The 10 Best Treats for Dog Training, According to a Professional Dog Trainer

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Best overall

daily paws – 11 Available at Amazon

Ideal for large dogs

daily paws – 17 Available at Soft

Ideal for small dogs

daily paws – 7 Available at Soft

Ideal for puppies

daily paws – 6 Available at Soft

Ideal for sensitive stomachs

daily paws – 17 Available at Amazon

Best High Value

daily paws – 9 Available at Soft

Best low calorie

daily paws – 16 Available at Amazon

Best fluffy

daily paws – 5 Available at petco

Better crunch

daily paws – 5 Available at petco

The most practical

daily paws – 12 Available at walmart

Training is an essential part of being a pet parent, and positive reinforcement (giving your dog a positive stimulus when he engages in desirable behavior) is the best way to train your dog while strengthening your bond.

Treats are one of the best and easiest ways to reward your dog, but there are some things to consider when looking for the best training treats for your pup. As a professional dog trainer, here are my suggestions on how to find the perfect treats to use when training your dog, along with some of my favorite options so you can maximize your training sessions.

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What Makes a Good Dog Training Treat?

It may take some trial and error to figure out which flavors your dog likes, but in general treats should be:

  • Small size for quick and easy chewing

  • Low in calories to keep your puppy healthy

  • Soft and easy to eat without risk of choking

  • Portable

  • High value so your dog will want to earn them

  • Smelly! What’s smelly to us is usually extra-delicious to your pup.

If you get to the bottom of your treat bag, you can substitute small pieces of cheese or bites of cooked meats like chicken, turkey, or ground beef. Remember to rotate the treats you give your pup so he doesn’t get bored, and offer something really high value when he drives a particularly hard nail. signal (like performing a flawless abseil in a busy area, perhaps?).

What to Avoid in Dog Training Treats

The purpose of a training treat is that it can be quickly dispensed, tasted and swallowed so that the training session can continue and we can keep our dog’s focus. So, better to avoid:

  • Treats that are too big

  • Treats that will take too long to eat

  • Biscuits or anything that could pose a choking hazard

Remember, your dog decides the reinforcer

It is the speech of a trainer to say that it is your dog who decides his reward, not you. You might find that toys are more effective than treats, you might have to play a game with food, or you might find that a dog biscuit is much more effective than real meat (that’s is the case with my boy).

So while these are my favorite dog training treats, remember that your dog is an individual and should be treated as such.

The 10 Best Dog Training Treats

Best Overall: The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Green Lamb Tripe

Guts tend to be very smelly, so these treats might not be the best for you and me. If you have a nose-facing dog (think beagle), they will probably find these treats delicious, which will certainly help them in their training.

Buy now: The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Lamb Green Tripe, $11; amazon.com

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Green Lamb Tripe

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Green Lamb Tripe

Best for Large Dogs: Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders Dog Treats

I separate them with a large knife to cut them into smaller portions that are quicker to eat. But I would only recommend these for large breeds of dogs as they can chew treats faster than a small breed so you can still train. This gives a slightly different texture, and they are odorless!

Buy now: Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders dog treats, $17; chewy.com

Waggin' Dog Treats Train Chicken Jerky Tenders

Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders Dog Treats

Best for Small Dogs: Full Moon Duck Training Grain-Free Dog Treats

The Daily Paws business editor (and her dogs!) love those workout treats. They’re the perfect size to slip into your pockets or a treat pouch without taking up too much space (or leaving a trail of crumbs behind). They’re small and soft enough for puppies to eat quickly without choking (and under three calories each).

Buy now: Full Moon Duck Training grain-free dog treats, $7; chewy.com

full moon workout treat

full moon workout treat

Best for Puppies: Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Training Dog Treats Salmon & Chickpea

It’s always good to have a variety of flavor options on hand, including fish! Here are some of the best puppy treats you can have: they’re small, they’re valuable, and they’re easy to eat, even for a puppy. puppy teething or an older dog!

Buy now: Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Training Dog Treats Salmon & Chickpea, $6; chewy.com

Zuke's Puppy Naturals Training Dog Treats Salmon & Chickpea

Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Training Dog Treats, Salmon & Chickpea

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Pet Nutrition 360 Freeze-Dried Beef Liver

The liver is one of the tastiest things for dogs, and as a result, these treats tend to be highly prized. Made from a single ingredient, these treats may be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those who cannot tolerate chicken. Try interspersing them with your pup’s other treats to ensure your pup doesn’t get too much vitamin A (liver is a great source of vitamin A, but we don’t want to get too much!).

Buy now: 360 Pet Nutrition Freeze-Dried Beef Liver, $17; amazon.com

360 Pet Nutrition Freeze-Dried Raw Bison Liver

360 Pet Nutrition Freeze-Dried Raw Bison Liver

Best Value: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Raw Treats with Chicken Hearts

Now, these aren’t for the faint of heart, as they look exactly like they are: freeze-dried chicken hearts. These treats are very popular with my dogs and those of my clients. Rich and tasty, they will encourage your dog to work. You can also split them into several pieces to make them last longer.

Buy now: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Chicken Hearts Raw Treats, $9; chewy.com

Vital Essentials Chicken Hearts Freeze-Dried Raw Treats

Vital Essentials Chicken Hearts Freeze-Dried Raw Treats

Best Low Calorie: Pupford Freeze-Dried Workout Sweet Potato Treats

At less than one calorie per treat, you can feel great feeding these freeze-dried sweet potato treats during a workout or while teaching a new skill. These are also the perfect large treats and can be a good option for dogs with allergies.

Show now: Pupford Freeze-Dried Sweet Potato Candy, $16; amazon.com

Pupford Freeze Dried Sweet Potato Candy

Pupford Freeze Dried Sweet Potato Candy

Best Chewy: Fruitables Skinny Minis Soft and Chewy Bison Dog Treats

These little treats are a bit chewier than some of the crunchies listed here. If you have a dog that struggles with their teeth, this can be a wonderful and tasty alternative.

Buy now: Fruitables Skinny Minis Soft and chewy bison dog treats, $5; petco.com

Fruitables Skinny Minis Bison Soft & Dog Chews

Fruitables Skinny Minis Soft & Chewy Bison Dog Treats

Best Crispy: Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural P-Nuttier Mini Dog Biscuits

These are from afar my dog’s favorite biscuit Indie (some dogs just prefer biscuits to something chewy, and that’s okay!). They’re also a good size, can easily be broken into smaller pieces, and are available at a number of stores. These are always worth having on hand.

Buy now: Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural P-Nuttier Mini Dog Biscuits, $5; petco.com

Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural P-Nuttier Mini Dog Biscuits

Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural P-Nuttier Mini Dog Biscuits

Most convenient: Beech-Nut Veggies Stage 2, Pumpkin Zucchini & Apple Baby Food

It’s interesting, but a little lick at the end of one of these pockets? Yum! Your dog will love the change in flavor and texture, and it may be easier to dispense them during training. They may be an acquired taste for some dogs, but they can be powerful rewards that keep your dog interested throughout your training sessions.

Buy now: Beech-Nut Veggies Stage 2, Pumpkin Zucchini and Apple Baby Food, $12; walmart.com

Beech-Nut Veggies Stage 2, Pumpkin Zucchini & Apple Baby Food

Beech-Nut Veggies Stage 2, Pumpkin, Zucchini & Apple Baby Food

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