The Best Dog Training Treats

The way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach. That’s the same direction you take to gain obedience, too. Dog training treats give your dog instant rewards during training sessions. The small, bite-sized morsels keep him attentive and trying his best. The best dog training treats also have good nutrition, so they’re a healthy contribution to your dog’s overall caloric needs.

We reviewed dozens of dog training treats to find the best of the best. We considered their ingredients, type (soft or hard), size, and nutritional value. While there are many excellent dog training treats on the market, there were a few that stood out for the ingredient quality and ease-of-use during training.

Best Dog Training Treat Overall
Wag Jerky Dog Treats
These wholesome jerky treats stick to the basics with only two ingredients and no added grain, corn, soy, or wheat. Plus, you get 40 percent off your first purchase & save order.

Wag Jerky Dog Treats have everything you’re looking for in a nutritious training treat. Simple ingredients, we’re talking only two in the chicken breast treats, give your dog the nutrition he needs without any extra additives. Wag also provides four flavor options, two of which bring in the nutrition of flaxseed or sweet potato. All flavors are grain and gluten-free for those dogs with sensitive systems.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Training Treats

Editor’s PicksBrandRating
Best Dog Training Treat OverallWag Jerky Dog Treats4.6
Best Dog Training Treats for PuppiesWellness Soft Puppy Bites4.5
Best Budget Dog Training TreatsPet Botanics Grain-Free Mini Training Reward4.7
Best Soft Dog Training TreatsZuke's Mini Naturals4.7
Best Hard Dog Training TreatsStewart Freeze-Dried Treats4.5

*Ratings are current at the time of publication and can change

Best Dog Training Treat Overall: Wag Jerky Dog Treats

Wag Jerky Dog Treats have what dogs want — good taste — and what their owners want — quick access to good nutrition. These treats come in four flavors, including chicken and flaxseed, chicken breast, duck, and turkey and sweet potato. The chicken breast, in particular, keeps things simple with only two ingredients. Each jerky treat can be broken into pieces to keep your dog attentive during training.

Their chewy, jerky texture makes them suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages. However, you may need to break the pieces smaller for small dogs and puppies. Every Wag jerky treat is free of grain, corn, soy, and wheat and has no artificial colors or flavors. There’s a guide on the back of each package to let you know how many treats your dog can eat in a day for his body weight. They also offer a 40 percent discount with your first purchase & save order on Amazon.

Wag Jerky Dog Treats Key Features:

  • Chewy texture
  • Suitable for dogs of all ages
  • Free of grain, corn, soy, or wheat

Best Dog Training Treats for Puppies: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites

Best Dog Training Treat for Puppies
Wellness Soft Puppy Bites
The soft texture of these treats is perfect for puppies who may not chew as much as they should. They’re also a great source of DHA for healthy brain development.

Puppies the patience and a delicious treat to keep them focused on their training. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites are small and soft, so even little puppies bite into them with ease. If your pup is particularly tiny, you can break them into even smaller pieces. They are free of common allergens like grain, corn, soy, and things you just don’t want to give your puppy like meat by-products and artificial flavors and dyes.

These treats pack a lot in to give puppies an extra boost of nutrition. Ingredients like blueberries, sweet potatoes, apples, and carrots add vitamins and minerals to every bite. This recipe also includes DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that contributes to healthy brain development. We also love that the manufacturer gives you an analysis of the crude protein, fat, and fiber, so you know exactly what you’re feeding your puppy.

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Key Features:

  • Free of grain, corn, soy, meat by-products, and artificial flavors and dyes
  • Contains DHA for healthy brain development
  • All-natural ingredients

Best Budget Dog Training Treats: Pet Botanics Grain-Free Mini Training Reward

Best Budget Dog Training Treats
Pet Botanics Grain-Free Mini Training Reward
You save a bundle with these treats but don’t lose out on quality or flavor.

Pet Botanic’s Grain-Free Mini Training Reward gives you an easy way to reward your dog while keeping cash in your pocket. These treats are packed with omega-3 fatty acids to specifically boost the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Pet Botanic’s uses a recipe that includes pork liver and other meat products as the main ingredients, skipping the gluten and grains that can cause digestive problems.

