Dog training can be a daunting task. It is a challenge for every dog owner to train dogs by themselves. What’s more challenging is choosing the right tools and incentives in every training session. Along with these challenges comes the problem of choosing the best training treats to encourage dogs to display the desired good behavior.
The right dog training treat can aid in your efforts toward positive reinforcement. There are many dog treats on the market for you and your pup to choose from.
In this blog post, we review a few of the top-rated training treats for dogs available on the online market.
AT A GLANCE (SEE ON AMAZON):
- Top Pick: Wild Bites Soft-Moist Dog Treats by Blue Buffalo
- Runner Up: Blue Bits Training Dog Treats by Blue Buffalo
- Also Great: Low Calorie Training Treats by Fruitables Store
- Also Great: Crunchy Natural Biscuit Dog Treats by Nutro Store
- Also Great: Lil' Links Healthy Little Sausage Links by Zuke's Store
How to Use Dog Treats in Training
Training sessions are tedious, and pet parents often get frustrated in teaching independent and uncooperative dogs. Of course, punishment would not work and should be avoided. Instead, a better way of teaching your pups is through positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is an effective strategy for dog training. The key to this training method is the proper use of rewards such as dog treats. A training treat helps reinforce positive behaviors you hope to see from your pups, as they understand that they get a treat for positive behaviors.
Positive reinforcement training methods using treats can be utilized for various training purposes. Use treats in crate training, potty training, leash training, and other training sessions.
When your dog exhibits the desired behavior, you immediately reward your pup with positive praise and a treat. Although it is possible to use only verbal praise for training, using treats often helps the process faster and more effectively.
You must reward your dog immediately with a treat after they do what you want. This helps send your pup a clear signal that this behavior is good.
When you first begin training, you will want to give your dog a treat each time. However, over time you can use treats more sparingly to encourage your dog to continue displaying desired behaviors.
Choosing the Right Treat for Your Dog
Finding the perfect treat that would work best for your pup could be a challenge of its own.
Finding the right treat for your pup can be tricky. Not all treats are the same and would be good for your dog. And there are treats that you should also avoid to ensure that your dog stays healthy.
Most dog owners recommend soft chew treats. But pet experts opined that it all depends on what your dog likes best, as no two dogs are equal and have the same preferences.
Getting small treats for your dogs is also recommended. They are easier to consume, and you can immediately go back to training again.
Things to Consider when Buying Treats for Training
As you first begin to use treats in the training process, your dog will likely be eating several treats each day. If this is the case, you may want to adjust their daily food intake accordingly. You do not want your pup to gain too much weight from the training process.
In choosing a treat for your puppy or dog, you should consider their health condition. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs or older dogs. Small dogs would have different calorie-intake requirements than large dogs. All these should be taken into account.
Also, when your dog has the tendency to gain weight, choosing low-calorie treats would be your best option. Some dogs also suffer from food allergies that would make choosing the right training treats a tricky one. Treat options for these sensitive dogs are grain-free treats.
Be aware that some dog treats have a lot of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives that may not be healthy for your dog. Checking the ingredients list is one way to ensure that it only contains all-natural ingredients and has all the essential vitamins that your pup needs.
The majority of dogs are food motivated and will likely respond to most treats. However, it will help keep your dog engaged in the process of using a variety of treats. This will help them always get excited when they know a treat will follow.
The Best Dog Treats for Training
Local pet stores such as PetsMart and Petco sell large varieties of dog treats. You can also choose from a large selection through online retailers such as Amazon.com. Dog training treats can also be found at most grocery stores and even some department stores and boutiques.
Our Top Pick
Blue Buffalo carries two great options for small training treats. The first option is the Wild Bites dog training treats. These crunchy treats are made with high-quality ingredients, including chicken as the main protein source. These treats also contain Omega-3 and fatty acids that help promote a healthy coat for your pup.
If your dog prefers or requires a softer treat, Blue Buffalo also carries Blue Bits. These small, soft treats contain no filler ingredients. These treats come in a variety of meaty flavors that will pique your dog’s interest. If your puppy is young, these will likely be a favorite because they are easy to chew.
With only 3.5 calories per treat, Fruitables Skinny Minis are a great option to use when training your pup. These small treats come in several flavors and varieties, including soft and crunchy. Some popular flavors for your furry friend include bacon and chicken.
The Nutro Crunchy Treats are 100% natural with a large amount of flavor. These tiny treats are suitable for your dog of any age. The small size and low-calorie count make them ideal for training. These treats come in fruity flavors as well as meat flavors.
This is another great option for small, delicious treats your pup will love. These treats have even unique flavors, such as this duck and apple recipe, to excite your dog. With a small size and soft texture, these yummy treats will work well in a training routine.
Homemade Dog Treats and Other Types of Training Treats
Several household foods work well in training your dog as well. These may be especially useful at the beginning of your training.
Human food treats often carry a strong smell to entice your pup to start engaging in the training process. As with any extra treats, be sure to monitor the amount of food your dog is taking in each day to ensure they are not overeating.
Real chicken or real meat can all be made into training treats. Boil these meats and cut them into smaller pieces.
Eggs are one high-protein treat that your pup will love. This treat also provides your pup with essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and folate. If you decide to treat your dog with an egg, be sure it is either boiled, scrambled, or poached. This type of treat may be difficult to carry for leash training but may work great for training within the house.
Tiny pieces or small slices of fruits and vegetables are also effective motivational treats for your puppies or dogs to train harder. Sweet potato cubes, carrot slices, apple bits, and other fruits and vegetables can all be used to encourage your pups to train better.
Peanut Butter, Cheese
Peanut butter is also a good option. Gently roll peanut butter into pea-sized balls and freeze. These freeze-dried treats are
Cheese is another favorite of many dogs. Carrying small bits of cheese from a cheese stick or block is a small, yummy treat that may motivate a more reluctant pup at the start of training.
Make Your Own
In addition to store-bought and human food treats, you may even decide to make your own treats. Many homemade dog treats do not have as long of a shelf life as store-bought treats. However, these treats may also be a good motivator at the start of training your pup.
Many of the recipes can be found by searching “DIY dog treats” on the internet. Many recipes, such as this one, feature items you likely have in your kitchen. These ingredients often include peanut butter, pumpkin, and eggs. Some recipes also feature items such as oats or bananas.
Using treats in the process of training your dog will help motivate your pup to work for the delicious reward. Most training treats are small in size and low in calories, so you can hand them out freely during training.
Be sure to try a variety of treats to see which ones your pup loves best. With all areas of training, remain patient and positive and enjoy the bonding experience with your pet.