Best dog training treats for puppies and dogs

Whether you are teaching basic skills or advanced YouTube-worthy tricks to your dog, one of the best way to accomplish this is by positive reinforcement – rewarding the canine with treats during the training session. Most dogs love food and treats can lure them to obey your command and learn more quickly.

So, which are the best dog treats to use for training? Surely, you cannot always use the high-calorie daily kibbles or leftovers from your meal. What you need is commercial dog training treats formulated specifically for training your dog or puppy.

In this article we look at some of the best dog training treats and snacks available in the market. These commercial treats are both healthy and delicious for your puppy or dog and easy to carry around during a training session. These treats are also perfect for a hike or long road-trip with your pet. We will also discuss the major factors to consider while picking these treats and share some homemade options as well.

In addition, check out our article on the best dog training books for some excellent resources on how to train your dog to be an obedient, well-behaved companion.

Best dog training treats list

Some of best dog treats for training dogs or puppies are listed below:
PictureProductNutrition 
Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Training Treats2.2 - 3.0 kcal/treat

Crazy Dog Train-Me! Dog Training Treats1.5 - 1.6 kcal/treat

Wellness Natural Puppy Training Treats3.0 - 4.0 kcal/treat

Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Dog Training Treats6.0 kcal/gram

Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats 20.0 kcal/stick
Blue Dog Bakery Perfect Trainers3.0 kcal/treat

Pet Botanics Dog Training Treats1.5 - 1.6 kcal/treat

Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Dog Training Treats3.4 - 3.5 kcal/treat

Merrick Power Bites Dog Training Treats5.0 - 5.4 kcal/treat

Natural Balance Mini Rewards Dog Treats4.0 kcal/treat

What are dog training treats and how they are different from other dog treats?

As the name suggests, dog training treats or snacks are specially formulated dog food developed to be given to a puppy or dog as a reward during the training session. These reward -and-lure treats are very effective in teaching basic or advanced skills including potty training, obedience commands and playful tricks. These treats also work well during outdoor trips and travel.

While it is not necessary to use commercial dog training snacks to train your pet, most dog trainers and behaviorists recommend to use them together with the daily kibbles and homemade treats to provide the proper stimulus and nutrition to the pet.

Not all dog treats are the same and some of the key factors that make dog training treats different from other types of dog food are:

  • Dog training treats are generally smaller in size when compared to the standard dog treats or kibble. Larger dog food such as jerky sticks can be cut into smaller pieces to be used as training food.
  • Dog training treats are low on calorie value per treat (basically low on carbs). This is important as you would not want your pet to intake extra calories while training. These treats are, however, fortified with additional nutrients (minerals and vitamins) to provide additional nutrition for physical training activities.
  • Dog training treats are easy to swallow and digest for the canine, with a moisture content ranging from 10 to 30%. You would not want a crunchy or chewy treat that takes away a lot of time for your pooch to eat and act as a distraction during training sessions.
  • While it is a subjective matter, dog training treats are designed to be enticing and delicious to the pet. After all, your dog would not do all those “complex maneuvers” for something it does not like! Smellier treats are generally more tempting and attention-grabbing, especially for puppies.
  • Dog training treats are convenient to carry around in a treat pouch or pocket and retain their shape for a long time.

In the next section, we list out some of the best dog treats for training dogs and puppies.  We will try to cover all the different types of options – both low and high-value dog treats, freeze-dried dog snacks and even jerky sticks.

It is worthwhile to mention that just like any other food, your canine may have its own preference for a specific type of treat and hence you may have to switch between a few before picking the best combination.

Which are the best dog training treats?

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Training TreatsZuke's Mini Naturals Chicken Recipe Dog Treats - 16 oz. Pouch

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Type: Soft, chewy cylindrical treats.
Nutritional Value: 2.2-3.0 kcal/treat, depending upon the flavor.
Features:

  • Best-selling, soft, small round treats that are suitable for dogs of all ages and breeds.
  • Made with high-quality protein, wholefood berries and savory herbs with no corn, wheat or soy. Made in the US.
  • Available in 6 delectable flavors including peanut butter, chicken and salmon, with additional ingredients such as wholefood cherries, tapioca, rosemary and turmeric.
  • Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
  • Available in multiples of 6 or 16 oz. re-sealable pouches.
  • Also available in smaller, 1.5 kcal/treat Zuke’s Tiny Natural Dog Treats and Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats.

