You know the struggle when choosing biscuits for yourself…digestive or bourbon…. or even a custard cream?

Little did you know you’d be finding yourself in the same situation when deciding on puppy training treats. Yes, we see you standing in the aisle in confusion; one hand on your hip, the other on your chin. 

Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll be happy to make your shopping trips shorter by showing you around the best (and healthy) training treats for your puppy. 

What should I look for in puppy training treats?

Puppy training treats differ pretty much the same as tea biscuits; mostly by size, flavour, texture, and ingredients – nothing out of the ordinary. But differently to your biscuits of choice, you may want to decide on training treats slightly differently.  

Size

Puppy training treats should be small and easily eaten, around the size of a pea. Larger treats are great for when there is time to enjoy them, but aren’t the best for puppy training. 

We’re not trying to sound boring – but when training your puppy, having their full attention will give you the best chances of succeeding. Spending time to stop and chew isn’t likely to help their already short attention span.

Texture

As for texture, try to go for soft ones to limit chewing time. Crunchy treats tend to take slightly more time to get through.

Flavour 

Probably the best part of selecting puppy training treat flavours available is seeing which they like best. Frantic tail-wagging and outstandingly widened eyes are usually a good indication of this. 

Ingredients

Commercial puppy training treats can lie pretty much anywhere on the spectrum of healthy and unhealthy ingredients.  

We consider dodgy dog treats those containing ingredients you get a funny feeling about or can’t pronounce, which is why reading the back of the packs is quite important. Of course, make sure what whatever you’re reading is in the English language, everything will sound pretty funny otherwise.

Out of the ones you do recognize, we recommend that the treats you feed have a high protein content – they’ll provide your puppy with the essential nutrients to make them strong and healthy.

For full information on what treats you should feed your puppy we recommend you check with the Pet Food Manufacturers Association.

To sum it up, make sure you look for puppy training treats with the following labels to ensure the healthiest options: 

  • 100% meat or protein
  • Insect treats
  • Vegan treats 

Side note: Grain Free Options

The evidence is shaky on whether dogs need a grain free diet, and so grain free treats. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy for dogs, but you’ll likely read many articles that claim otherwise, especially from the treat manufacturers themselves! 

Here’s a fact sheet, should you choose to geek out on grain free diets

Price

Don’t let the price of puppy training treats trick you – it’s not always a true indicator of quality or ingredients! The label and list of ingredients are much better signs of this – remember to take a look. 

Organic/Non-Organic

There are way too many reasons why buying organic, under any context, is better. In the case of puppy training treats, this means higher nutritional values, no nasty artificial chemicals, and safer ingredients. 

Country of Origin 

Not that it truly makes a difference to your puppy and their health, but some owners like to 

know where their puppy training treats come from as a sign of quality. Some prefer their treats made locally, while others from specific countries. Look for the small letters in the pack – it’ll be written there somewhere.

Best puppy training treats compared

If you’re looking for training treats for your puppy, check out our list below for our faves for all pups and situations:

1. Green & Wild’s Luv Hearts Chicken and Liver (Grain Free) Training Dog Treats 

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Green & Wild’s Luv Hearts Chicken and Liver (Grain Free) puppy training treats are among the healthiest options as they are rich in protein and have an exquisite taste, while remaining clear of grain and artificial colours or flavourings. Made among the hilly English landscape, these treats are proud to help puppies show off a shiny coat and sharper intelligence. 

What makes these special?

  • Suitable for puppies two months and over
  • Grain Free
  • Soya Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Low Fat
  • Small and soft heart shape treats (aw.)
  • Can be broken up into smaller pieces easily with your hands

Available flavours

Chicken and Liver

Price

From £6.79

Buy them from Amazon


2. Pet Munchies Training Treats

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Offering your puppy a wide array of gourmet flavours from dehydrated meat, The Pet Munchies training treats are a high quality product made from the utmost natural (and flavoursome) ingredients. 

What makes these special?

  • Wheat and gluten free
  • Low fat
  • High in protein
  • No artificial flavours or colourings
  • Suitable for puppies with food sensitivities due to single protein option available
  • Easy to break up to make smaller training treats – especially the sushi ones! Our ZigZag dogs love these!

Available flavours

  • Chicken
  • Liver and chicken
  • Duck
  • Venison
  • Wild Salmon
  • Sushi

Price

From £1.59

Buy them from Amazon

3. Feelwells Healthy Natural Training Treats

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Based in North Yorkshire, family-founded company Feelwells provides healthy, natural and grain-free dog training treats. Their semi-moist consistency is spot-on for puppies – making them easy to chew and speeding up training time. Overall, they’re a high value training treat that checks off all the boxes!

What makes these special?

  • Suitable for puppies over10 weeks old
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Easy to break up to make smaller treats
  • Enriched flavour through baking cooking methods
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • No artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives
  • Wheat and gluten free
  • Heart shaped

Price

From £2.29
 

4. Natures Menu Dog Treats

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For a classic and reliable treat, Natures Menu is nothing less than the bee’s knees. Made from a selection of meaty blends, these treats are a favourite choice for puppy training treats. 

