Training Your Dog With Treats
Everybody wants to get paid for a job well done. In that aspect, dogs and puppies are no different from us humans. Luckily, your dog won’t be demanding any pay rises; lovely dog training treats are often precisely what is needed!
Giving out a dog treat when doing obedience training works as positive reinforcement. They do something you want them to; they get a treat!
That’s a deal the vast majority of dogs will love. It will make for a much smoother and more fun training session, and choosing the best dog training treats will make your four-legged friend even more hardworking!
(Just remember that dog training treats are not a substitute for a complete diet with balanced nutrition.)
The 12 Best Dog Training Treats
These lovely dog training treats for adult dogs are made with real human-grade salmon and sweet potatoes, which gives them a rich flavor that your dog is sure to love.
As they’re formed as strips, they’re easy to carry around in your pocket, and then smaller pieces can be broken off to suit your dog’s size! So all breeds, from the smalls to the giants, can enjoy these treats.
These snacks are grain-free and contain only:
- Scottish Salmon
- Sweet Potato
- Natural Hardwood Smoke
So dogs suffering from allergies to beef or grain can enjoy these treats all day long. Another thing we love about these treats is that they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to support a healthy coat and skin.
(Pssst… Snif-Snax also has a lot of other treats available in lots of different flavors.)
Stars: 5 out of 5
Due to quality, flavourful, natural ingredients, lack of preservatives and “filling” ingredients, and soft texture.
When should you pick these? If you’re looking for a dog training treat with few but quality ingredients.
An issue all dog owners recognize is when your pocket gets all sticky with treats. That isn’t an issue with these chewy salmon-flavored dog treats, as they come in their own 5.3 oz jar!
These soft treats are perfect for all adult dogs, but especially for those on a limited ingredient diet or the ones who have gone a bit chubby, as these only contain less than five calories per dog treat!
These Natual Balance dog treats contain only a single protein source and limited ingredients, which amongst others, include:
Stars: 3 out of 5
Given due to the chewy texture, single protein source, and user-friendly jar.
When should you pick these? When you’re looking for treats that can quickly be brought with you anywhere without making a mess.
Who needs a dog treat more than anyone? Puppies, of course! Not all dog training treats are suitable for puppies, but these from American Journey are. These treats are also soft and delicious, rich in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, from flaxseed and salmon oil, to support healthy skin and coat.
These soft puppy treats can also be used for adult dogs and are rich in easily digestible ingredients:
- Natural smoke flavor
Stars: 4 out of 5
They are given due to their soft and chewy texture, perfect for puppies and with quality ingredients.
When should you pick these? When you’re looking for a soft and chewy puppy treat!
Is your dog suffering from allergies to different types of protein? Or maybe your dog just grew tired of the usual flavors? Then these might be the training treat for you. These single protein source treats are designed for your dogs with a sensitive stomach in mind.
These treats aren’t hydrolyzed protein, so not suitable for dogs with severe protein allergies, but can be used for dogs with sensitivities due to the limited amount of ingredients:
- Green and red lentils
- Garbanzo beans
Stars: 4 out of 5.
Given due to the unique and very flavourful protein source suitable for almost any adult dog. Just be aware that each treat contains 20 calories.
When should you pick these? If you have a sensitive or picky dog who needs to try something completely new and flavourful.
With over 30 years on the market and a 4.9 rating on dog.com, these beef liver treats have been a favorite for many dog owners for a very long time. Containing only beef liver, there’s no processing and no residue. Just the smell and flavor of liver. Even humans could eat them! (Not that we recommend that, of course.)
These dry dog training treats only contain one ingredient:
- Beef Liver
They can be bought in a small 4 oz box or a large 21 oz box, enough to keep the whole pack happy for a long while.
Stars: 5 out of 5
For containing only beef liver, no preservatives, and keeping the total nutritional value of raw meat.
When should you pick these? When you’re looking for a treat that will contain nothing but meat, and if your dog doesn’t mind it being dry instead of chewy.
If you’re looking for dog treats made with puppies in mind and them alone, look no further than here. This easy treat works as a spray, where the treat is sprayed out through a nozzle, making it easy to control the amount of treat coming out with no mess. It can even be sprayed straight into KONG chew toys to provide an energetic puppy with endless entertainment.
This KONG Puppy Easy Treat contains a lot of ingredients compared to the other products we’ve mentioned, including:
- Chicken liver
- Soybean Oil
Stars: 3 out of 5
Because puppies love the treat and it is easy to use, both for dog training treats and as stuffing in KONG (and other) toys. Just be aware of the high amount of preservatives and added ingredients.
When should you pick these? When looking for an easy, no-mess solution to fill puppy chew toys.
Is your dog suffering from bouts of an upset stomach? Then these dog treats might be precisely what you both need. These dog treats contain microorganisms and probiotics that will help your dog maintain healthy digestion while tasting deliciously of peanut butter!
