Dog Training Treats GUIDE | + 8 Healthy Dog Treat Recipes

Dog training treats are a must in dog training, Dog trainers use them in almost every training session! Read the pros and cons of using dog treats and much more
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Dog Training treats are the secret of many people that train their dogs every day.

87% of dog trainers use treats in almost every training session, because they are very, very effective.

“Every puppy love dog treats, and every adult dog also love treats. I think everyone loves being rewarded for the work done.


Should I Use Dog Training Treats With My Dog?

french bulldog sleeping on dog treats bedIt is a question that arises in almost every individual’s mind while they are training their dogs. The answer to using dog training treats in training sessions have both positive and negative aspects. 

We will present both sides of the picture in front of you, the pros and cons of using dog training treats so that you can come up with a better and informed decision.

Training your dog is a crucial yet obligation. The time you will spend in training your dog will be worthy as it will not only make your life easy but also the life of people around you comfortable. 

Experts all around the world highly suggest Positive Reinforcement as the best Training method to start with your puppy or dog.

Using positive reinforcement and clicker training to train your dog means you reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behaviors you do not like.

The reward makes your dog more likely to repeat the behavior you want him to do. Positive reinforcement relies on the use of verbal cues, treats, hand signals, clicker, and toys to teach new behaviors or correct bad habits, and achieve desired behaviors.

Dog Training Treats are considered a significant part of dog training that will make the session quick and smooth.

Well, I Guarantee you that dog treats will make your life easy.

 Keep track of the dog training treats you are giving your dog. It is not recommended just to visit the market and pick up the dog treat that appeals to you.

A little research will not only result in your dog loving the treat and being very very motivated during training sessions but will also keep him safe and healthy.

For keeping your dog happy and healthy, it is important that the food you are feeding your dog is full of nutrients. Keep in mind that one food item good for one dog breed, may not be that effective for other dog breeds.

2. How to Use Dog Training Treats Correctly in Training Sessions

dog food dog treats treat your dog in dog training

  • Use dog training treats for reinforcing dog behavior in a calm way.
  • Find your dog’s “high value” treat!
  • Never give a dog training treat to your best friend for exciting his stimulating state of mind.
  •  Train when your dog is hungry.
  • Use smaller treats, so they can be consumed quickly and avoiding distractions during the training session.
  • Always offer the treat while your dog is still in the position you want to reward.
  • Always allow your Pal to smell the dog training treat to let him know that you have something in your hand, before starting a training session.
  • Reward each step towards the desired behavior, don’t pretend from your dog to perform the entire task the first time.
  • Make training sessions always funny and easy to understand.
  • Rotating between several favorites dog treats will keep your dog’s interest longer and help keep him motivated in every dog training session.
  • Reduce the portions served in your regular meal times, taking into consideration the amount of treats you are serving during the day.
  • You will have to stay patient throughout the learning regime of your dog. This patience will pay-off in the future when you will see a well-behaved dog by your side.
  • Pair treats with petting and praise, it helps with the conditioning of verbal praise and the weaning off of treats
  • When your dog sees the treat in your hand, if he jumps on you, show a sign of disapproval for not encouraging such behavior. Take this moment as an opportunity to train your dog.
  • With time, your dog will be able to understand what he has to do to receive a treat. He will calmly wait for you to give him a tasty dog training treat.  When your dog lowers his butt and waiting for the treat peacefully, then it is the right time to give him the treat.


Pros of Dog Training Treats 

dog training with healthy dog treats

  • Quick Response – One of the apparent benefits of using Dog Training Treats in training sessions is that you will get a positive and quick response. When you reward your dog for performing well, then your fluffy will follow your commands. 
  • Training your dog with distance with the help of marker training such as “Clicker Training“.
  • Teaching your dog, complex tricks and actions using shaping training and a clicker.
  • Instills trust and a strong bond between you and your dog
  • Changing aggressive behaviors with the use of classical conditioning and some yummy dog training treats.
  • With the use of treats, toys, and clicker training there is no use of physical force


Cons of Dog Training Treats 

homemade dog food raw meat healthy dog treats

  • Wrong timing of treat delivery will cause very quickly unwanted behaviors.
  • If the training is not made with knowledge, the dog will most of the time focus on the treat and not on the task to do.
  • High risk of overweighting your best friend if you don’t reduce the amount of dog treats given from the main meals.  
  • It is good to give rewards when your pet friend performs well, but it may lead to negative habits because Your dog will always look for treats for doing a job done.  
  • Loss of focus and concentration during longer training sessions, Or lack of focus because of environmental distractions or other animals.
  • High risk of bribe – eg. The dog knows what to do and what you are asking, but he is not doing it because he thinks “give me a treat and I will do it “. This is a very bad situation.
  • The use of Dog treats will contribute in building a strong bond, but will not contribute in building Respect.


