Best Dog Training Treats : Positive Reinforcement for Training Puppies

Training your dog is a vital part of building a relationship. You want your dog to understand the boundaries of living with you and understand that these boundaries equal a healthy and safe relationship. If you don’t plan to train your dog, you won’t get nearly the quality years from this companion as you would if you take the time to teach your dog how to live with you.

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Training treats are a vital part if reinforcing this learning. Your dog has to want to learn the rules, and while some personalities will train only for praise, that doesn’t always work. Here is a list of high-quality training treats that won’t fill your dog up with cheap ingredients and things that can affect digestion. Plus, let’s take a look at a few questions you may have about training treats.

What Are The Best Training Treats?

Different Uses For Training Treats

Training treats aren’t just for training. They can be a fun way to encourage your dog throughout the day, offer a quick pick me up during that afternoon energy dip, or a host of other things. Expanding how you use training treats can help you get the most out of your treats and give your dog some love.

Snacks – sometimes dogs need a little something to get through the day just like you do. If your dog has worked particularly hard, you could use the small-sized training treats to help your dog get through the afternoon until the next meal time.

Teething – If you’re training a puppy, it can be helpful to have a little something to help distract your sweet puppy from chewing on your shoes. Puppies don’t like to give up their chew toys, so using a treat sometimes to distract and save your item can help. Be careful not to do this every time because your puppy can learn that chewing leads to a treat. This method is only for emergencies.

Crate Training – training to sleep in a crate is training like any other. The small size of the treat allows your puppy to learn where to go at night while also receiving a little reward. It doesn’t contain too many calories, but your puppy begins to associate it with only positive things.

Fun and Love – tiny treats can be a way for you to show your dog love throughout the day. The treats are small and easier to give with some regularity without impacting how your dog eats and risking weight gain. If you use them responsibly, they could be useful every day treats because of their small size.

Different Forms of Training Treats

Not all training treats are created the same. Your dog may have preferences for certain types of treats and will respond better to one over the other. Let’s take a look at what we can find in a training treat.

  • Soft treats
  • Crunchy treats
  • Chewy treats
  • Jerky
  • Freeze-dried Raw
  • Minis

Soft treats are the most common training style followed closely by those with a little bit of crunch. Your dog will probably prefer one texture over the other so pay close attention to what really gets your dog excited. Different types of treats include chewy treats which satisfy dogs with a high chewing urge.

Jerky treats are made with real meat and are often a premium treat. They do still come in training sizes, but you may have to break them up to find the size you want. Freeze dried raw treats are another raw based treat that provides premium ingredients and could give your dog a little boost of protein for energy.

For tiny dogs or intensive training, mini treats come in sizes even smaller than the typical training treat. They’re small, less than bite-sized options great for tiny dogs, small puppies, or show dogs that require a lot of training treats.

Special Types of Training Treats

If your dog is already on a specific diet, a particular type of training treat can help you avoid digestive issues and allergic responses. Also, your treat can match the type of food you’ve decided to put your dog on. Here are some unique kinds of treats to consider.

  • Gluten Free
  • Grain Free
  • High protein
  • Limited Ingredient
  • Puppy

Gluten free and grain free treats are becoming just as common as those types of diets. The downside to these is that sometimes they use potatoes and peas which can contribute to an enlarged heart in some dogs. Be sure to discuss the risks with your vet or find something that doesn’t use those ingredients.

High protein training treats are great for very athletic dogs or working dogs. The extra protein is often accompanied by healthy fats that can help protect working and sporting dogs from injury and provide an extra boost of energy to help get through the day.

Limited ingredient treats are suitable for dogs with allergies. Some food allergies are caused by recipes using more than protein source or cheap fillers that can react poorly with your dog’s digestive system. Once you’ve settled on a diet for your dog that limits those adverse reactions, don’t undermine your work by feeding treats that reintroduce those ingredients.