These small treats fit into a pouch or pocket, so you can keep your dog focused in the ring or at the vet’s office. They’re small, which means you don’t need to worry about overfeeding him even during long training sessions. And, you’ve got five flavors to choose from, so there’s a good chance you’ll find a flavor your dog can’t resist.

Pet Botanics Grain-Free Mini Training Reward Key Features:

  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Small size and low-calorie count
  • Five (5) flavor options

Best Soft Dog Training Treats: Zuke’s Mini Naturals

Best Soft Dog Training Treats
Zuke's Mini Naturals
Zuke’s Mini Naturals keep your dog focused without filling him with empty calories.

Zuke’s Mini Naturals have a unique formula that maximizes the absorption of nutrients. While they only have three calories per treat, every calorie counts towards good nutrition. That also means they’re free of common digestive irritants like corn, wheat, and soy and artificial flavors and dyes. At the same time, they’re tasty enough that he’ll be willing to do his best and obey during training.

We also love that the manufacturer gives your dog some flavor options. Picky eaters should be able to find something delicious among the seven flavors. Every flavor either has meat or peanut butter as its number one ingredient. Zuke’s also includes a macronutrient breakdown on every bag. You’ll know exactly how much protein, fat, and fiber you’re dog consumes, which allows you to make informed decisions about your dog’s nutrition.

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Key Features:

  • Free of corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavorings, and dyes
  • Seven (7) flavor options
  • Three (3) calories per treat

Best Hard Dog Training Treats: Stewart Freeze-Dried Treats

Best hard Dog Training Treats
Stewart Freeze-Dried Treats
Freeze-dried treats maintain their nutrition for the long haul. Dogs love them, and you don’t have to worry about them going bad.

Stewart’s Freeze-Dried Treats have a single ingredient. That’s it. There’s absolutely nothing else that comes between your dog and the nutrients. These treats come in nine flavors, but, fair warning, non-meat flavors may have more than one ingredient. Stewart’s meat treats are freeze-dried while the meat is raw, which is how nature intended dogs to eat.

Raw meat brings a flavor that dogs can’t resist.  Hopefully, that means better obedience during training and less work for both of you. We also like the Stewart resealable buckets. Treats stay contained, and it makes a good travel container for treats and dog food when you’re on the road.

Stewart Freeze-Dried Treats Key Features:

  • Freeze-dried raw meat
  • Single protein meat treats
  • Nine (9) flavors

Who Should Buy Dog Training Treats

If you’re working on house training, obedience training, or showmanship, dog training treats are essential. Dogs are incredibly responsive to rewards like praise and petting, but treats are something special. And they’re a powerful motivator for your four-legged friend.

Dog training treats are bite-size, so they’re portable and pocketable. Whether your dog is in the ring or in the back yard practicing on a leash, these easily accessed treats keep him engaged and ready to please.  Good training treats are also low in calories but high in nutrition. While most training sessions shouldn’t go more than 20 minutes, you can go through a lot of treats in that amount of time. Dog training treats make sure you’re dog still gets a healthy diet, and his meals and nutrition aren’t undermined by his training.

Best Dog Training Treat Overall
Wag Jerky Dog Treats
These wholesome jerky treats stick to the basics with only two ingredients and no added grain, corn, soy, or wheat. Plus, you get 40 percent off your first purchase & save order.

Important Features to Consider

A dog training treat should have a few key features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a treat for your dog:

  • Treat size. Dog training treats are typically smaller than the average dog treat and with good reason. They need to be small, so your dog doesn’t get full while training. Not only will getting overfilled make him less interested in training, but it can also lead to stomach upset and an overweight dog. Size also matters because you may be breaking the treats into pieces. Soft treats can be fairly small and still be broken apart. Hard training treats tend to be larger, but they can still be broken down into smaller pieces.
  • Ingredients. Check the ingredient list. For the most part, the fewer the ingredients, the better since it leaves less room for artificial or filler ingredients full of empty calories. Whole meat sources, human-grade ingredients, all-natural, and organic are labels to watch for. Look for training treats that are also grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, especially if your dog has allergies.
  • Calorie count/nutritional value. Dogs are like people in that if you fill them with empty calories, they’ll put on weight. Dog training treats should be relatively low in calories, and the calories they do provide should be of high quality with a high protein and fiber. In general, any calories that come from treats should not exceed 10 percent of your dog’s total caloric intake.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do dog trainers use for treats?

