Dog Training Treats: Your 2024 Guide to the Best Choices

Hey fellow dog lovers! Let’s talk about those tiny little nuggets of deliciousness that help our furry friends become the best pups they can be – dog training treats!

Think of them as little rewards for good behavior. They’re not just snacks, though (although they’re definitely tasty). Dog training treats are powerful tools to help teach our dogs all sorts of things, from basic commands to impressive tricks.

The Science of Treats and Dog Learning

So, how do these tasty morsels work their magic? It’s all about positive reinforcement. When your dog does something awesome, like a perfect “sit,” and you immediately follow it with a treat, it creates a positive association in their doggy brain.

Plus, treats give a little dopamine boost (that happy brain chemical), which makes learning even more fun for your pup. And who doesn’t love a good time while getting smarter?

Fun Fact: Did you know you can use clicker training with treats? Clickers let your dog know the exact moment they did something right, which can supercharge their learning!

A dog excitedly waiting for a trea
Illustrations Image: A dog excitedly waiting for a trea

Why Use Dog Training Treats?

  • Dogs learning faster (who doesn’t want that?!)
  • Helping create a stronger bond between you and your furry BFF
  • Making those training sessions way more enjoyable for both of you

But wait, there’s more! Remember to use treats responsibly and consider them part of your pup’s daily food intake to avoid overfeeding. And you can gradually reduce those treats as they learn (we call that “treat fading” – sounds a bit fancy, doesn’t it?).

Choosing the Right Dog Training Treats

With so many yummy options out there, how do you pick the pawfect training treats? Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Size matters: Tiny treats for little dogs, bigger treats for bigger pups. It’s about preventing overfeeding and making it easy to reward quickly during training.
  • Texture is key: Soft treats are great for puppies or older dogs, while crunchy ones can be fun for dogs who like a little extra chewing.
  • Ingredients: Keep an eye out for healthy ingredients and avoid anything artificial that your dog’s tummy might not love.
  • Special needs: Is your pup an allergy superstar? Don’t worry, there are tons of hypoallergenic options!
  • The “high-value” treat: Keep these as a special surprise for when you’re teaching an extra-tough trick.

Best Dog Training Treats in 2024

Okay, now on to the good stuff – the best training treats! Let’s break it down into categories so we can find the perfect fit for your furry student:

Treats by Training Stage

Puppy Training Treats:

These treats need to be extra special:

  • Soft and easy to chew for those baby teeth
  • Small for tiny tummies
  • Bonus points for treats that support healthy teething!

Adult Dog Training Treats

As your dog gets older, you can try:

  • Variety of textures to keep things interesting
  • Slightly bigger treats for big dog mouths
  • Treats with added benefits, like joint support for older pups

Treats by Dog Size

  • Small Dog Training Treats

Think miniature versions of your favorite treats – these are perfect for rewarding your petite pup without filling them up too quickly.

  • Large Dog Training Treats

Bigger dogs need bigger rewards! Look for:

  • Longer-lasting chews to occupy them during training
  • “Breakable” treats to easily make them smaller if needed

2024 Guide: Top Dog Training Treats Unleashed!

Homemade vs. Store-bought – What’s the deal?

Love getting creative in the kitchen? Homemade treats can be fantastic, letting you control exactly what goes in them. Plus, it can be a fun bonding activity with your dog (even if they mainly supervise by staring longingly at the oven).

Don’t have time to be a doggy chef? No worries! There are tons of amazing store-bought options, from single-ingredient treats to fancy flavored ones.

Stick with a healthy, vet-approved food like and break some into smaller pieces for training rewards.

General Top Picks

  • Zuke’s Mini Naturals: These are a classic with good reason. They’re small, healthy, come in various flavors, and are loved by most dogs.
  • Fruitables Skinny Minis: Low-calorie and full of flavor, great for pups who need to watch their weight or for dogs who get lots of treats during training.
  • Wellness Soft Puppy Bites: These are a fantastic puppy treat – soft and easy to chew, plus nutrients specifically for growing pups.
  • Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze-Dried Liver Treats: Single-ingredient, high-value treats that provide an extra special reward when needed.