Puppy specific treats are good because your puppy is still getting in teeth and may need to be coaxed to chew on certain kinds of treats. Those treats could be a way to build health from the very beginning and help improve health outcomes.

Best Dog Training Treats : Our Top Recommendations

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Recipe Training Treats

Most Affordable Training Treats

Zuke’s mini treats are a tasty way to encourage your dog or puppy to learn new things and help the mind stay active. The treats use real chicken as the first ingredient along with rice and healthy fats for a treat your dog will love.

The treats are easy to chew for most dogs and are a satisfying crunch. The recipe uses just a few ingredients including whole cherries plus rosemary extract for an extra boost of antioxidants. Healthy fats are a good source of energy while a proper vitamin blend helps your dog receive more beneficial nutrition to supplement meals.

They’re highly affordable and come in one-pound bags, so you have plenty for intense training sessions. They don’t have a strong odor and are a great size for training. Puppies may have a little trouble chewing at first but should get the hang of things pretty quickly.

Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Tender Beef Soft Chew Training Treats

Most Popular Training Treats

Blue Buffalo’s line of food and treats are a highly popular brand that’s easy to find whether online or in stores. Their soft treats are a great way to encourage dogs to learn new things while providing great taste and soft mouthfeel.

These soft chews are suitable for puppies or older seniors who may have trouble with crunchy chews. They feature whole beef as the first recipe plus brown rice for a little boost of energy. Healthy fats condition the skin and coat while vitamins and minerals provide support for systems like the immune system.

They’re packed full of nutritional benefit and come in a size small enough to use regularly without interfering with your dog’s meal times. They’re made in the United States and use no cheap fillers such as corn or soy, no artificial ingredients, and are free of poultry by-product meals.

8 More Really Good Training Treats

Pet Botanics Bacon Flavored Training Treats

Pet Botanics is recommended by many experts as a training treat because of the delicious flavor and nutritional benefits. It uses real pork as the first ingredient along with a blend of healthy fats for a protein-packed treat that can help protect skin and joints.

The treats are small enough to carry in your pocket, but the odor is plentiful enough to encourage dogs to walk correctly on a leash or perform other tricks. The texture is soft, but it resists crumbling so you won’t end up with a pocket full of unusable dust.
The treats also use BotaniFits, Pet Botanic’s unique blend of vitamins and minerals. These help support the immune system, eye health, skin health, and a host of other systems. They’re easy to digest and don’t contain any cheap fillers such as corn or soy that can affect proper digestion. At just 3 calories per treat, they’re a good idea for intensive training.

Merrick Power Bites Real Texas Beef Recipe Soft Chews

Merrick’s grain free bites are a training treat packed with real protein and healthy fats for a dose of energy. They start with deboned beef for a good dose of protein with no gluten or grains that can slow down digestion. If your dog is on a grain free diet, these could be a great complement to what you’re feeding during meal times.

The treats use antioxidant-rich superfoods such as sweet potato, apples, and blueberries to help support the immune system, encourage healthy skin and eyes, and offer several other benefits. Plus, these fruits and vegetables provide a good source of fiber to help promote proper digestion. They’re great for both rewarding and training.

If your dog needs a little bit of extra energy in the afternoon, these could be an excellent way for you to provide a small boost without interfering with mealtimes. They’re a good texture and should provide a good feel for most dogs, even those with some trouble chewing.

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain Free Lamb and Salmon Recipe

Wellness’s puppy bites are a natural, puppy formulated treats that are great tasting and comfortable for your puppy to chew. They feature a protein-packed recipe that uses real lamb and salmon for rich nutrition with healthy fats. These fats also help puppies develop healthy skin and proper brain development.

They’re specially formulated for dogs under a year and contain premium ingredients with no cheap fillers or by-product meals that can accelerate your puppy’s growth. They also have no artificial ingredients, including flavors and colors, and use a vitamin blend that supports the immune system, bone growth, and eye health.

