What To Look for in Dog Training Treats? [According to Sacramento Dog Trainers]

What To Look for in Dog Training Treats?

Regarding training dogs, rewards are an essential part of the process. Treats can be a powerful motivator that helps to encourage positive behavior and reinforce the lessons that dogs learn. Not all treats are the same, and choosing the right ones can significantly affect your dog’s training. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for in dog training treats according to professional dog trainers in Sacramento and Citrus Heights.

1. Dog Trainee Must Like It

It’s important to understand what makes a treat attractive to dogs. According to dog trainers, the most effective treats have a strong smell, taste, and texture. Dogs have superior sense of smell than humans and are highly motivated by scents. When choosing a training treat, you should consider something with a strong odor that your dog can easily detect.

Another factor to consider when choosing a training treat is the taste. Dogs have different preferences regarding flavors, so it’s crucial to find something your dog enjoys. You should try other treats to see which flavors your dog prefers, as this will increase their motivation and help reinforce their training.

The texture of the treat is another important factor to consider. When dogs gnaw on something, it helps to promote healthy teeth and gums. So if you can find a soft and chewy treat, your dog will find it even more appealing. Additionally, a treat that takes a little effort for your dog to eat will keep them engaged and focused on the training.

2. Avoid High in Calories

For instance, you should avoid treats that are high in calories. Dogs don’t need a lot of extra calories, especially if they’re not very active. So it’s better to choose a treat that is low in calories, as this will maximize your training time with your dog.

3. Size of the Treat 

Depending on the size of your dog, you may need to adjust the size of the treat accordingly. Small dogs may need tiny treats, while larger dogs may need larger ones. It’s also important to avoid too large treats, as they can be a choking hazard.

4. Ingredients

When selecting a training treat, you should also consider the ingredients. Many dog treats today contain low-quality ingredients, such as fillers and artificial preservatives. These ingredients can harm your dog’s health in the long run. You should avoid treats that contain corn, wheat, soy, and other fillers. Instead, look for treats made with high-quality ingredients, such as real meat, vegetables, and fruit.

Another ingredient to avoid is artificial flavorings. While these may make the treats more appealing to your dog, they can harm their health. Look for treats that contain natural flavorings, such as real bacon or chicken, as these will be much healthier for your pet.

Once you’ve found some treats that meet these criteria, it’s time to start testing them with your dog. Give them a small piece of the treat and see how they react. If they’re excited and eager to eat the treat, it’s likely a good choice for training.

Recommended Dog Treats to Try

Boiled Chicken

Boiled chicken is a popular training treat for dogs for many reasons. It is a healthy, protein-rich option that can easily be prepared at home. It is also an appetizing option for dogs, most of whom adore the chicken taste.

Boiled chicken is a lean and low-fat meat that is easily digestible and contains no fillers or additives. As such, it is a perfect training reward for keeping your dog’s weight in check.

When using boiled chicken as a training treat, cut it into small pieces your dog can easily consume. This makes it easy for your furry friend to chew and swallow as they learn new obedience commands. It’s also important to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked and free of any bones that could pose a choking hazard.

Your Dog’s Favorite Kibble

Choosing the right kibble for dog training involves finding a product that balances nutritional value, taste, and size. Many popular brands offer kibble that is well-suited for training purposes, so dog owners should be able to find something that their pups will enjoy.

Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt can make an excellent training treat for your furry friend. It’s a delicious, low-calorie, and healthy option that most dogs will love. You can make homemade frozen yogurt treats by mixing plain yogurt, some honey or peanut butter, and some fruit or veggies. Just blend everything, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray or silicone mold, and then freeze until solid.

Using frozen yogurt as a training treat has many advantages:

  1. Dogs love it!
  2. It is a refreshing treat, perfect for hot summer days.
  3. It can also promote healthy digestion and offers many nutritional benefits.

Just be sure to avoid using flavored yogurts that are high in sugar or contain artificial sweeteners that can harm dogs.

Frozen yogurt is a great way to reward your dog during training sessions while keeping them healthy and happy.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular dog training treat for owners and trainers alike. Dogs find its delicious flavor and aroma irresistible, and it’s a great source of protein and nutrients for our furry friends. Peanut butter can also be used in various ways during training sessions to encourage positive behavior and reinforce commands. It is handy for training and encouraging dogs to stay focused and motivated during training.

One of the common ways to use peanut butter as a dog training treat is to place a small dollop in a Kong or similar toy. This keeps the dog engaged and entertained and helps reduce anxiety, boredom, and stress. Playing with these toys can also help protect your home from unwanted chewing and destruction.

It’s important to note that not all peanut butter is suitable for dogs, so be sure to choose a high-quality, natural, and unsweetened version. Serving peanut butter in moderation is also important, as dogs can quickly gain weight if they over-consume their favorite treat.


Pumpkin is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways, including as a dog training treat. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals, and dogs seem to love its taste. Pumpkin can help improve digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, and support the immune system of dogs, making it an excellent choice for dog owners looking for a healthy training treat.

Pumpkin can be served to dogs in various ways, including cooked, canned, or mashed. It can also be combined with other ingredients, such as peanut butter or yogurt, to make delicious and nutritious training treats that dogs enjoy.

When using pumpkin as a training treat, it is essential to keep the portion size small and to use it in moderation to avoid upsetting the dog’s stomach. In conclusion, pumpkin is an excellent choice for dog owners looking for a healthy and delicious training treat that their furry friends will love.

Apple Slices

Apple slices are a great training treat option for dogs. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can promote good health. Not only are they a nutritious snack for your furry friend, but they are also a tasty reward for positive behavior during training sessions.

To use apple slices as a training treat, slice them into small pieces that are easy for your dog to chew and swallow. You can also freeze them for added texture and to make them last longer during training sessions. Remember to always supervise your pet during training and treat time to prevent choking or other safety concerns.

One thing to remember is that apple seeds can be harmful to dogs, so always remove them before feeding your pup any slices. As with any new treat introduced to your dog’s diet, start with small amounts to ensure it does not cause digestive issues. 

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are a healthy and nutritious option for training treats for dogs. Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and broccoli are low in calories and fiber and contain essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit a dog’s overall health.

When using vegetables as training treats, it’s important to slice them into small pieces that are easy for the dog to chew and swallow. This will prevent choking and ensure that the dog can focus on the training task without being distracted by a large piece of food.

Using fresh vegetables as training treats can also be a cost-effective option compared to many commercial dog treats that can be expensive and often contain unhealthy ingredients.

It’s essential to note that while vegetables can be a healthy add on to a dog’s diet, it shouldn’t be used as a complete replacement for well-balanced dog food. It’s always best to seek consult with a local veterinarian for recommended feeding guidelines.

In summary, when selecting a dog training treat, you must consider several factors such as smell, taste, texture, size, calories, ingredients, and more. Sacramento dog trainers recommend treats that have a strong scent, are low in calories, and are made with high-quality ingredients. You should always test out different treats to see which one your dog prefers and ensure they’re safe to eat. Choosing the right training treat can help your dog stay motivated, focused, and excited to learn.