.

They each get one after dinner every day or we’re going to hear about it.

Mrs. Plant (v.2.0) called an escaped dog back with, “I have a cookie.”

My dearly departed Ruby loved getting them, but then she’d hide them. It was like a game - I’d give it to her, she’d get serious for the next 15 minutes or so about finding a good spot, then later I’d randomly find it and put it back next to her bowl.

(It was really funny when she’d hide them next to me on the couch. She’d wedge it in the cushions, then use her nose to pretend to bury it. I’d always tell her, ‘your secret’s safe with me!”)

It’s not just dogs. Greenies makes cat treats too, and using them I’ve clicker trained (95%+ success rate) my nine-month-old Maine Coon to come when called.

Unfortunately the other kitten is less snack driven and has about a 50% success rate. sigh.

I love that story, thanks for sharing it.

Pluto is very fond of Dentastix, whether in original, beef or “fresh” flavors. There’s a combo toy I created by wedging several hard synthetic chewbones of various shapes into an oval one, and if engineered just right, a dentastix jammed in there will keep him occupied for, well, minutes anyway, trying to gnaw loose pieces of it.

I don’t know if they’re all that good for him food value-wise, but he does have remarkably good breath, a benefit that cannot be overstated.

Lucy, unfortunately, sees all treats equally. There’s no such thing as a “high value treat” or “low value treat.” They’re all equally delicious (apparently).

It also makes any training where the instructions are to do something with different values of treat impossible, because she’s not going to go for one over the other reliably. Also, any thing where she’s supposed to go more than a foot away from me while I have a treat - not going to happen.

Thanks for the prompt. She died just about two years ago, but the thought of her fervent look while she carried a Greenie in her Boston Terrier jowls had my grinning broadly the other day.

I’d usually find her hidden Greenies behind the bathroom door, or in the closet near my shoes. But one time my in-laws visited for a few days, leaving their suitcases open on the floor. When they returned home and unpacked, they reported that they found a green dog bone in the bottom of the luggage.

I don’t presently have a dog, but when I did, those pseudo-bacon dog treats would make him do anything. He absolutely HATED being brushed, and would snarl at me and run away when I tried. Bringing out the bag of bacon treats along with the brush solved that problem immediately.

We have a pug, AKA walking garbage disposal. She likes Alpo treats, Dentastix, any number of “meaty” treats, pretzels, popcorn, cheese… well, you get the idea. For the most part, all you have to do is say “cookie” and she’s there.

I always kept Pupperonis (usually the little kind, although I could easily break up the long sticks if need be) around for the shelter dogs. They were ideal because the dogs went nuts for them and would look at the camera/the treat just behind the camera when I needed them to and because they were small, so I could keep feeding them treats and they would be gone pretty much instantly. So I could keep a pretty steady stream of rewards going and they knew I was good for it.
I used them for training tricks and specific behaviors for the same reason- you can quickly repeat trick/treat trick/treat without having to wait for them to chew.
They’re not doggie health food, admittedly, but I went through a LOT of them and usually spent my own money to get them, so cheap and easily available were big bonuses.

My own dog is not terribly treat motivated and likes greenies about as much as any of her treats. It’s toys she loves. And she doesn’t destroy them- just plays with them, which is all the more adorable with a white-faced senior. So it takes a LOT of restraint not to add a new squeaky stuffed animal to every grocery order just to see that tail wag. She loves the two that she has, though (monkey and llama) and it wouldn’t significantly enrich her life to have more. But maybe… you know… for special occasions.

Like Tuesdays! :bone::tennis::bone::tennis:

My dog used to love them. We’d give him one every night before bedtime and he’d gobble it up. But for the last few years he’s been rather ambivalent about them. Sometimes he’ll eat them and sometimes he won’t. I sometimes wonder if his teeth bother him but the vet says they look good.

Our rat terrier used to go completely apeshit for those things. I would give him one every day at a specific time (5:00, I think). He’d start the most pathetic whining you’ve ever heard around 4:50. At first, I’d give in and give it to him early just to shut him up, until I found the time of whining creeping earlier and earlier. No way was I going to let him train me.

I would have to cut him off, cold turkey, for a week or so periodically. I’ve never seen a dog go that bonkers over anything in my life.

We adopted a 10.5 yo dog in October 2019. He didn’t seem much interested in our previous dog’s toys, so we didn’t keep them. The box that one of his medications was shipped in was bigger than usual last week, and when I opened it, there was a toy inside (with the med). I just tossed it on the couch, and I was so surprised that Max started playing with it. You’re right – so sweet when an old frosty-faced dog is playing. He probably just wasn’t relaxed enough with us yet in the beginning, I’m guessing. Now, I want to buy him new toys even though he has cancer, and we don’t know how long we’ll still have him.

We never gave our dogs greenies. We’ve always had dachshunds, and our last adopted pair came into our lives about the time greenies got really popular. About the same time there was a story about a dachshund who had an intestinal blockage from greenies and died. Scared us off! Dachshunds have a tendency to not chew so much as bite off clumps and swallow them. As a breed, they tend to have bad teeth, too, so that doesn’t help.

Years ago we had a beagle and a dachshund, and the beagle loved those rawhide chewsticks. She’d hold them in her paws and patiently chew them down to nothing. The dachshund’s paws were too short to hold the sticks well, so she carry the stick to us to hold for her while she was chewing. Then, she’d lose interest. The worst was when she’d half chew the end of one and leave it slimy and gross on the floor for you to step on with bare feet. Yuck.