Details:
Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats are one of the most popular dog training treats in the market and also one of our favorites.

Since the inception of Zuke’s Dog Treats about 20 years ago, the company has expanded to a number of dog treat options and the Mini Naturals range is their best-selling range.

The Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats are sourced from high-quality ingredients in the US and New Zealand (rabbit) and manufactured in the US. Available in 6 delectable flavors, the treats are soft and easy to swallow and digest with 30% moisture content. The nutritional value of the treats vaies from 2.2 kcal to 3 kcal per treat, which makes them suitable for almost all dog breeds.

In addition to the primary ingredient, the treats have additional nutritious items such as wholefood cherries, tapioca, rosemary and turmeric and added minerals and vitamins. All treats are made without corn, wheat, soy and any other type of fillers. Most dogs love the taste of these treats and you can even use them as fillers in the daily dog chow to add some variety to the meal.

The Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats are available in re-sealable packages of 6 or 16-ounce bags and their multiples.

These competitively priced dog training treats are one of the first options you should check out. And if you are looking for even less-calorie products, you can check out the smaller, 1.5 kcal/treat Zuke’s Tiny Natural Dog Treats and Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats.

Crazy Dog Train-Me! Dog Training TreatsCrazy Dog Train-Me! Training Reward Mini Dog Treats

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Type: Soft, chewy cylindrical treats.
Nutritional Value: 1.5 -1.6 kcal/treat, depending upon the flavor.
Features:

  • Another popular low-fat, low-carb dog training treats for puppies and small dog breeds. Competitively priced.
  • Made in the US with high-quality ingredients sourced from US and Canada. No artificial colors or added flavors.
  • Strong stinky smell that is extremely tempting to the pet.
  • Available in 4 meaty flavors – Bacon, Chicken, Beef and Salmon.
  • Available in package sizes ranging from 3.5 oz. to 10 oz.
  • Also available in regular size with a higher calorie content.

Details:
The Crazy Dog Train-Me! Mini Dog Training Treats are another popular brand to consider as training treats especially if you are looking for something for a puppy or small dog.

The Crazy Dog Train-Me! Dog Training Treats feature small and soft cylindrical-shaped semi-moist treats with the real meat being the primary ingredient. Ingredients are sourced from US and Canada and the treats are manufactured in the US. These treats are available in four meaty flavors.

With a calorie value of only 1.5-1.6 kcal/treat and a 28% moisture content, these treats are pretty light on the pet’s stomach. You can even break them further without crumbling. Just remember to carry a treat pouch to store these treats, because they stink strongly, while being pretty enticing to the canine.

The Crazy Dog Treats are available in re-sealable package size of 3.5 oz., 4 oz. and 10 oz. A 4 oz. bag contains about 200 pieces. The treats are also available in larger, regular size. And one of the best parts is that they are cheaper than most other dog training snacks.

If you are looking for a low-calorie, low-fat dog treats for puppy training then the Crazy Dog Train-Me! Mini Dog Training Treats are an option to consider. They are great value-for-money in our opinion.

Wellness Natural Puppy Training TreatsWellness Soft Puppy Bites Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats, Lamb & Salmon, 3-Ounce Bag

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Type: Soft, mildly-crunchy square pieces.
Nutritional Value: 3.0 to 4.0 kcal/treat, depending upon the flavor.
Features:

  • Soft, bite-sized dog snacks formulated specifically for puppies and small dog breeds.
  • Grain-free, all-natural with no by-products, artificial colors or flavors. Ingredients are globally sourced. Made in the US.
  • Rich in proteins, DHA, Omega-3 and other nutrients especially useful for puppies.
  • Available in 4 multi-flavors with Soft Lamb and Salmon being the most popular.
  • Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
  • Package size varies from 3 oz. to 20 oz.

Details:
If you have a puppy which is less than 1 year old or an adult dog with a sensitive stomach, then the Wellness Natural Puppy Training Treats are an excellent choice to consider.

These treats are soft, mildly-crunchy and perfectly-sized (close to the size of a nickel) for a pup to chew and digest quickly. The treats contain only natural ingredients with no corn, soy or artificial colors and flavors. The natural aroma of the treat is quite tempting to all the pets. The raw ingredients are sourced globally under strict quality control and made in USDA-approved facilities in the US.

The Wellness Natural Puppy Training Treats have a moderate nutritional value of 3.0-4.0 kcal/treat and are available in multiple flavors – Lamb & Salmon, Beef & Turkey, Chicken & Lamb and Crunchy Chicken & Carrots. The treats are available in re-sealable package sizes varying from 3 ounces to 20 ounces.

