You must think that I have lost my mind. What on earth does the sound of music have to do with dog training? In the song, Julie Andrew’s character lists all of her favorite things including raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, and warm woolen mittens. So I decided to make a list of a few of my favorite things as well. Although, I'm surely not as poetic.
Here are my favorite dog treats, broken into different categories to create an easy to digest curated list. Most of these products have many more flavors than what I have pictured so check them out at your local pet store. And remember, your dog is ultimately who determines what treats are high and low value.
One category that I have not included on this list are biscuits. I have not included them because although many dogs like them they usually don't work well as training treats, and this list focuses on treats that work well for training. If your dog likes biscuits go ahead and get some! Just expect that you might need additional treats when you’re training.
Bite-Sized Store-Bought Treats
The easiest, most convenient treats. You go to the store, you grab them, open them and you're ready to go!
Zukes Mini, Tiny, and Puppy Naturals
Merrick Lil' Plates
Note: Merrick also makes larger treats named Power Bites. I prefer the Lil' Plates variety even for larger dogs because they are more appropriately bite-sized.
Store-Bought High-Value Freeze-Dried Treats
Many dogs find freeze-dried treats extra exciting and delicious. These brands both sell freeze-dried treats that are smaller and easy to break. The only downside is they can result in a lot of crumbs.
Fig and Tyler
Stella and Chewy’s Meal Mixers
Store-Bought Bulk Treats
These treats are some of the most cost-efficient treats, but you do have to put a little bit of time into breaking them up. A video demonstration is included below.
Happy Howies food roll
Fresh Pet food roll (needs to be kept refrigerated)
If you are unsure of how you would cut up one of these bulk food rolls, this video shows you one technique to cut a whole roll into bite-sized treats in about 3 minutes.
These treats come in larger sizes but are easy to break into small pieces with your hands or scissors.
Wellness Soft Bites
Real Meat Company Jerky Treats
Lickable treats can be a lifesaver for dogs who have no or few treats, are on a prescription canned food, or are a little picky with traditional treats. They are also very convenient for dog's who wear a muzzle.
Canned Cheese Wiz
Smooth canned dog food in a squeeze tube. (I recommend Wellness 95%)
Homemade High-Value Treats
Sometimes it more fun, or necessary, to make your dog's treats yourself. Simply boiling chicken and then dicing is often sufficient, there are also countless homemade treat recipes, but I'll share my favorite :)
Put the raw chicken in the pot, fill the pot with water. Bring to a boil. Let the chicken boil in the water until it is cooked through (165 degrees F). Turn the water off, remove chicken, pat dry, dice. Freeze or refrigerate.
This is a link to my favorite homemade treat recipe that I have found. The results are pictured above. With one batch you get about 150 treats.
Sometimes it can be really tough to convince our dogs to take their medications. You can use both of these products to easily hide pills before feeding them to your dog.
Meatballs (store-bought or homemade)
You can use meatballs in a similar method to pill pockets, just slit one open, hide the pill inside, and then feed to your dog.
© Leash and Learn 2020