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15 Best Training Treats for Your Dog (Updated!)

Positive reinforcement is a combination of praise and training treats to encourage your dog to associate good behaviors with rewards. Since you’ll be giving very many of them a day, these training treats should be small. You don’t want to cause your dog to gain a ton of weight just because you’re trying to get them to sit on command. A training treat will usually be in the realm of two to ten calories each, and are usually small, soft morsels. The softness means they can safely scarf it down quickly to keep the focus on training instead of chewing. Whether you’re breaking in a new puppy or retraining a rescue, here are the best training treats for dogs.

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There are two broad primary categories when it comes to training dogs: aversion training and positive reinforcement. Obviously, given the many activities you can do to form a bond with your dog and help them master commands, this is an oversimplification. It's just a starting place for figuring out what works best for your dog.

For example, I have three dogs, all of which are around 60 pounds. One of them is very human-responsive and nearly fixated on me at all times. It requires virtually no encouragement for him to understand even new commands or new combinations of actions, so neither corrections nor rewards are required.

My youngest is a husky mix who is very dog-focused and will ignore even the most tempting treats if there's something more interesting going on. The middle dog is exactly that: between the two in age and between the two in temperament. He's very stubborn, but still focused; he'll look right at me the whole time and still ignore a command. Of the three, he's the most food-motivated and cannot resist treats.

Treats serve as the most obvious and commonly-used reward in a positive reinforcement system. When I take any of my dogs on a walk, I still bring a dog treat pouch with me so I can reward good behavior. This reinforces that walks are fun and that certain behaviors on a walk can net a bonus.

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