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Home / Dog Training / Puppies / Best Dog Treats for Training Puppies

Author

Peter

Date Published

September 2, 2021

This is our review of the best dog treats for training puppies in 2021.

Dog treats for training puppies are  an important part of puppy training - it's a great training tool for puppies to learn many things, such as places to eliminate, life-saving tricks and so on.

Training your puppy is essential for their own safety as well as for your puppy to know the boundaries in your home.


So, it's pretty important to provide the best dog treats for training your puppies right from the start to ensure that they'll develop well and right.

Top Pick

No time to read the list? Here's our top pick for the best dog treats for training puppies: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe, Grain-Free Dog Treats

Affordable and boasting 1500+ 5 star reviews, you can't go wrong with a product that has 95% user recommendations.

Loved by many, many dogs for its taste, and perfectly small size for training!


Buying Considerations


For the best dog treats for training puppies, there are a few buying considerations that you should know of:


Ingredients


Ingredients inside a dog treat is one of the key factors.

In general, it's always best to get the best quality treats for your puppies for one simple reason:

Puppies are growing, and the added nutritional goodness will benefit a growing puppy far more than a fully grown dog.


However as they get older, you can also get them different 'values' of treats - which will be discussed below.


Size


A larger sized treat will take a puppy longer to eat, and if very excited, can still choke them, regardless of size.

The best option would be to buy a treat that is small and bite-sized so that your puppy can chew and swallow it easily.


That said, thee size of treats can play an important role with the puppy. 

A treat that is small for a large breed puppy can become a choking hazard for a small breed puppy!

If you feel like the treat you bought for your puppy is too big, you can go ahead and break it down into smaller chunks (easier with dry treats)


Calories


When you're training your puppy, you'll be giving them a LOT of treats, which is fine. However, it's also important to note down HOW MANY - the last thing you want would be a puppy that is overweight.

Note down how many calories there are in your treat - you can offer lower calorie treats for long training sessions, and higher calorie treats in shorter training sessions.

It's also important to note that for spayed or neutered puppies, their metabolisms are slightly lowered, so be wary of overfeeding them treats, on top of their normal meals.


Variety


Let's face it - some puppies will prefer the taste of a type of treat, and dislike others.

If you get the chance, you might want to buy or sample multiple treat options for your puppy to try before buying them in bulk.

Variety can also lead to the 'value' of the treat.


Value of dog treats


The value of a treat is a relatively new concept.


No, it has nothing to do with the price of the treat in this case.


Simply put, the 'value' of the treat is dependent on whether your dog likes the treat or not. Essentially, which treats your dogs like a certain treat far more than another.

For example, if your dog prefers chicken meat treats over a sweet potato treat, then the chicken meat treat is considered a high value dog treat.

You will need to experiment with your puppy to see what it values as high value, and what is lower value.


Separation of values of dog treats


Some dog trainers believe that the type of treats you use when training your puppy can determine how big a difference in how training sessions will be.

It's not a secret that dogs actually enjoy variety in their foods, the same as us. (source) So, why not use treats that your puppies actually like with more difficult training sessions, and the ones that they like less for maintenance training?

This gives rise to the three 'tiers' of treats:


  "High value" treats

High value treats are the treats that your puppy absolutely loves. These are also the treats that your puppy will BEG you for.

Basically, high value dog treats are used to train your dog to learn new behaviors and treats most effectively.

These are also treats that they will never get tired of, since they love it so much.

Typically, high value treats for dogs are those with the strongest smells, or tastes, and are higher in calories.

Give your puppy high value treats when:

  • You want to introduce a brand new behavior or trick to them
  • You want them to focus on you in a high distraction area, like a dog park
  • When rewarding your puppy when they respond to a cue or command extremely well
  • You want to work with them on any issues, such as anxiety, aggression, etc.


  "Medium Value" treats

Medium value treats are lower in the 'power' they have over your puppies - they don't love it as much as they do the high value treats, but they still enjoy it enough.

These are also given more frequently, and can be used in everyday settings for maintenance training your dog's behaviors and skills.

Give your puppy medium value treats when:

  • You want to maintain their learned behaviors
  • In low distraction areas, such as the home when the TV is on.
  • Anytime you want to reward them for good behavior


  "Low Value" Treats

As its name suggests, low value treats are just regular treats that they don't normally get in their normal food as well, but not foods that they would absolutely go nuts for.

These low value treats are typically low calorie treats, hard and of low moisture. This also means that these treats can be used very frequently as part of your dog's training.