Overall, the Wellness Natural Soft Puppy Bites are an excellent low-calorie dog training snack option to check out, especially for puppies and dogs with digestive issues.

Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Dog Training TreatsStewart Freeze Dried Treats 21 oz. Beef Liver

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Type: Soft, dry treat cubes. Freeze-dried.
Nutritional Value: 6.0 kcal/gram.
Features:

  • Single-ingredient animal liver, freeze-dried treats for dogs weighing more than 10 lbs.
  • Made with the meat produced and sourced in the US. Absolutely no additives or preservatives.
  • Tempting natural aroma and real liver flavor provide a high-value reward to the dog.
  • Comes in 7 meaty animal liver or breast flavors.
  • Available in multiple sizes ranging from 2 oz. pouch to 21 oz., re-sealable tub.

Details:
The Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Dog Training Treats has been a traditional favorite of dog trainers for over 40 years and there is a good reason for that. These treats are a perfect option for adult dogs weighing more than 10-15 lbs.

The Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Dog Training Treats are truly a single-ingredient high-value dog snack. The treats are made in Dayton, Ohio with the meat produced and sourced in the US. These freeze-dried treats contain absolutely no additives, fillers or even preservatives. Since they are freeze-dried, they do not require refrigeration.

The natural aroma and real liver flavor provide a natural enticement and stimulation to the pet. The treat pieces are cube-shaped and with only 6% moisture content, can be broken into smaller pieces and easily carried in a Ziploc bag, your pocket or pouch. At about 6 kcal/gram, they can be considered as high-value, protein-rich treats for training. Just remember to carry some extra water as these treats are a little dry for the dog.

If you are looking for bite-sized morsels as a training reward for your adult pooch, then check out the Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Dog Training Treats. Your dog deserves the best and these treats have truly been one of the best high-value treats in the market for a long time.

Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats Made in USA - Slow Smoked, Delicious, Tender AND Healthy 6

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Type: Chewy, tender 6-inch jerky sticks.
Nutritional Value: 20 kcal/stick.
Features:

  • Premium jerky sticks for dogs suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes.
  • Made with premium American meat produced and sourced in the US. Contains no artificial colors or fillers.
  • Tender and soft and do not leave a smelly residue on hands. Can be broken into smaller bits of suitable size.
  • Available in three meat flavors – Beef, Chicken and Turkey.
  • Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
  • Available in re-sealable 16 oz. package.

Details:
Though jerky sticks would not automatically fall into the category of dog training treats, the Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Sticks are something that stand out for specific reasons. These premium jerky sticks are tender and tasty enough to be a perfect choice for even the most un-motivated canine.

The Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats are made of high-quality all-American meat (Beef, Chicken or Turkey) with no artificial additives or fillers. Each jerky stick is about 6-inches long and can be cut into smaller bits of appropriate size.

The Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Sticks have a natural aromatic smell that is pretty enticing to dogs of all ages. They are a little chewier than other dog training treats, but are still tender enough to be easily swallowed and digested. What makes this possible is the 10-hour smoking process followed during manufacture.

One of the major advantages of these jerky dog treats is that they do not leave a stinky, smelly residue on hands, making it more convenient for the trainer.

The Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats are available in three delectable meaty flavors and in packages of different sizes. They are a bit costlier than other jerky sticks, but worth every penny. The 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer is a testament to that.

If you are looking to add a little variety to your dog’s training treats, then consider getting a pack of Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Sticks for your beloved pet. Your canine will find these premium jerky sticks a lot more tempting and tasty than its regular meal.

Blue Dog Bakery Perfect TrainersBlue Dog Bakery | Dog Treats | All-Natural | Low-Fat | Assorted Flavors | 18oz (Pack of 6)

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Type: Soft cylindrical treats.
Nutritional Value: 3.0 kcal/treat.
Features:

  • Soft and tender baked training treats that work well for puppies and dogs of all breeds and ages.
  • Made in the US with high-quality natural ingredients with no artificial flavors or fillers.
  • Appealing chicken and cheese flavor that most dogs find tasty.
  • Available in a set of 2 or 6 oz. bags.
  • Also available from the same manufacturer – the best-selling Blue Dog Bakery Dog Biscuits.