Available flavours

  • Chicken (also contains Pork)
  • Chicken & Lamb (also contains Pork)
  • Beef (also contains Pork)

What makes these special?

  • 95% real and natural meat
  • Gluten free
  • No artificial colours or flavours
  • Resealable packet
  • Grain Free
  • Ideal for all ages

Price

From £2.95 

Buy them from Amazon

5. Barker and Barker Little Liver Training Treats

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Barker and Barker offer some of the best puppy training treats on the market. By complementing meaty treats with nutrients and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, your puppy will be lucky to get the ultimate royal treatment, it seems.  

What makes these special?

  • They combine meat with fruits (some even wearing the title of superfoods) and vegetables and herbs.
  • No sticky fingers – treats are compressed into tablet form and come in a resealable and reusable pot
  • No unhealthy carbs (like corn, wheat, potatoes, rice and oats)
  • No additives, preservatives, GMO, flavourings and colouring.
  • Low fat
  • Low calories
  • Rich in flavour
  • Suitable for puppies 8 weeks old and older
  • Available in medium and large sizes

Available flavours

  • Arctic Fish
  • Liver
  • Blueberry and Liver
  • Cranberry and Liver
  • Garlic and Liver
  • Fruit and Veg

Price

From £6.45 for a pot of 450

Buy them from Amazon

Puppy training treats FAQs

How will I know what treats my puppy likes?


Glad you asked!

Just like you lunge towards your favourite chocolates when you see them, your puppy will show which training treats they like best due to the speed in which they eat them, or how keen they are to get to them!
This fun game helps you put training treats to the test: 

1. Pop your puppy out of the room while you prepare. 
2. Put three different treats on three different saucers or plates (make sure they’re made of plastic so it doesn’t turn into a disaster) and place them on the floor.
3. Let your puppy back in, and see which treat they go for first!

How quickly they devour them should tell you which treat they liked the most, to the least. 
Feel free to try it with different puppy training treats as well as vegetables such as small pieces of carrot or broccoli. Cooked sweet potato tends to be a popular pick among puppies, it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s the first one to disappear.
You could try giving the game a twist by adding a toy to see if they prefer it to a food reward. If they’re anything like us, they’ll leave the treat till last.

When should I use puppy training treats?


Here’s some great examples of when you should be using puppy training treats:

– Toilet training: treats are a direct translation for correct and incorrect puppy language, so they’re one of the most effective and quickest ways to toilet train puppies.
– Recall training: Hand them a treat when they return to you after calling their name; they’ll be sticking to you like glue.
– Lead training: Having rewards are a great way to make sure your puppy is sticking to your side whilst carrying out lead training.
– Settle Training: By rewarding your puppy with training treats for being calm on a mat or blanket at home we can teach them to want to stay on it. With time, you’ll be able to take the mat to other places outside your home, and your puppy will naturally want to stay on it.
Basically, what we’re saying is, you should be using puppy training treats whenever you’re training and you need a little incentive.

How should I use high value vs low value training treats?

High Value treats refer to the treat your puppy likes most, and Low Value would be the least.

The most popular examples of High Value treats are definitely the meatier ones like roast beef training treats; they’ll take them over a piece of broccoli any day.

Deciding whether to use a High Value training treat or a Low Value training treat depends on how difficult the task is, and how important it is that they do it. 

When to use high value puppy training treats
– Training Outside of the home
– Training when there are distractions around
– High importance tasks: Recall and Toilet Training

When to use low value puppy training treats
– In your home 
– When you’re somewhere free of distractions
– When your puppy has mastered something, like a trick. Washing all your dirty dishes sounds like a good trick right? 

Should you use treats to train a puppy?

Yes, yes, yes! Most puppies are quite fond of treats as rewards, but you could also experiment with some of their regular food, or even strokes and cuddles, if that’s what they like. 

Personally, we wouldn’t like to miss out on any of your cuddles. 

What are the best puppy training treats?

The best puppy training treats are ones that they like! But we recommend limiting their choices to soft, small treats, and ones that include an animal protein as the first ingredient, and avoid ones containing high amounts of fillers or cereals to keep them looking nice and healthy.

How many treats can I give my puppy per day?

Puppy training treats should make up no more than 10% of your puppy’s daily calorie intake. 
We can see you! Don’t try to go over that; we all know what happens when we start eating “just one more”. There simply isn’t such a thing.

Can I make my own puppy training treats?

Yes! Look at you, being a loving parent. Many people make their own puppy training treats – there are some great recipes out there such as this fish biscuit one, one of our favourites. 

There are dozens more incredible homemade treat recipes such as oven dried liver or meat, liver cake, peanut butter cookies and sweet potato chips.  

Just make sure you label them as dog treats – we wouldn’t like someone in your home to mistake them for a tea biscuit. But we won’t judge if you do.

The final word on puppy training treats

Puppy Training Treats are your new best friends in your journey towards a lifetime of good manners and polite behaviour. 

But to go beyond that, positive reward-based training can truly do wonders for making the bond between you blossom.

We know it doesn’t work the same for people, but that’s just because they’re higher maintenance. Dogs are much easier! 

Looking for more puppy training tips and advice? Read our guide on puppy nutrition and learn all about what your four-legged friend needs in their diet.