You should give your puppy low value treats when:

  • You're in low to no distraction areas
  • Throughout the day to reward good behavior
  • You want to keep enforcing learned behaviors from a long time ago (i.e. a few months back and you want to reserve medium value treats for the newer skills or learned behaviors)



6 Best Dog Treats for Training Puppies

Ranking

Name

Key Features

Rating

#1

Best all-rounder puppy treat

#2

Best all-rounder puppy treat, but in crunchy format

#3

Circular and great for puppies that really, really love to chew.

#4

Great for use with other KONG puppy toys!

#5

Tough, chewy and can last quite a while for dogs that like to chew

#6

Best for warm climates and resistant against humid conditions

1. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe, Grain-Free Dog Treats

Affordable and boasting 1500+ 5 star reviews, you can't go wrong with a product that has 95% user recommendations.

Loved by many, many dogs for its taste, and perfectly small size for training!

This is the soft, crumbly version.


Features

  • A specially formulated for dogs under 1 year
  • Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no meat by-products, corn, wheat or dairy
  • Perfectly sized treats that can be given daily
  • Free from artificial colors and flavors
  • A natural source of DHA and Omega 3

Pros

  • Very affordable and loved by many, many dogs.
  • Specially formulated for puppies under 1 year old
  • It's small, and is a great size for little dog breeds too
  • Most dogs go crazy for these treats, and will do any  trick you want them to just to eat it!

Cons

  • It's soft and relatively crumbly, and some puppies may not like it

2. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe, Grain-Free Dog Treats

Affordable and boasting 1500+ 5 star reviews, you can't go wrong with a product that has 93% user recommendations.

Loved by many, many dogs for its taste, and perfectly small size for training!

This is the crunchy version of the above!


Features

  • A specially formulated for dogs under 1 year
  • Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no meat by-products, corn, wheat or dairy
  • Perfectly sized treats that can be given daily
  • Free from artificial colors and flavors
  • A natural source of DHA and Omega 3

Pros

  • Very affordable and loved by many, many dogs.
  • Specially formulated for puppies under 1 year old
  • It's small, and is a great size for little dog breeds too
  • Most dogs go crazy for these treats, and will do any  trick you want them to just to eat it!

Cons

  • It's hard texture can be off-putting for young pups, who prefer a crumbly, softer texture.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

Both versions are offered here - both the crumbly soft version, and the crunchy version.

Both are great, and can function as high value dog treats to give your puppies to train, but they might prefer one over the other.

You'll have to experiment which your puppy likes.

3. N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring, Chicken Flavored Dog Treat

N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring, Chicken Flavored Dog Treat

Satisfy your furry young friend’s natural need to gnaw and soothe his sore gums with N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring Chicken Flavor Dog Treats. 

The round shape is designed specifically for puppies' chewing needs, and is soft enough to not hurt their teeth.

Recommended by 91% of dog owners!


Features

  • Made in the USA without any corn, wheat or soy to be completely edible and digestible for puppies of any breed.
  • Round puppy chew is designed specifically to help relieve sore gums and teething pain with gentle massaging action.
  • Puppies find savory chicken flavor to be irresistible, helping them to chew teething ring instead of furniture.
  • Fortified with DHA and beneficial fatty acids to promote a healthy brain, ideal skin health, and a shiny coat.
  • Free from any plastic, nylon or rubber, and specially crafted with calcium to support optimal bone and teeth health.

Pros

  • Puppies love the chicken flavor!
  • Great for large breed puppies - they can go through them VERY fast.
  • It can keep your puppy entertained for about 30 minutes as they chew through the ring
  • No Rawhide

Cons

  • It does make a bit of a mess when your puppy chews it.
  • For smaller breed puppies, there can present a choking hazard (especially if the ring is chewed into some pieces)
  • It generally does not last very long with bigger breed puppies (a Great Pyrenees puppy goes through it in about 10 minutes)

TIP: You can also cut up the  ring into bite sized pieces to use as high value treats for dogs. Some owners report that their older dogs love it too!

4. KONG Stuff'N Puppy Ziggies Dog Treats

KONG Stuff'N Puppy Ziggies Dog Treats

Made with the irresistible flavor that puppies love, its formula is designed to freshen breath naturally with rosemary.

Its chewy, teeth-cleaning texture helps promote puppy dental health and makes spending time with your puppy even more enjoyable, from playtime to crate training!

Recommended by 89% of dog owners!


