Sit! Stay! High-Five! Oh boy, training your new pup is gonna be a full-time job, but using the best puppy dog training treat can help your puppy learn to roll over and shake like a pro. Training is easier when your puppy has a good reason to pay attention.
Picking the best dog treats to train your puppy will have them drooling in anticipation and focus on your instructions. Healthy puppy coaching treats can make training less of a nightmare and have you feeling good about rewarding your dog with nutritious goodies.
Puppy Training Treat Basics
Welcoming a new puppy into your home can be equally exciting and nerve-racking, especially if it's your first time.
From the second they are born, puppies are learning, growing, and adapting to their environment. Whether you are working on puppy potty training, teaching some basic manners, or helping your puppy learn good walking behaviours, puppy training treats will help.
When you bring your new pup home, it’s important to help them through this transition by providing the stability and routine that they need to succeed. Just like kids, treats for puppies require a structured environment to thrive and develop.
It may sound strict and boring, but the best dogs are instinctively eager to please. They desperately crave that “good boy” title, and with the right tools and puppy reward treats, any dog can be a great dog. Choosing the best puppy snacks for training is a great place to start.
Why You Should Treat Train Your Puppy
Your puppy training adventure starts on day one. You’ll likely need to potty train, crate train, or just teach them the basics of good manners. They need to know what’s theirs and what’s yours, and what is or isn’t appropriate good behaviour and dog training treats help these positive behaviours.
Incentivizing good behaviour and cognitive development is the best way to help your puppies to connect with the lessons that you are teaching. There are many different ways to reward your dog for a job well done.
For some basic tips to get you started on keeping your puppy coaching journey, check out some common puppy teaching mistakes and their simple solutions in Puppies Training Tips.
Show Your Enthusiasm with Dog Training Treat
Never underestimate the value of a compliment. Regardless of whether they understand the words or not, your tone can convey the message perfectly. Verbal rewards are high-value and complementary to other training tools and methods.
Quick and high-pitched tones communicate excitement, so keep your congratulatory remarks short and consistent. I like saying YES! It is short and easy to sound excited about.
In no time, keep your pup will be just as excited about their success as you are. Remember to use the same words to give your dog connect an action to the words, and make sure your feedback is appropriately timed. You want to respond right away to avoid them not understanding which action was correct.
Keep Your Cool
Training your puppy takes patience. Negative verbal correction is an ineffective way of training, especially with very young puppies. Dog treats for puppies tend to be more timid and easy to spook, so a harsh tone can be very discouraging.
Acting out can also be a way of getting attention. Remember that to a frustrated puppy, any attention is good attention. If they are stubborn or uncooperative, ignore them until they can calm themselves down. Once they have settled, you can resume training dog treats.
Benefits of Treat Training Your Puppy
dog treats are the most common tool for training young dogs in basic commands, new tricks, and manners. Puppies are easily distracted and excitable, so having a physical reward to complement the verbal praise will help keep them focused on the task at hand.
Here are a few more benefits of dog treats great for training your puppy:
R+ Puppy Training
R+ is a style of reward-based training, also called positive reinforcement training. Puppy responds best to positive reinforcement, which is exactly what treat training session is - follow a direction, get a reward.
This works in a few ways. First, it helps your dog associate training sessions with yummy snacks, so your puppy is more likely to stay focused on you. Second, it helps clearly demonstrate to your puppy which actions should follow each verbal or hand command.
Check out Force Free Dog Training for more tips on positive reinforcement training for puppies.
Calories In and Calories Out
Excessive treating can lead to unwanted weight gain, especially in larger breed dogs, but using your dog’s training period to burn off some extra calories per treat can help make sure your puppy is using those extra calories for energy and development.
During the puppy stage, your pooch may need some extra calories and nutrients to support its growing body. As long as you pick a healthy puppy, your treat training sessions can help to supplement your puppy's science diet needs during growth spurts and times of higher activity.
Healthy Puppy Training Treats
Pet stores are full of dogs, but it can be hard to know which ones are healthy enough for your pooch. Puppies training snacks should always be appropriately bite-sized for the animal, free of artificial colours or flavours, or aromatic enough to be attention-grabbing.
That being said, we see a lot of dog treats that are full of fillers, sugar, salt, or other undesirable natural ingredients. Occasionally giving a junk dog food type treat is OK, but if you're consistently treat training, you may want to elevate the quality of the organic dog treats to avoid digestive system upsets and poor nutrition.
Look for organic dog treats with minimal or even single ingredient formulas, like freeze-dried or dehydrated dog treats, so that you always know exactly what you are offering your dog treats.
What are the Best Training Treats for Puppies?
Training treats should be small and easy to take on the go, that way, you can always have a tasty reward available to make any situation a training opportunity for your puppies. Safe dog treats for puppy training are small enough for your little puppy to quickly chew and swallow without being a choking hazard.
