Whether you’re teaching your dog a new trick or working with previously learned skills, here is a list of the training treats that we like to use. I've provided a short breakdown on why they're loved and some of the flavors they come in. If your dog loves to eat every and all types of treats and you're looking to widen your variety, then you've come to the right place!
1. Zueke’s Mini Naturals Treats
Zueke’s products are a must have in our household! They’re so versatile, with flavors from peanut butter to wild rabbit - there is no room for a “bad” flavor! Under 3 calories per treat, soy free, grain free, no corn, no wheat and their small size, it’s reassuring to know I’m not giving the dogs too much. Plus, if you're an Amazon lover, there is a lot of great options to bundle flavors together to save a few dollars.
2. Bil Jac Originals or Little Jacs
Similar to Zueke’s, these treats come in a small size and a variety of flavors. I find that they don’t dry out as easily either. My dogs love the peanut butter flavor (let’s be honest - they love EVERY flavor), but the original flavor is chicken liver. Others include chicken and sweet potato, peanut butter and banana and they even offer a grain-free option. These are “meaty” and they work well for training. I even find that some of the "picky" dogs that I work with enjoy these as well.
3. Blue Buffalo Treats
Depending on the type of treat you would like to give your dog, Blue Buffalo has options for all! While I don’t use biscuits for training, I am always on the hunt for new, interesting flavors of treats. This company has blueberry/yogurt and apple/yogurt flavored treats, which are perfect for when I want to switch it up. Blue Buffalo Stix are a wonderful option too because you can choose how big or small of a treat to give your dog by breaking them into pieces. If you’re feeling generous, you can always give them the entire "stix"!
4. Freeze Dried Liver Treats
This is a treat no dog will resist, unless his name is Benson... you precious little picky dog! I typically buy Stewart’s Freeze Dried Liver Treats and they're consistently a hit. While this brand may be a little pricer compared to some of the others mentioned, I do enjoy that these are freeze dried. I'm able to easily manage the size I give and they don't leave a little residue on my hands like some other treats do. PureBites is another brand of freeze dried treats that I use as well. A few go-to flavors are cheddar cheese, lamb, turkey and bison.
5. Wellness Core Pure Rewards Treats
The best part of these treats is that they're beef jerky and another grain-free option! These could be considered “high value” and with flavors like beef jerky, venison jerky, chicken, lamb jerky and turkey jerky - where could you go wrong?
If you couldn't tell, we enjoy trying multiple brands since some work for us and others don't. It's great to see what is out on the market and to find out what my dogs and clients like so we're able to make our time together as fun and rewarding as possible. Beyond these treats I have been known to use regular food. Mostly it consists of string cheese, hot dogs or some type of leftover that wasn't seasoned. However I don't do this often, usually only during "special classes" such as Agility, Scent Training or when I'm working in busy areas with big distractions. Always be mindful of ingredients, especially if you have a dog with allergies or stomach issues. If you suspect any treats have upset your dog, I encourage you to consult with your vet and discard those. Keeping your dog healthy should always come first!