Features

  • Its puppy formula freshens breath naturally and helps keep growing baby teeth clean with rosemary extract.
  • Perfect for use with the KONG Puppy, Puppy Binkie, and Puppy Activity Ball, for long-lasting, mentally-stimulating play.
  • Its easy-to-digest recipe is great as an anytime snack to help promote dental health and satisfy your puppy’s chewing instincts.
  • Available in two sizes so you can choose the right one for your puppy.
  • Made in the USA with no trans-fats.
  • Designed for puppies over 3 months old, and over 6 lb (2.7kg)

Pros

  • It's great to keep your dog busy chewing on this treat 
  • It fits all KONG puppy toys, though some KONGs will require different sized treats.
  • Very little mess made (most of it is confined within the KONG toy itself)
  • Don't give too many - your puppy WILL get addicted to the taste!
  • It can also be cut into pieces to use as high value dog treats on its own

Cons

  • If you have a KONG toy, get the large size for a better fit.
  • They don't last very long with large breed puppies
  • It is on the pricier side

5. Puppy Chow Healthy Start Salmon Flavor Training Dog Treats

Puppy Chow Healthy Start Salmon Flavor Training Dog Treats

These scrumptious bites are made with real salmon as the very first ingredient for the high-quality protein your growing puppy deserves, and they contain the healthy omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

The smaller size of these treats are perfect for puppies and they contain just three calories, which make them the paw-fect training rewards

Recommended by 90% of dog owners!


Features

  • Crafted with real salmon as the #1 ingredient to help support your puppy’s growing muscles.
  • Contains DHA—a healthy omega-3 fatty acid that helps encourage healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
  • Each treat contains just three calories for the perfect low-calorie training reward.
  • Infused with a natural hickory smoke flavor that dogs love.
  • Sized just for puppies but can easily be broken into smaller pieces.

Pros

  • These function as great training treats for puppies thanks to their small size
  • Value for money, it's affordable, especially the 24-oz bag!
  • There is an indentation to break the treat in half, perfect for small breed puppies to chew on
  • Low in calories, so it can be used for long training sessions

Cons

  • It tends to break into crumbs, which can be difficult to clean up.
  • Some puppies will take time to chew through - it's quite chewy and tough
  • Even whole, the treats can be a little small for large breed puppies
  • Because of its hard texture, some puppies will bypass this treat entirely

6. Nylabone Healthy Edibles Longer Lasting Puppy Lamb & Apple Flavor Dog Bone Treats

Nylabone Healthy Edibles Longer Lasting Puppy Lamb & Apple Flavor Dog Bone Treats

Formulated to aid in puppy growth and development.

These treats are specially formulated to be gentle enough for your puppy's delicate digestive system.

They are both nutritious and delicious, with added vitamins and minerals. 

Recommended by 92% of dog owners!


Features

  • These lamb and apple flavored chews are made of natural ingredients and are designed to be long lasting.
  • No added sugar, salt, or artificial colors or preservatives so you can feel confident about giving this as a treat to your pet.
  • Enhanced with vitamins, minerals and DHA making this a healthy snack that helps support brain and eye development.
  • Gentle enough for puppies that are at least 3 months of age and older.
  • Made in the USA!
  • Meant for puppies 3 months and older

Pros

  • It contains no rawhide
  • Because of the taste, it can also be used as a high value dog training treat! 
  • They are also great for your puppy's digestive health

Cons

  • It only comes in one size, (1' x 1' x 3.8') which is small for large breed puppies.
  • It doesn't last long (10 minutes) for bigger breed puppies
  • It can cause a mess and stain carpets if your puppy eats over those
  • For small breed puppies, this can fill them up - to the point they don't eat their main kibbles.

What if my puppy is not food motivated?


There are cases where your puppy might not be treat motivated, and that is fine!

Some puppies prefer other things - perhaps toys, or more pets and affection.

In fact, you can even convince your puppy that treats are good - if you give your puppy food, then give them what they're motivated by after, they'll associate treats with pleasure.

This can also help them to learn that treats could mean playtime too!

Meanwhile, head over to the Dog Food Training article to see how to use these treats, portioning sizes and alternatives you can give your dog as treats for training.


 Food has always been perhaps the one thing that all species look forward to: sustenance, survival, power. There are many studies and academic journals that detail the uses of food for the various purposes in hierarchies in societies.  Even today, the rich dine on very expensive, but high quality Kobe beef, etc etc whilst the common man

Dog Food Training


Conclusion


In summary, there are quite a few choices for choosing the best dog treats for training puppies above, but we still stand with our main decision: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe, Grain-Free Dog Treats

Affordable and boasting 1500+ 5 star reviews, you can't go wrong with a product that has 95% user recommendations.