So what is the best puppy training treat for dog training? What are the healthiest puppy treats? Fortunately, you don’t have to choose just one. In fact, having a little variety can help keep your training fresh and exciting for your pup. To help you get started, here’s a list of what we think are some of the best puppies training treats:
Crunchy Puppy Treats
When it comes to high-value keep-your-puppy reward treats, it's not just about flavour. Texture can play an important role too, and some dogs just love the crunch of a cookie. Here are our favourite crunchy training best treats for puppies.
1. Northern Biscuit Minis
Different textures are appealing to puppies during their teething stages. Northern Biscuit Minis puppy biscuits are lightweight, with just the right amount of crunch for those sharp puppy teeth. Choose from four delicious flavours like Canadian Bacon with Blueberries or Pumpkin Pie.
Northern crunchy biscuits have fewer natural ingredients than many popular biscuit brands, which makes them more natural for top paws and ideal for sensitive stomachs.
2. Polkadog Chicken Littles
With only 3 nutritious ingredients, Polkadog Chicken Littles are crunchy treats that are packed with flavour. They are dehydrated at a low temperature to make them soft treats than the average biscuit but still crunchy enough to satisfy your dog's munchies.
These little bits are high in protein and very low in fat to provide a hearty meat flavour without being too calorie-dense. We recommend these good training treats for puppies.
3. Grandma Lucy's Organic Oven-Baked Treats
Remember Teddy Graham? One of our favourite childhood snacks is now a healthy treat. Grandma Lucy's Organic Oven-Baked Natural Dog Treats are offered in a wide variety of flavour options.
All of their baked cookies are made with organic, high-grade-quality ingredients. Each bear-shaped cookie is not only a delicious snack, but they are easily snapped into smaller pieces for high-value training rewards.
Pro tip: It may sound crazy, but give them a try yourself. They are quite possibly the tastiest flavoured treats we've ever tried.
4. Darford Grain-Free Mini Biscuits
Better for larger breeds because of their bite-size, these cookies are both healthy and yummy. Darford Biscuits offers a huge variety of flavours to appease picky pets and has grain-free and vegetarian dog cookie options for dogs with sensitivities or allergies.
The mini sizes of these biscuits are easily snapped in half to lengthen training sessions without spoiling their appetite. Naturally flavoured and packed with organic fruits and veggies, Darford biscuits are a nutritious reward for your puppy's hard work.
Soft & Chewy Puppy Treats
During the teething process, your puppy may have sore gums. That's why soft treats and chewy dog treats might be a better option for treat training your pup. This type of treatment is easy to cut or break into small sizes to suit your puppy's size and training style.
Plus, moister puppy treats have a stronger scent and flavour to keep your pup's attention during longer training sessions.
5. Tilted Barn Dog Treats (Formerly Farm Fresh)
With only nine quality ingredients, these thin pepperoni sticks are tasty and healthy treats for your puppy's mouth. The soft texture of Tilted Barn Dog Treats allows you to tear or cut them into any small-size training best treats for puppies you would like or feed them whole for a larger reward.
Tilted Barn is a Canadian company that only uses Canadian-sourced quality ingredients. Choose from either their beef or bacon formulas. Containing both heart and liver, these meaty treats will quickly grab your puppy's attention.
6. Plato Small Bites
Plato Small Bites soft puppy bites offer a perfectly sized, 2-calorie intake reward for lengthier training sessions. The softer texture allows you to break them into even smaller pieces for very tiny pups and anyone worried about over-feeding. Additionally, these soft treats are ideal for teething puppies.
Rotate between salmon flavours, the chicken recipe provides a healthy, delicious, and exciting reward.
7. Coco Therapy Coco Charms
If you are wondering what are good dog treats for 8-week-old puppies, then coco-charms are the answer. Size is the key to training treats, and these are some of the tiniest biscuits for the tiniest puppies.
Coco-Charms come in two delicious flavours, Coco Charms pumpkin pie and blueberry cobbler, and they smell as good as they sound. Coco Therapy uses only organic, GMO-free ingredients that are packed with nutrition and flavour.
As you can probably guess from the name, coconut and coconut oil are used to supply a healthy fat source, and with only 1 calorie per treat, you won’t feel bad about rewarding a little more enthusiastically than normal.
Chicken-Free Puppy Training Treats
If your puppy suffers from allergies or digestive issues, then you may be looking for chicken-free puppy treats to help you train your puppy. The chicken recipe is one of the most common dog food allergies in dogs, so it's usually the first ingredient list you might want to eliminate from your pet's science diet.
Here are our favourite chicken free dog training treats for puppies:
8. Vital Essentials Duck Nibs
If you want huge flavour in a tiny package, then look no further. Vital Essentials Duck Nibs are freeze-dried ground duck, bone, organ meat by-products, and herring oil, making these rich meaty treats ideal for pickier pets without harmful ingredients like corn wheat flour.
