Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2nd Annual Treat Palatability Research Study

I know that you have been anxiously awaiting the results of my treat research study. You wouldn't want your people to waste their money on treats that don't taste good and of course you don't want to have to eat them. In the name of science and for the good of my fellow canines I have undertaken this arduous but important experiment.

Barbara brought a huge bagful of treats for me to investigate. You can see what a difficult task I had in front of me. I tested some of these treats last year but wanted to see if they stood up against the new treats.

The first step in the experiment was for me to sniff a treat in her hand.

Then she would put it on a plate, let me sniff another treat and put that one on different plate.

I had to do a sit stay and look at the plates.

When she said OK I went to the most delicious treat first and she wrote it down for me.

We did many repetitions of the experiment. She would switch the treats to different plates, switch the order etc. to account for any right/left bias. We compared dry treats and then soft treats. The winner in each set of trials was compared to the winner from another set of trials until we reached the best treat of all.

Last year I did a four paw rating system. I've done it again so you can see which ones you should get your people to buy for you.

4 PAWS: Scrumptious - will eat them even when I see squirrels
Buddy Biscuit Roast Chicken Madness, Grilled Beef Madness

3 PAWS Delicious - will eat them most of the time
Buddy Biscuit Peanut Butter Madness, Bacon & Cheese Madness

2 PAWS Tasty - will eat them when there are no distractions
Cloud Star Tricky Trainers, Train-me, Pet Botanics Reward

1 PAW slightly better than cardboard
Bennies Bullies, Charlee Bear Cheese and egg

However the very best, most delicious treats were so yummy that I did not have enough paws to rate them!

They are the Merrick Gourmet Sausage Treats and they are the best treat I have ever had! There are several flavors. I liked them all but the best (according to my research) was the French Country Cafe flavor.

Tell your people to get this treat for you!!! I have no idea how much it costs but whatever it costs, it is worth it.

You may ask where Ambrose was through all this experimentation. In his crate! Barbara thought that he should get to try the test. I knew it would be a disaster. Ambrose does not have a discriminating palate and has even been known to eat glass.

Barbara tried really hard to get him to work with her. Even when she would point to the plate, he couldn't seem to figure out that the treat was on the plate and not in her hand.

Look at his goofy expression. I fear that he has no future as a scientific researcher.

Finally he figured out that the treats were on the plates and ate them.

I hope this helps you and your people when selecting treats.

Tomorrow I am going to be in a real scientific experiment at the Duke University Canine Cognition Center. I am not sure what I will have to do in the experiment but I understand that involves foraging. I am sure that I can do that. I will let you know how it goes.


MurphyDog said...

That is pretty amazing stuff. I knew you were smart (you just exude intelligence in your photos), however I dint realize you were scientifically intelligent as well!

Thanks much for the research studies. It was selfless of you to put yourself thru that gruelling study. We doggies really appreciate it though!

wasgs, wiggles & slobbers

Mango said...

That was most helpful because selecting the right treat can be difficult. Leave Ambrose in the back room next time. He is clearly not up to such a demanding task.


Lorenza said...

Hi, Niamh!
Yes, I was waiting for the results of your research study!
Thanks for telling us about all those treats!
Kisses and hugs

Clive said...


We are so impressed. You make a really good researcher. Just wish some of those treat varieties were available over here!

take care

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan said...

Niamh, you are such a star! Thanks for all the useful info. We were amused that the best treat was called "French country café because we doubt we would ever find anything quite so delicious in any cafés around here...

Tommy (and the Chans)

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

What a good job you did Niamh and we bet it was a lot of fun doing it.

Ambrose made us chuckle, we do the treat on the nose trick. Holly gets it, she stares at it, then on the ok flicks it up in the air and either catches it or finds it. Zac on the other hand has a goofy stare at it, drops it on the ok and then doesn't know where it is...BOL

~ Holly & Zac ~

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Now that is a great experiment. Any time there is treats involved is a great time... We will have to get mom to get some of those gourmet treats..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Maggie and Mitch said...

Mom has already left for the pet store! We were drooling so badly she thought it was best and we agreed with her! Thanks, Niamh!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Agatha and Archie said...

A truly informativie post!!! and you picked the ones we love the most as well!! Your brother and my brother REALLY need to get to together..they have a lot in common..Love A+A

Ludo van Doggy said...

Thanks for the review! If I can find those treats here I will get Mum to buiy them.
~lickies, Ludo