Details:

If you have had an adult dog that likes snacks and cookies, chances are that you would have got it Blue Dog Bakery Dog Biscuits as treats. Maintaining the same tradition, the Blue Dog Bakery offers the Blue Dog Bakery Perfect Trainer Dog Treats formulated to motivate and stimulate even the most stubborn pet.

The Blue Dog Bakery Perfect Trainers are freshly-baked dog training treats, made with all-natural, real chicken and cheese sourced and manufactured in the US. No fillers or artificial additives are used during the manufacturing process.

Each treat is only 3 kcal for guilt-free snacking during a training session. Most puppies and dogs would find the chicken and cheese flavor of the treats pretty enticing and tasty. Just ensure that you carry enough water and a treat pouch to store the treats.

The Blue Dog Bakery Perfect Trainer Treats are available in a re-sealable 2 or 6-ounce bags and their multiples.

Pet Botanics Mini Training Reward TreatsPet Botanics Mini Training Rewards Grain-Free Duck with Bacon Treats for Dogs (1 Pouch), 4 oz

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Type: Soft, semi-moist cylindrical treats.
Nutritional Value: 1.5 -1.6 kcal/treat.
Features:

  • All-natural, semi-moist dog training treats made of high-quality ingredients. Made in the US.
  • Available in 6 different flavors with meat as the main ingredient and wholesome veggies, super-fruits and salmon oil as additional items.
  • Enhanced with healthy Omega fatty acids and minerals and vitamins. No artificial colors or filler additives.
  • Comes in re-sealable package of 4 oz. or 10 oz. bags and their multiples.
  • Also available in larger regular size treats and grain-free treats.

Details:
The Pet Botanics Mini Training Treats are another low-calorie, mineral and vitamin-rich dog treats for training puppies and dogs.

The Pet Botanics Treats are made of highest-quality ingredients with the meat as the main item. These treats are available in 6 different palatable flavors. In addition to the primary ingredient, the treats contain a trademarked BotaniFits blend of wholesome veggies, superfruits, flax-seed and salmon oil that makes these treats rich in healthy vitamins and minerals. The treats do not contain and BHT, BHA or soy fillers.

At 1.5-1.6 kcal/treat and a moisture content of 30%, these soft treats are pretty easy on the pet’s stomach. And their natural aroma makes them tempting and tasty for the pets.

These dog training snacks are available in re-sealable 4 oz. or 10 oz. bags and their multiples. A 4-oz. bag contains around 200 treats, so one bag can last for a long time.

If you are looking for guilt-free, low-calorie dog treats for your puppy or dog, then you can check out these dog training snacks as an option. They are also available in regular size and grain-free types of treats.

Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Dog Training TreatsBlue Bits Beef Recipe Dog Treats 4-oz

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Type: Soft, semi-moist heart-shaped bits.
Nutritional Value: 3.4-3.5 kcal/treat.
Features:

  • All-natural, semi-moist dog training treats made of high-quality ingredients. Made in the US.
  • Available in 6 different flavors with both veg and meat main ingredient and wholesome brown rice, oatmeal & flaxseed as additional ingredients.
  • A strong aromatic smell makes them extremely enticing to the pets.
  • Available in re-sealable 3 oz., 4 oz. or 9 oz. bags. Variety packs are also available.
  • A high-value, grain-free 4 kcal/treat option – Blue Wilderness Dog Trail Treats is also available for large dog breeds.

Details:
The Blue Bits Dog Training treats are another popular soft and smelly dog training treats. The treats are designed in small, heart-shaped bits and available in six different flavors (4 meat and 2 veg).

The Blue Bits are manufactured in the US and are produced from high-quality ingredients sourced globally with no artificial colors or flavors. In addition to the main ingredients, the treats have wholesome brown rice, oatmeal & flaxseed as additional ingredients, which make them rich in DHA and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The treats are further enhanced with minerals and vitamins to provide healthy nourishment to the pet.

The Blue Bits are available in package size of 3, 4 or 9 ounces. And the best part is that you can get a variety bundle as well to get different options in a single purchase. And if you are looking for a higher-value dog training treats, you can check out the Blue Wilderness Dog Trail Treats which work specifically well for large, active dogs.

Merrick Power Bites Dog Training TreatsMerrick Power Bites Grain Free Soft Training Treats 3 Flavor Variety Bundle: (1) Real Beef Recipe, (1) Real Chicken Recipe, & (1) Turducken Recipe, 6 Oz. Ea.

