Having the right dog training treats is a powerful addition to your training program.
Here are my recommendations:
My favorite low-value treat is your dog’s regular kibble!
Sometimes it is helpful to have a slightly longer lasting or larger low-value treat. For those times, I also like having various hard dog biscuits on hand.
When I’m actively training a dog, I will often go through quite a few dog treats. For that reason, I really like to use something that is considered a whole and complete dog food (something that you could feed as your dog’s entire meal if you wanted). So, I’ll look for a “dog food” that is more palatable than just my dog’s regular dry kibble.
Most dogs really love this dog food. It is kind of like a hard, salami roll. You cut off slices, then you can cut those slices into whatever size you need. For medium to large dogs, I’ll chop the slices into pea-sized cubes. If I have a dog who swallows the treats without chewing, I can cut the slices into matchstick-shaped sticks that encourage chewing.
These are crunchy snacks that most dogs love. They are 100% lamb lung and sourced in the USA and New Zealand. I love keeping these in my training pouch, as they are fairly hard and do not require refridgeration, so they are ready to go whenever!
I love these patties. My dogs think they are delicious, and they are healthy. They are technically a “raw dog food” (though they don’t require refridgeration), so check with your vet if you are unsure about raw, as many vets discourage feeding raw food of any type.
I believe this food is also technically considered raw, though it also does not require refridgeration. I use this treat because it’s really healthy, and my dogs like it well enough for variety (though not as much as the other medium-value treats on this list).
Another medium-value treat that I like to use quite a bit is called FreshPet. You can find it in the refrigerated section at many grocery stores or Target.
For high value treats, I’ll usually use something that is already in my fridge. Fresh meat or cheese is ideal. Here are some ideas:
Here is a high-value treat I like to have on hand. It’s made to fill KONG activity toys, but it also works as an amazing high-value treat. You might be able to find a single can option at your local pet store.
I also find that canned dog food is considered high-value by most dogs.
When I need a really high value treat, I’ll even offer a small amount of canned cat food.
Cans are great because you can buy a bunch at a time. They have a long shelf life, so they are always ready to go when you need them!
This is a canned variety that I will often get. It seems like most dogs enjoy this food. If I know I will be using it as a treat, or to stuff activity toys with, I’ll introduce a small each day before I give a larger amount. This allows the dog’s system to get used to the new food, so that larger amounts won’t upset his stomach.
Please double-check before purchasing any of the above, the size of treats you will be getting. For example, the RedBarn food roll listed about is a 4lb roll. This is great for a 1-year-old German Shepherd, who is actively training, but would be way too much for a Chihuahua.
I am not a canine nutritionist or veterinarian. I am a dog trainer. These are just products that have worked for me and my dogs.
If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, if you are concerned about the sourcing of a product, or if you are concerned about the product itself, please do you own research (your veterinarian is a great start!) so that you are able to pick the right treats for your dog.
This post does contain affiliate links, which help to support this website. These selections are the ones I love and would buy again and again, based on 15 years of dog training and thousands of dollars spent on equipment (a lot of which I would never recommend or buy again!).