Besides containing guaranteed levels of viable microbials, these treats also contain:
- Barley Flour
- Poultry meal
Stars: 3 out of 5
Due to the probiotic effect and support of the digestion throughout stressful periods, while being tasty for any dog.
When should you pick these? When you’re planning on doing something that might be stressful for your dog or something you know may cause stomach upsets. For example, antibiotic therapy, or when traveling or kenneling, these treats may help keep any problems at bay.
If you’re looking for a dog treat your senior dog, as well as your puppy, will love, these treats will be perfect. As the name suggests, soft and chewy also come in various flavors and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They are even free of propylene glycol, which is otherwise often found in soft treats. It also comes in a handy resealable bag!
Ingredients in each pack depend on the flavor, but generally, these lovely treats contain:
- A protein source (beef, chicken, duck, or lamb) all low in fat
- Unbleached wheat flour
- Tapioca starch
Stars: 5 out of 5.
For having lots of different flavors and while focusing on being low in fat. As well as containing no preservatives and being free of Propylene Glycol while staying soft and chewy.
When should you pick these? Whenever you’re looking for a soft and chewy treat your dog can love for its whole life.
Yes, we know, these aren’t strictly speaking training treats for dogs, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them out. These delicious and well-designed pockets turn pills into treats, and they can be invaluable for any dog owner with a pill-hating dog!
Instead of hiding pills inside human food that may contain a lot of salt and other unhealthy things for your dog, you should give these tasty and healthy pill pockets a try.
Designed by veterinarians and made with natural ingredients, you simply drop the pill into it and pinch the top half closed. You are effectively hiding the medication from your clueless furry friend.
Made with ingredients like:
- Wheat Flour
- Smoke flavor
Stars: 4 out of 5.
The stars are mostly given due to these pill pockets’ practicality, as they can quickly become a lifesaver for a lot of dog owners.
When should you pick these? When you need to get a pill into even the most stubborn dog.
(Sidenote: Some dogs may still be able to sniff and spit out the pill. Sneaky little ones!)
Is your pup a little on the heavy side, or do you just enjoy giving lots and lots of treats? With less than three calories per treat, these training bites are a sure match.
It is even made with human-grade ingredients, all-natural, no artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. They even come in a brilliant bite-size for dogs of all ages.
So what do these treats contain? Well, some of the ingredients in these dog training treat are:
- Organic Chicken
- Organic Celery
- Organic Flaxseed
Stars: 3 out of 5.
For being some of the only treats out there with that few calories while still maintaining a high degree of taste – while being organic.
When should you pick these? When looking for treats that will help with weight management or if your dog is prone to weight gain and you still want to give many goodies.
These wonderful dog treats are made for puppies that are extra good boys or maybe the naughty ones who need a bit of bribing. They’re small in size, perfect for little puppy teeth, made with natural ingredients, no by-product meals or fillers. To top it all off, these soft treats come with nearly 600 dog treats in every box you buy!
We all want the best for our puppies, and these treats contain an excellent set of ingredients, including:
- Oat Flour
Stars: 5 out of 5.
Because of the perfect puppy-sized treats, made of high-quality ingredients, while still staying soft and delicious.
When should you pick these? When you want some small, natural, and flavorful treats for your puppy!
These dog treats are for the extra-large dogs out there! Star-shaped and larger than most treats. These natural dog treats are made with lots of protein and even include glucosamine for hip and joint health and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Besides containing ingredients suitable for the joints, skin, and coat, these large bites also include:
- Deboned Beef
Stars: 3 out of 5.
For their flavor, supplements, and how they’re specifically made for large dogs.
When should you pick these? When you have a large dog with a tendency to swallow the treat whole!
In the end, what dog training treats you use depends 100% on your dog and you!
Dogs’ likes and dislikes can be as varied as ours, and it’s essential to choose a dog treat your dog loves to work for to make obedience training much more fun for both of you. If you’re worried about what types of dog treats you should buy, some key features to look out for:
- The right ingredients: Choose dog treats made from healthy, natural, quality ingredients. Try to pick treats based on proper meat, not meat-meal and meat-flavor.
- Avoid chemicals: If at all possible, try to avoid preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.
- Avoid the unhealthy stuff: Salt, sugar, syrups, and molasses. If it isn’t good for you, it isn’t good for your dog.
- Don’t be afraid of vegetables: Many dog-owners believe that dogs prefer 100% protein. That’s not true; dogs can eat lots of vegetables and fruit.
- Consider your dog: Is your dog an energetic puppy or senior citizen who’s lost some teeth? Always consider what your dog needs when buying treats.
Bear in mind that some of the links in this article are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a commission. As a Chewy affiliate I earn commissions for qualifying purchases. We promote Chewy.com , Dog.com and Petco.com and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.