Dog trainers use any treat the dog likes and is responsive to. So there’s no one universal training treat for all dogs. Typically, trainers use dog training treats that meet the following criteria:

  • Small size
  • Nutritious ingredients
  • Free of common allergens
  • Low in calories
  • The dog likes it

Trainers try to keep portions small, Think Cheerio-sized portions, so the dog gets more treats per session. As long as the treat meets those criteria, trainers use it.

What are the healthiest treats for dogs? 

Look for treats made with a small number of ingredients. A dog’s metabolism is designed for whole meats (mostly), vegetables, and fruits. Dog training treats made of these ingredients rather than meat by-products, fillers, and artificial dyes and sweeteners are better for your dog’s health.

Do puppies need different treats than adult dogs? 

Puppies can eat the same treats as adult dogs, but they do have some different needs. For example, puppies may not have strong enough jaws for some hard treats, especially if they’re a small puppy. Soft treats broken into small pieces work well because the puppy won’t have any trouble chewing them. Some treats have added nutrients like DHA that’s beneficial for brain development, making them a good option for puppies. However, for the most part, your puppy has many of the same needs as an adult dog and shouldn’t get more than 10 percent of his caloric intake from treats.

How often should I treat my dog while training? 

The quick answer is often. Every time your dog does something correctly, treat him. Keep the portion size small, so his stomach doesn’t get upset partway through the training session. Small portions also mean you can reward him more often. You want your dog to enjoy training, and he’ll do that if he can look forward to a delicious treat.

Other Dog Training Treats We Reviewed

Best Dog Training Treat Overall
Wag Jerky Dog Treats
These wholesome jerky treats stick to the basics with only two ingredients and no added grain, corn, soy, or wheat. Plus, you get 40 percent off your first purchase & save order.

We looked at 20 other dog training treats. These formulas didn’t make our top 5 dog training treats list, but they’re still delicious and nutritious. They could also be the perfect treat for your dog.

Dog Training Treats for Puppies

Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Wild Bits

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Wild Bits

The salmon variety of these treats contain DHA to promote your pup’s brain development.

Key Features:

  • Contains DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids
  • Free of grain, meat by-products, corn, wheat, and soy
  • Three (3) flavor options

Cost: $11

NUTRO Mini Bites

NUTRO Mini Bites

Packed with chicken, berries, and yogurt, these natural treats pack a nutritious punch with every bite.

Key Features:

  • Free of soy, wheat, corn, preservatives, and artificial flavors and dyes
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Under three calories per treat

Cost: $8

Pup-peroni Minis

Pup-peroni Minis

This mini version of Pup-peroni’s other treats make them small enough for frequent treating and training sessions.

Key Features:

  • Easy to break into smaller pieces
  • Nine (9) flavors
  • Two (2) treat size options

Cost: $8

Zuke’s Puppy Naturals

Zuke's Puppy Naturals

Zuke’s packs this recipe with healthy DHA and EPA to feed your puppy’s brain development.

Key Features:

  • 3.5 calories per treat
  • Free of wheat, soy, gluten, and grain
  • Three (3) flavors

Cost: $6

Soft Dog Training Treats

BIXBI Pocket Trainers

BIXBI Pocket Trainers

These grain and gluten-free treats keep dogs working hard with their hint of bacon flavor.

Key Features:

  • All-natural
  • Less than four calories per treat
  • Grain and gluten-free

Cost: $9

Blue Buffalo Bits

Blue Buffalo Bits

With four flavors and high meat content, these treats will keep your dog attentive and happy.

Key Features:

  • Small treat size
  • Four (4) flavor options
  • Free of meat by-products, corn, wheat, and soy

Cost: $12

Buddy Softies

Buddy Softies

An untraditional shape won’t throw your dog off. He’ll love these bacon and cheese treats enough to learn commands.