Specific Needs

  • Pet Botanics Training Reward: Budget-friendly option, good for basic training when you need a lot of treats.
  • Blue Buffalo Bits: A good training treat that also includes beneficial ingredients like DHA for cognitive support (great for puppies!).
  • “Homemade” option: The article likely encourages DIY treats using healthy ingredients, tailoring them to your dog’s preferences.
  • Kibble recommendation: It might suggest using small kibble from a high-quality dog food as training treats for convenience.
Types of dog training food
Illustrations Image: Types of dog training food

Using Dog Training Treats Effectively

Alright, you’ve got the treats – now how do you become a master treat-wielding dog trainer? Let’s dive in!

Basic Obedience Commands

Start with the essentials: “sit,” “stay,” “come” and “heel.”

  • Tiny treats and tons of praise are your best friends for these commands
  • Timing is key – reward the instant your pup does the right thing
  • Keep sessions short and sweet, especially with puppies (short attention spans are totally a thing)

Potty Training

Potty training = patience + consistency + lots of yummy rewards!

  • Take your pup out frequently and reward them immediately when they go in the right spot
  • Don’t punish accidents – they happen! Instead, focus on rewarding the good behavior

Behavioral Issues

Addressing things like barking, chewing, and leash pulling can be a bit trickier. Here’s how treats fit in:

  • Treats can be used with other training methods to change unwanted behaviors
  • Remember, treats aren’t a fix-all solution on their own
  • It might be time to talk to a professional dog trainer for more serious behavioral concerns

Trick Training

Ready to have some fun? Treats + trick training = a perfect combo!

  • Start with simple tricks like “shake” or “play dead”
  • Break down complex tricks into smaller steps, rewarding each success
  • Get creative – the sky’s the limit with what your dog can learn!

Advanced Training

Want to challenge your super-smart pup? Treats can help with things like:

  • Agility training (zooming through tunnels and over jumps? Yes, please!)
  • Scent work (your dog becomes a furry detective!)

Beyond Treats: Building a Well-Rounded Dog

A dog and a person playing together in a park
Illustrations Image: A dog and a person playing together in a park

While treats are awesome training tools, they’re just one way to create a fantastic bond with your pup. Here’s how to make sure your furry friend is living their best life:

  • Socialization: Introduce your dog to other pups and friendly people early on. This helps build their confidence and make for a well-adjusted doggo.
  • Exercise: Walks, playtime, even a good game of fetch – make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
  • Mental Stimulation: Puzzle toys, training sessions, and even learning new tricks keep their brains active and prevent boredom from setting in.
  • Love and Affection: Okay, so it’s not technically training, but cuddles, belly rubs, and quality time are essential for showing your furry best friend how much you love them.


Remember, the best relationships with our dogs aren’t built on treats alone. Combine the perfect treats with helpful resources like dog training apps to unlock your dog’s full potential. Learn about some dog training apps here “Find the Best Dog Training App – Expert Reviews & Tips“.

So, go stock up on some awesome treats, but don’t forget those other magical ingredients that turn your dog into your best furry friend.


What are the best treats for training puppies?
Choose soft, small treats made for puppies. Good options include Zuke’s Mini Naturals, Wellness Soft Puppy Bites, and Blue Buffalo Bits.

Can I use human food as dog treats?
It’s okay sometimes. Safe choices are plain chicken, blueberries, or carrots. Avoid anything with xylitol, chocolate, grapes, or too much salt or fat.

What are good treats for dogs with allergies?
Try single-ingredient treats (like freeze-dried liver) or brands known for limited-ingredient formulas. Always ask your vet for the best options for your dog.

How do I get my dog to need fewer treats?
Gradually make treats smaller and mix in praise and petting. Once your dog knows the trick well, only give treats every few times.

How does clicker training work with treats?
The clicker tells your dog the exact moment they did something right. Click THEN give a treat. Your dog learns that the click means a treat is coming!

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