Green tea and spearmint extracts help soothe digestion, making the treat suitable for daily use. Make sure you account for the calories so that you don’t accidentally overfeed your puppy in addition to the meals.

Stewart Pro-Treat Beef Liver Freeze Dried Raw Treats

Stewart’s freeze-dried raw treats are made from real beef liver, and that’s the only ingredient. It uses a unique, slow freeze-drying process to safely remove any bacteria or pathogens without destroying the natural benefits of raw meat.

These are great for dogs on a limited ingredient or all meat diet. There are no other ingredients than beef liver, which is a rich source of protein and healthy fats that can condition the skin and improve digestion. They’re great for working dogs that need a protein boost or for dogs that need a highly restricted diet.

They’re bite-sized to use for training, but they can also be crumbled to use as a meal topper. They’re easy for most all dogs to chew and are a crowd-pleasing flavor even picky dogs will love. The beef is sourced from responsible providers, and the treats are made in the United States in a USDA inspected facility.

Fruitables Skinny Minis Apple and Bacon Flavor

Fruitables’ treats are a low-calorie treat designed to provide your dog with tasty treats without adding excess calories to your dog’s daily intake. They’re great for dogs on a restricted calorie diet and contain healthy fruits and vegetables for a good blend of vitamins.

The treats support healthy digestion and help condition the coat while encouraging a robust immune system. They contain no gluten, wheat, or cheap fillers such as corn or soy.  They’re baked in a certified organic facility and include all the building blocks for a healthy dog.

They’re designed to be a guilt-free way to help dogs learn and the bite size is small enough to use as a training or any time treats. They’re a good texture for most dogs and could be easily chewed by a variety of life stages.

Bil-Jac Grain Free Chicken and Sweet Potato Training Treats

Bil-Jac’s treats are another great grain free option that uses a blend of quality protein with healthy fats for a power-packed treat. Real chicken and chicken liver make up the first two ingredients, providing quality proteins while healthy sweet potato provides a low glycemic energy source.

A natural blend of vitamins and minerals help keep the skin, bones, and muscles healthy while supporting eye health and a robust immune system. They feature a limited ingredient list with no cheap fillers or artificial colors that can complicate digestion. If your dog is on a restricted ingredient diet, these could be a good option.

They come in an easy to serve form in a resealable bag. The texture is suitable for most dogs and can be given to both adult and senior dogs. Talk to your vet if you have a puppy to make sure these are suitable for that life stage.

Hill’s Science Diet Soft and Chewy Training Treats

These treats use Hill’s unique dietary blend to help ease digestive issues and prevent allergic reactions. They feature a quality protein from whole chicken as the first ingredient with a blend of healthy, slow release carbohydrates for an energy boost.

They help build lean muscle and contain no cheap fillers or artificial ingredients. They’re suitable for dogs with sensitive tummies or those already on Hill’s diet. They’re naturally preserved and small enough to suit a variety of tastes.

They’re the perfect size for a training treat or as a sometimes treat for good behavior. They contain healthy fats and some holistic ingredients for optimum health and wellness. The treats fit well with most diets.

Full Moon Organic Chicken Training Treats

Full Moon sources ingredients only from responsible providers and each one are carefully selected to support your dog’s health and well-being. These treats use whole chicken as the first ingredient for a quality protein source along with a handful of other ingredients for a healthy treat.

They’re a great size for training and texture suitable for most dogs. The recipe uses human grade ingredients and is made in the united states. They contain no soy or corn, use no artificial ingredients, and have no by-product meals that can affect digestion.

The bag is a good size and resealable for preserving freshness. The treats do contain sugar so be careful how many you use in a given day if your dog is sugar sensitive.


Training treats are an essential part of your dog’s learning process. You want to be able to provide plenty of treats without adding in excess calories, so training treats are the perfect size and consistency. Supplement your training and your dog’s well-being with a premium training treat and set up your relationship for long, rewarding life.

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