Organ meat by-products are full of essential vitamins and minerals, and fish oil for dogs provides a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat. Not sure about duck? Try out the rabbit, beef tripe, or Alaskan salmon flavour soft puppy bites instead.
Single-Ingredient Puppy Treats
Tried the chicken-free route, and your puppy is still itchy? Try a single-ingredient treat to give yourself total control over what your puppy eats. These are great for unknown dog food allergies and digestive issues.
These aren't training dental health technically, but are super flavourful and can easily be broken into training dog treats treat-sized pieces for dogs of any age.
9. Snack21 Fish Dog Training Treats
No additives, preservatives, or artificial colours or flavours make these fishy snacks ideal for sensitive tummies. Fish is also rich in omega fatty acids, which can aid in digestion and promote healthier skin and coat health.
10. ValuePack Canadian Beef Liver Lover
Another of our bulk pet products, ValuePack Beef Liver Lovers, are all-natural single-ingredient liver chunks that are sure to get your puppy's attention. They can be easily broken into smaller bite-sized pieces for training dog treats and have a strong liver scent to keep your pup focused on training dog treats.
These treats are great for dogs of any size and can even be fed to cats!
Healthy Dog Training Treat Recipes
Looking for a DIY dog training treat recipe? Sometimes you just can’t find a simple training treat that your dog will flip for, so why not try making your own? Not only does this allow you to pick your own healthy ingredients, but you can also make the treats as small as you want to suit your dog’s size.
Peanut Butter Banana Morsels
With just four simple ingredients, you can easily whip up a tasty and healthy dog training treat recipe.
- 2 cups of oat flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup mashed banana
- 3 tbsp of dog-safe peanut butter
- Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer. The dough will be thick.
- Roll out your dough ball on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick.
- Use a bench scraper or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into your desired training treat-sized squares. ½ inch by ½ inch is great if you are doing lots of treat training, but you can cut your squares a little bigger if you have a bigger dog.
- Place your cut treats onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, single-layer, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until you reach desired crunchiness.
- Store the account logs in an air-tight container at room temperature.
This is just one example of a basic and easy homemade puppies training treat recipe. You can customize your recipe by swapping out ingredients for some of your dog’s favourite flavours, like pumpkin, chicken treats, bone broth, or their favourite dog-safe veggies or dog-safe fruits.
Keep Your Dog Training Treats Fresh and Fun
Treat are meant to be exciting, so switch up your artificial colours or flavours and textures to keep treat training both effective and fun. We recommend, if you are using a treat pouch, or even just your pocket, throw a mix of different treats in there that you know your puppy loves; this way, he gets something different every time.
Treats can be changed much easier than dog food. If you are trying a new treat, test out the new treat in a training session by feeding a small amount with your normal treat mix. If your puppy has no difficulties with the new dog treat, then you are safe to incorporate them into your regular treatment routine.
How Many Treats to Give a Puppy When Training
There is no magic number of treats for puppies' training period. Every puppy is different based on breed and activity level. When doing long training periods throughout the day, it’s easy to overfeed your dog trainer.
Treats shouldn’t be more than about 10% of their caloric intake for the day, so try to keep your treats as small as possible and reduce grain meals to accommodate heavier treat days.
Even if the treatment seems too small in size, that's okay. Most puppies will happily work for even the smallest morsel if it's meaty and delicious. This will allow you to train for longer without spoiling your appetite.
Many softer, freeze-dried, or chewy treats can be broken or cut into small pieces. Try freezing the softer jerky treats that you’ve cut to prevent them from going stale before you can use them.
Whatever your training method or methods are, be consistent and positive. It can be frustrating when it seems like they just aren’t catching on, but it will eventually click. Consistency and repetition will work, so keep calm and treat on!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are puppy training treats important for training sessions?
Puppy training treats are essential tools for positive reinforcement-based training. The use of treats creates a positive association with learning, making training more effective and enjoyable for both your furry friend.
How do I choose the best training treats for my puppy?
Treats should be small, soft, and easily digestible. Choose treats made with high-quality ingredients and minimal additives, promoting your puppy's overall health.
Can I use regular dog food as training treats for my puppy?
While you can use regular dog food as training treats, it's often more effective to use specialized training treats. Training treats are smaller, more flavorful, and have a higher value to your puppy during training.
Are there specific flavours that puppies prefer in training treats?
Many puppies are drawn to flavours like chicken, beef, turkey, and peanut butter. It's a good idea to observe your puppy's reactions to different flavours and use the ones that elicit the most excitement.
How frequently should I give training treats to my puppy?
During training sessions, treats should be given as immediate rewards for correct behaviours. The frequency depends on how often you train your dog.
Can I make my own puppy training treats at home?
Homemade puppy training treats can be a fun and cost-effective option. You can use ingredients like cooked chicken, cheese, carrots, and pumpkin to create treats tailored to your puppy's tastes.