There are many ways you can reward your dog’s good behavior. However, as far as dogs are concerned treats are by far the best motivator for training, or anything else for that matter.
Whether you are looking for a way to train your dog or teach him some trick, using dog treats is your best bet.
However, using just about anything as a treat won’t work! You will have to take some time to figure out what will serve as a good incentive for your dog to behave in a certain way.
To help you kick start the entire process we have found the best dog training treats that will keep your dog interested and motivated to learn commands and tricks. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Best Dog Training Treats Reviewed
Whether you are looking for a way to train a young puppy or an adult dog, we got you covered! Below, you will find in-depth reviews of the five best dog training treats that transform a naughty dog into a well-behaved pooch.
Scott Pet Pork Chomps DT884V Premium 6CT Meaty SKEWERS
Tap to view on Amazon
Scott Pet Pork Chomps Premium Meaty Skewers are so delicious that even the pickiest dogs would do just about anything to sink their teeth into one. Made from high-quality ingredients, these treats are a great choice for training and occasional indulgence.
- GFSI certified
- 100% Rawhide-free
- Easy to digest
Made from baked pork skin, these high-protein and easily digestible dog treats taste delicious and will encourage your dog to excel at training. Due to their unique shape and size, you will have best results using them for recall and crate training.
The only disadvantage of these treats is that they are on the smaller side and a large dog can swallow one whole.
- Enticing and natural flavors
- Help keep the teeth and gums clean
- High in protein
- A great incentive for obedience training
- Too small for large dogs
Dingo Triple Flavor Pigs ‘N A Blanket Rawhide
Tap to view on Amazon
Dingo Triple Flavor Pigs ‘N A Blanket Rawhide treat for dogs is formulated to help promote dental health by chewing, but you can also use it while training your dog. Made from pork hide and rawhide and then wrapped in chicken, these tasty and flavorful treats are a real hit among canines.
- High-protein, low-fat treat
- Each pack contains six treats
Besides keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, these treats are excellent training rewards due to their delicious flavor. These savory sticks will be a great incentive if you are teaching your dog to love his crate, stay off the sofa, or to come back when called.
However, these are small size treats and as such not the best option for large dogs.
- A tasty slow-eating treat
- Combines three delicious flavors
- Low-fat content
- Promotes dental hygiene
- Contain preservatives and artificial coloring
Pet ‘N Shape Chik ‘N Breast Natural DogTreats
Tap to view on Amazon
Completely natural and grain-free, the Pet ‘N Shape Chik ‘N Breast Natural Dog Treats are perfectly sized and can be used as a high-value treat. Made without corn, wheat, soy, or any artificial flavors and preservatives these jerky treats taste and smell great.
- Made from 100% natural duck breast fillet
- High in protein, low in fat
- Available in chicken and duck flavor
The thing we like the most about these treats is that they are completely natural and can be used as puppy training treats or as rewards for adult dogs. Properly sized and delicious, these treats are a must for any type of obedience training and will encourage your dog to learn commands quickly.
The only drawback of these treats is that they can be a bit hard to break into bite-sized pieces.
- Grain-free and natural
- Suitable for all dogs
- Delicious smell and taste
- Help keep dogs interested in training
- Tested for safety in the USA, but made in China
CHICKEN OR DUCK FREEZE DRIED SMILING DOG TREATS
Tap to view on Amazon
Chicken or Duck Freeze-Dried Smiling Dog Treats are a great option if you are looking for a grain-free training reward for your dog. Made from natural ingredients sourced in the USA these soft treats can be used for puppies, small dogs, adults, and seniors.
- Eight calories per treat
- High protein count
- 100% natural
The greatest thing about these delicious training treats is that they are completely natural and made from chicken, apples, and spinach without any added flavors or preservatives. Furthermore, they are small enough and low in calories so you can use them to achieve a high rate of reinforcement (source).
However, keep in mind that this is a raw meat product and that you should handle and store it carefully to avoid bacterial contamination.
- Can be used for all dogs regardless of their size and age
- High protein count
- Low-calorie count
- Healthy and 100% natural
- Can spoil easily if not properly handled and stored
Wellness Core Pure Rewards Natural Grain Free Dog Treats
Tap to view on Amazon
Wellness Core Pure Rewards Natural Grain Free Dog Treats are one of those products you can use just for training or as an everyday reward. Made from high-quality, natural ingredients these beef jerky treats are real a hit even with picky eaters.
- Only five calories per treat
- Made from real beef
The thing we love the most about these treats is that they are perfectly sized for training. This means that your dog will stay interested in training and you will be able to practice more repetitions in less time.
The only downside is that these treats can sometimes dry and become too hard for a dog to eat them.