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 Type: Soft, chewy star-shaped treats.
Nutritional Value: 5.0-5.4 kcal/treat, depending upon the flavor.
Features:

  • High-value dog training treats suitable for medium and large dog breeds.
  • Made in the US with globally sourced deboned meat as the No.1 ingredient with wholesome potatoes, peas and fruits as additional items.
  • Contain no artificial color or grain fillers.
  • Available in a multi-flavor bundle of 6 oz. packs.
  • Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.

Details:
If you are looking for high-value dog treats then the Merrick Power Bites Dog Training Treats are also an option to consider. These star-shaped treats are soft, chewy and at 5.0 – 5.4 kcal/treat, specifically suitable for large dogs.

The Merrick Power Bites Dog Training Treats are made in the US with globally-sourced meat as the primary ingredient. The treats also contain wholesome veggies and fruits as additional items to provide good nutrition to the pet.

At 28% moisture content, the Power Bites are soft, chewy and light on the canine’s stomach. These treats are available in multiple variety packs with the Real Beef Recipe, Real Chicken Recipe, & Turducken Recipe pack being the most popular.

Like other Merrick’s products, the Merrick Power Bites Dog Training Treats are backed by a 100% hassle-free satisfaction guaranteed commitment. Just make sure you buy them from a high-rated, authorized re-seller.

Natural Balance Mini Rewards Dog TreatsNatural Balance Mini Rewards Dog Treats Variety Pack Bundle

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Type: Mildly-crunchy cylindrical treat pieces.
Nutritional Value: 4.0 kcal/treat.
Features:

  • All-natural, mildly-crunchy dog training treats designed for adult dogs of all breeds.
  • Made in the US with meat as the major ingredient and no corn, wheat or artificial flavors or colors. Come in three meaty flavors- Chicken, Lamb and Duck.
  • Unlike most other training treats, have only a mild smell.
  • Available in a single size of 4 oz. re-sealable bag and its multiples. A variety pack is also available.
  • For pets on limited food diets or ones with allergies, costlier Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Treats are also available.

Details:
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Mini Rewards Dog Treats are also a decent dog treat option to consider. These treats are formulated to work with all adult dog breeds.

The Natural Balance Mini Rewards Dog Treats are made in California, US with the meat as the #1 ingredient with no corn, soy or wheat as fillers. The meat is sourced from within the Americas only. These treats are available in three flavors – Chicken, Lamb and Duck.

The Natural Balance Mini Rewards are mildly crunchy and do not have a very strong smell, making them more comfortable for the trainers and pet owners. With 4 kcal/treat and a moisture content of 28%, they are easy to digest for most dogs. The treats hold their shape well and can be easily broken into smaller pieces without crumbling. This is a major plus over many other dog training treats.

These treats are available in a single 4.0 oz. re-sealable bag. A variety pack is also available. The only drawback of these treats is that they are a little costlier than most other dog training treats.

You can also check out the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Treats which are formulated specifically for pets with allergies.

How to pick the best dog training treats?

With so many options available in the market, zeroing in on the best dog training snacks can often be a challenge. Budgetary considerations are also something that often dictate the choice of treats.

In addition to the pricing considerations, you should check the following factors before picking the best dog training treats for your beloved canine:

  • Type of treat
  • Ingredients
  • Nutritional Value
  • Flavor and Texture
  • Additional Considerations

It is worthwhile to reiterate that you would most probably have to switch between a few different brands before picking the right combination. And it is always a good idea to maintain variety in your dog’s training snacks to keep it engaged and motivated.

Type of treat

The first factor you have to consider is the type of treat you should opt for. As discussed above, the best treats for training dogs and puppies are the ones that are small and easy to swallow.

Soft semi-moist treats which are hard enough to retain their shape in the treat bag and soft enough for dogs to swallow quickly are the best choice. Large chewy treats which take a lot of time for your dog to eat and digest are not best suited for training sessions. Still, it is possible that your canine may not like these soft treats at once (especially if you have used them as pill treats), and you may have to go with small, crunchy treat or chewy jerky sticks.

Prefer small, soft treats for dog training and improvise based on your canine’s preferences.

Ingredients

Once you have decided upon the type of treats, the next thing to check out is the ingredients of the dog training treats.

Dog training treats that are made from ingredients sourced in US or Canada and also packaged in US/Canada are generally most suitable because of the USDA restrictions and quality control measures. Avoid treats which are made in other countries. In our list, we have tried to stick to such dog treats only.

