george and i were big fans of “tricky trainers” when i was starting him out on his edumication.
really small in size, so he could digest quick and focus on what the lesson was...
they break in half easily, so, i could reward often without ruining his diet (less than 3 calories each)
do constantly, do in small sessions,
and never miss an opportunity to praise and treat when you see a behavior you like,
whether in a “training” session or not.
(i still find ziplock baggies of treats in random jacket pockets over a year later)
i agree, ultimately you are the only treat they really want,
we got to praise only after about 9 months, but,
i think a little food bribery when george was young didn’t hurt to get him there...
lastly, someone told me when i was starting out that visual commands are easier for puppies to understand than verbal. for the core bread & butter commands (stay/sit/come/down/free) i taught with both the name and a hand signal. george is extremely well behaved, probably 95% response to the verbal, but,
when things get chaotic, when there are tons of distractions around, the hand signals never fail...