- Sized to fit puppy bites
- Low in calories
- Completely natural
- Smell and taste great
- Sometimes these treats are hard and crumbly instead of being soft and easy to chew
What to Look for When Buying the Best Dog Training Treat
While it may seem like an easy task, finding the best dog training treats still requires some consideration on your part. Here are some things you need to look for:
Your dog is going to be as healthy as are the things he eats, so his treats have to be of the highest quality. Steer clear from any treats that use meat by-products and cheap fillers as ingredients.
You should also pay attention to:
Since dogs need protein to thrive, named meat should always be the first ingredient used in any dog food and treats. Look for products that list quality meats such as chicken, beef, pork, or turkey as the main ingredient and pick a flavor that your dog is going to love.
If you want to steer clear from foods that contain artificial chemicals, growth hormones, and all the nasty stuff, you can opt to buy organic dog food and treats. While organic training treats usually cost a bit more, the higher price is justified when it comes to the health and well-being of your dog.
While natural preservatives used in dog food and treats are considered safe, artificial preservatives are a completely different story. In the long run, synthetic preservatives can be toxic and possibly lead to cancer, so you should avoid feeding them to your dog (source).
Unlike people, dogs don’t really care about the color of their food and treats. Only things that matter to your pooch are the smell and the taste of the said food or treat.
Although artificial colors aren’t dangerous in the short run, they can jeopardize your dog’s health when used daily in the long term. Thus, you should avoid feeding your dog any treats that contain artificial coloring.
When it comes to flavoring, the same thing applies. Treats that have natural beef, chicken, or pork flavor are always a better option than those products that use artificial flavors to enhance the taste.
Treats shouldn’t make more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake (source). So, you should always check the calorie content and see how many calories an individual treat has.
The fewer calories a treat has, the more you will be able to give to your dog. Thus, you will be able to increase repetitions and your dog will be eager to continue training.
For Puppies or Adults
The size of a dog treat should be proportionate to the size of your dog’s mouth. It’s needless to say, but a Chihuahua puppy and an adult German Shepherd can’t eat the same treat.
Luckily, most manufacturers offer treats in different sizes, so there are a lot of options for different breeds and all life stages.
Obviously, you don’t want to feed expired treats to your dog and risk an upset stomach or any more serious health problems. Thus, always check the expiration date to make sure that the treats are still fresh and safe for your dog to eat.
Good manufacturing practices are the guidelines that a manufacturer has to meet to assure that his products are consistently controlled and produced according to standards. A GMP certification is awarded to products that are regularly tested, safe, and maintain the same quality over and over again.
Type of Treats
As you know, food-based rewards, or dog treats, are the best and most convenient way to influence your dog and reinforce good behavior. But did you know that there are different types of treats for different types of training?
Let’s take a look:
The easiest way to keep your dog interested and motivated for training is to use fast-eating treats. This way your dog will be able to eat the treat quickly and you will be able to move on to the next repetition right away.
Fast-eating treats are best for obedience training and basic commands such as sit, come, give paw, and lie down. Furthermore, they allow you to practice a lot of commands in a short period of time.
Slow-eating treats, on the other hand, are those that your dog won’t be able to gobble up in mere seconds. Chewy treats are ideal for crate training and will help your dog to get used to his crate in a fun and interesting way.
Generally speaking, you should use small treats for training and large treats for occasional rewards. Since larger treats have more calories you will have to be careful how many are you giving to your dog to avoid weight gain.
Regardless of your dog’s age or size, small treats are always a better option for training. With smaller treats, you can keep a high intensity of training without worrying about stuffing your dog full of calories and potential weight gain.
Even if your dog has a favorite brand of treats, he might also like to spice things up from time to time. Thus, you should offer a variety of different treats once in a while or you can even use several different treats during a training session to keep your dog on his toes.
What do dog trainers use for treats?
Most dog trainers use cooked, dried, or dehydrated meat as treats, while some also use small pieces of cheese. Still, many professional trainers opt for commercial training treats such as Blue Buffalo or Stewart pro treats among others.
What can I use as treats for my dog?
Technically, you can use human foods instead of commercial treats for training. Chicken and turkey breast, homemade sweet potato dog treats, and cheese sticks are all safe for dogs and can be used as training treats.
Is it good to train dogs with treats?
Reward-based training is one of the most effective and popular ways to reinforce good behavior and to teach your dog obedience commands. Puppies, especially react well to positive reinforcement training and treat as rewards.
See recommended article: What You Need to Know About Duck Dog Training, is it hard to train dogs to hunt?
Whether you have adopted an adult dog or a puppy, you will need treats to teach your pooch to behave in a certain way.
When choosing a treat, check the ingredients and make sure it’s healthy without having a lot of calories. And don’t forget, the best dog training treats need to smell good and taste great to keep your dog interested in learning and motivated for training.