In addition, make sure that the training treats that you pick have mostly natural ingredients and do not contain any artificial colors and flavors or fillers such as soy, wheat or gluten. And if your dog is allergic to some specific ingredients (mostly grains), make sure they are not present in the treats.

Check the ingredients of the treat before the best dog training treats for your pet. You can generally find this information in the product details and Q&A section on Amazon. You can also check the manufacturer’s site for more details.

Nutritional Value

Closely related with the ingredients of the treat is its nutritional value. A general rule of thumb is that dog treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie requirement. So treats which are light on calorie content and rich in other nutrients are a perfect choice.

Depending upon your canine’s breed, age, size and metabolism you can pick a low-calorie training treat. We have only listed treats which are low on calorie content, ranging from 1.5 kcal/treat for puppies and small dog breeds to about 5 kcal/treat for large adult dogs.

Most dog training treats can be broken into smaller pieces without crumbling and treats such as Jerky sticks can always be cut into smaller sizes. Crazy Dog Train-Me! Dog Training Treats and Pet Botanics Dog Training Treats are two of our favorite, low-calorie dog training treats with a calorie content of less than 2 kcal per treat. (Note: When you read calories/treat in daily language or product description it is actually referring to kilo-calories/treat).

All dog food manufacturers are required to publish the nutritional breakdown on the box and most manufacturers also share this information on their websites. So you can check the nutritional details of the treats before picking the best one for your puppy or dog.

Ingredient and Nutritional Details of Treats
Ingredient and Nutritional Details of Treats (Source Pet Botanics, Amazon.com)

Flavor and Texture

The flavor, texture and smell (read stinky-ness) of the treat is also something to consider, especially if you have a moody, whimsical dog who does not get motivated easily. The texture of the treat is probably the least important of the three.

Most of the dog training treats that we have listed are available in multiple flavors and many of them offer small-sized variety packs to try out multiple options before zeroing in on the best combination.

Considering that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans, a smellier treat would get its attention quicker than a less smelly treat. So do not mind picking a stinky, smelly treat for your Fido if it works well during training.

Additional considerations

In addition to the four major factors discussed above, there are a few miscellaneous additional considerations to keep in mind before picking the best dog treats for training puppies or dogs.

The packaging of the treats is one such factor. A re-sealable package is preferable as you would hardly ever be feeding all the treats in one session.

The shelf life of treats is also something to check out. Make sure you make your purchases directly from manufacturers or authorized resellers so that you can be sure of a long shelf life and return the item without any hassles in case of any problems.

Another consideration is the different package size a specific dog training treat is available in. Purchasing these dog training snacks in bulk is generally cheaper and works especially well if you have multiple dogs. Most of the options that we listed are available in multiple packages with small re-sealable packs or bags, so you can select the right ordering volume.

Finally, if a manufacturer offers Amazon Dash Buttons or Amazon Subscribe & Save purchases, then you can save some additional money by opting for these services.

Keep these small considerations in mind as well before picking the best dog training treats for your pet.

Dog Training Treat Pouches

Paw Lifestyles – Dog Treat Training Pouch – Easily Carries Pet Toys, Kibble, Treats – Built-in Poop Bag Dispenser – 3 Ways to Wear – Grey

In order to carry your dog training treats during a training session in the Dog Park or backyard, you would probably need a dog training pouch or bag. While discussing the best dog training treat bag would be a topic for another article, you can look at the following popular options:

  • Paw Lifestyles Treat Training Pouch: Best-selling draw-string training pouch that stores a generous amount of dog training treats, toys and accessories. Also has a built-in dog poop bag holder. Can be worn in three different ways – waistband, shoulder or belt.
  • PetSafe Treat Pouch Sport: Premium dog treat pouch, with two treat pockets. Available in two sizes and three colors. Comes with a carabiner and a detachable waist strap. Also has a flap to store your phone or other accessories.
  • Hero Dog Treat Training Pouch: Another popular dog training treat bag with two zippered compartments. Comes with a strap belt, belt clip. A collapsible dog travel bowl and a dry sack are also included as a bonus.
  • Canine Hardware ChuckIt! Treat Tote: A simple, drawstring-type treat tote available in two sizes – 1 cup or 2 cups. Features a simple clip-on attachment to carry the tote on the belt if desired.