Key Features:

  • Free of corn, soy, and preservatives
  • Easy to break into smaller pieces
  • Soft enough for aging dogs

Cost: $10

Cloud Star Tricky Trainers Chewy

Cloud Star Tricky Trainers Chewy

The whole grains and delicious flavor options of these treats will have your dog excited for the next training session.

Key Features:

  • Free of wheat, corn, and artificial flavors and dyes
  • Contains whole grains
  • Three (3) flavors

Cost: $6

Crazy Dog Train-Me! Training Rewards

Crazy Dog Train-Me! Training Rewards

What dog doesn’t like bacon? But that’s not the only flavor of Train-Me! that your dog will crave. It comes in four options, and they’re all free of corn and soy.

Key Features:

  • Four (4) flavors
  • Free of corn and soy
  • Three calories per treat

Cost: $9

Dingo Training Treats

Dingo Training Treats

The cylindrical shape of these treats make them easy to break into smaller pieces, so you can give your dog more rewards.

Key Features:

  • Three calories per treat
  • Easy to break into smaller pieces
  • No gluten

Cost: $10

Full Moon Organic Training Treats

Full Moon Organic Training Treats

Human-grade ingredients raised and harvested through organic methods provide your dog with solid nutrition.

Key Features:

  • Less than three calories per treat
  • Free of grain, corn, wheat, and soy
  • No artificial dyes, flavors, or preservatives

Cost: $8

Lil Bitz Treats

Lil Bitz Treats

Four calories per treat and a grain-free recipe make this a winner for many dogs.

Key Features:

  • No grain
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Four calories per treat

Cost: $2

Merrick Power Botes Soft + Chewy Dog Treats

Merrick Power Bites Soft + Chewy Dog Treats

These beef-based treats have a chewy texture that dogs can’t resist.

Key Features:

  • Grain and gluten-free
  • Contains whole fruits and vegetables
  • Made from deboned beef

Cost: $6

Pet Botanics Training Reward

Pet Botanics Training Reward

A low-calorie count and small size make these ideal training treats.

Key Features:

  • Three calories per treat
  • Five (5) flavors
  • Mini, regular, and grain-free options

Cost: $8

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Bites

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Bites

These affordable bite-size treats won’t leave your pocket moist and will keep your dog’s attention on you.

Key Features:

  • Low-calorie count, only three per treat
  • Contains added vitamins and minerals
  • No artificial dyes and flavors

Cost: $12

Rachael Ray Nutrish Meatball Morsels

Rachael Ray Nutrish Meatball Norsels

Dogs have a hard time letting a meatball go to waste. Use them for treats, and he’ll be riveted to your every command.

Key Features:

  • Free of grains and meat by-products
  • Contains beef and chicken
  • Easy to break apart

Cost: $7

Purina Beggin’ Strips

Purina Beggin' Strips

Great flavor and shape that’s easy to break into smaller pieces make these treats ones worth trying.

Key Features:

  • Six (6) flavors
  • Soft texture
  • No artificial colors or flavors

Cost: $11

Wellness Naturals Wellbites Soft Dog Treats

Wellness Naturals Wellbites Soft Dog Treats

A mix of meat, fruits, and vegetables makes Wellbites a nutritious treat that’s easy to break into training portions.

Key Features:

  • Fourteen (14) flavors
  • Contains no grain
  • Some varieties are hard while others are soft

Cost: $10

Hard Dog Training Treats

NUTRO Natural Crunchy Dog Treats

NUTRO Natural Crunchy Dog Treats

Hard treats leave less of a mess in your pocket. This delicious variety comes in bite-size pieces that work well for training.

Key Features:

  • Five (5) flavors
  • Five calories per treat
  • Free of corn, wheat, and soy

Cost: $7

Wellness Core Marrow Roasts

Wellness Core Marrow Roasts

Some dogs can’t resist jerky treats. The meaty flavor in these grain-free roasts is exactly what your dog needs.

Key Features:

  • Bite-size
  • Free of grain, wheat, and artificial dyes and preservatives
  • All-natural ingredients

Cost: $6

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