Homemade dog training treats

If you are looking for some homemade options to use as dog training snacks or simply add some diversity to your pet’s training food, then you can look at the following popular homemade recommendations:

  • String Cheese: String cheese is probably one of the most popular dog training treats recommended by trainers around the globe (well cheese is also a commercial product, but not formulated specifically for dog training!). String cheese is easy to cut into small pieces and reasonably priced. Some trainers even recommend smellier Swiss cheese to entice the pet. We suggest checking with your vet about the suitability of a dairy product for your canine.
  • Hot dog franks: The good-old hot dog franks (beef, bacon or turkey) also make excellent soft dog training snacks, especially for puppies. They are cheap and can be cut in different sizes as per the canine’s age. They are, however, a little messy to carry around in your pocket and you would definitely need to use a treat pouch.
  • Leftover chicken or other dehydrated meat: Most dogs love meat, especially chicken. You can use the leftovers from your meal, cut them to small pieces and freeze-dry them to use as a variant for commercial dog training treats.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a rich source of proteins and some dog trainers recommend them as excellent homemade dog training snacks. You can hard-boil them or carry them as scrambled pieces. Just remember to use a washable training pouch. Also, avoid raw eggs.
  • Baby Carrots: Baby carrots are an excellent dog training treat option, especially for large dog breeds. For puppies or small dogs, you may have to chop them into bite-size pieces. They are easy to carry around, though they are crunchier than other dog foods and hence your dog would take a slightly more time to finish chewing them. You can also look at green beans as an alternative to carrots.
  • Baked Homemade Treats: If you love baking, then check out one of our favorite recipes for easy homemade dog treats.

Tips and Things to remember

Dog training treats are an excellent stimulus to speed up your canine’s training. And just like other treats, when you feed your pet by your hand, it helps in strengthening the bond between you and your beloved pet.  In addition to the things discussed above, keep the following things in mind:

For some more information and tips and tricks, you can check out some additional resources in our article on the best dog training guides.

  • Not all treats are created equal and each dog would have its own favorite treat. So you may have to experiment with a bunch of dog training treats before settling in on the best combination. You can first get some small sampler packs and then move to larger packs. Some manufacturers even offer variety packs that contain multiple types of treats in a single purchase.
  • Make sure that you check the ingredients of the treats to ensure they do not have something that your dog might be allergic to. Prefer treats that are sourced from US, Canadian or other major producer countries (New Zealand, Australia etc.) and are made in the US/Canada.
  • Always pick a treat of the right size as per your dog’s breed, size and age. For example, puppies have small mouths and teeth, so you need small-sized treats. If you are using treats like jerky sticks you can cut them into small pieces to feed to your pet.
  • Though most dog training treats are light on calorie-content, they are still dog food. Make sure that you account for them and adjust the regular pet meals accordingly. After all, you would not want your pooch to get fat just feasting on these snacks. The general rule of thumb is to ensure that treats do not make more than 10% of the pet’s daily diet.
  • Most dog training treats have about 20-30% of moisture content. Still, make sure that you carry plenty of water to ensure proper hydration during training.
  • Use a variety of training treats to keep your dog excited and motivated. This would also prevent the canine from getting bored of a specific training food and stop responding to the stimulus.
  • Get a washable treat pouch to carry the dog treats. As we discussed earlier, the best training treats are soft and semi-moist for quick digestion, so you would not want to carry them in your pocket. Wash the treat pouch regularly in machine or hand to remove any leftover stickiness.
  • If for some reason your dog is no longer motivated by treats, consult a pet behaviorist or vet as there may be many reasons for it.

Keeping the above suggestions in mind and using the best dog training snacks that we listed would help you in turning your Fido in a well-trained, well-behaved companion. For some additional useful information on training your pooch, you can check out the following video:

Final thoughts on the best dog training treats

Having a well-behaved pet companion that is both obedient and entertaining is the dream of every dog owner. But to accomplish this, you need to train your dog through the usual lure-and-reward positive reinforcement process. This makes the dog training treats an essential training aid. These commercial dog snacks are a perfect stimulus to entice your dog into obeying your command during a training session.

In this article, we looked at some of the best dog training treats available in the market. We discussed how these treats are different from other types of dog treats and shared the factors to consider before picking the best dog training treats for your pooch. We also listed some homemade options commonly recommended by dog trainers and behaviorists.

We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best dog training treats for your beloved canine. Do let us know your feedback and questions by commenting below. Until next time, have a playful time with your beloved pet!

Image credits:Amazon.com

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