Common Mistakes With Dog Training Treats

poodle clicker dog training positive reinforcementDog training is a rigorous process that changes over time. The training and feeding regime of your dog may be different from your friend’s dog.  Therefore, search out for best methods and ways of feeding your dog as per his age and breed.

Making errors and mistakes is a natural human behavior and not something to stress over.  Following are common mistakes that individuals make while feeding treats to their dogs.

  • Feeding Leftovers As Treats Many owners feed table scrapers to their dogs as a treat that can lead to serious health issues. We are not saying to do not feed leftovers to your dog but keep an eye on the ingredients of the food.
  • Feeding treats that contain excessive amounts of salt, sugar, spices, and fats – Excessive sweet food can damage your dog’s liver, while spices can ruin the digestive system of your pet. If a food contains a high amount of salt, then it can result in sodium poising that can be very harmful.
  • Not as per ageIt is important to give treats to your dog as per his age. The nutritional needs of your dog changes with age, also An active dog has different dietary needs as compared to a house dog.
  • Too many treats –  Many owners give treats to their dogs regularly, over-treating will result at the end in a Habit, and the treats lose power and effect in training the dog.
  •  Milk as reward after training –Milk is healthy for the puppies but can cause diarrhea and stomach problems in adult dogs. Making use of cow’s milk for your dog is not advisable.


Different Types of Dog Training Treats

labrador homemade dog food healthyThere are various things that you need to consider while choosing the right treatment for your dog.

Your main preferences while choosing the food for your dog must be the type and flavor of the treat as per your dog choices. 

There are a wide range and types of treats are available in the market that make it difficult to go for the best available option.

In order to come up with the right decision, you must know about the different types of dog training treats that are available in the market.

  • Natural Treats
  • Raw Food
  • Biscuits & Cookies
  • Homemade Dog Treats

Natural Dog Training Treats: 

Your dog is craving the chew that has great taste and an appealing aroma. The carnivore tendency of your dog attracts him towards the natural meaty chews and bones, but some dogs also enjoy fruits and vegetables :)

Raw Food: 

Rawhides are considered a classic canine treat. The rawhide strengthens the jaws and works as a natural teeth cleaner.

There are knotted, rolled, compressed, and braided rawhides available in the market.  

Consider the choices of your dog before choosing the type of rawhide for him. I personally give my dogs Hot dogs, raw beef meat small sliced, or just cooked chicken or turkey breast.

Biscuits & Cookies:

The dog biscuits are one of the treats that your pup loves the most.

Dog Cookies are like chocolate for us humans.

Homemade Dog Training Treats Recipes:

Spoiling your dog can be costly for you by purchasing dog training treats. You can replace these dog treats with homemade treats for your dog

You can add a unique touch and magnificent flavor to the treat. By making use of common ingredients like peanut butter, honey, wheat flour, and meat, you can come up with some delicious treats for your dog.

Your dog may also have allergies that can make it difficult for you to purchase the dog treats available in the market.


What Human Foods Dogs Can & Can’t Eat

Infographic Provided By Cyberpet



Homemade Dog Training Treats Recipes


#1 Peanut Butter Cookies (no-bake)



  • 1 cup Pumpkin puree 
  • ¼ Cup Peanut butter 
  • ¼ Cup Milk 
  • ¼ cup Rolled oats 


  1. Take an electric mixer and add pumpkin puree, milk and medium butter in it
  2. Beat the mixture at medium to high speed for two minutes
  3. Add oats gradually in the mixture and beat until combined
  4. Use a cookie scoop and make 1 1/2 inches balls by using it
  5. Put the ball in leftover oats and press firmly for coating oats on the balls
  6. Put a lid on the bowl and place for one hour in your refrigerator


#2 Wild Rice Chicken Balls



  • Wild rice 1 cup (mashed)
  • Chicken – 1 cup (diced and shredded)
  • Rice flour (1 tbsp.)
  • Parsley (1 tbsp.)
  • Egg – 1 (beaten)


  1. Preheat your oven at a temperature of 350 degrees F
  2. Take a mixing bowl and combine all ingredients in it until mixed perfectly
  3. Use a spoon and put one spoon of rice in each cavity and fill the cavity till the top
  4. Put the tray in the oven and bake it for 25 minutes
  5. Let the mixture cool down before serving
  6. Note: You can store these rice balls for 3 to 5 days in an airtight jar.


#3 Ginger Snaps



  • Almond flour  2 cups
  • Coconut flour – ½ cup
  • Natural peanut butter – ½ cup
  • Ground ginger – 3 tbsps.
  • Cinnamon – 1 tbsp
  • Water – ¼ cup


  1. Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients
  2. Make a ball-like  shape from the dough
  3. Take out dough from the bowl and roll it on a flat top
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut the tempting treats for your dog
  5. Place the cookies on a baking tray and bake it for 30 minutes
  6. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for the next 10 minutes


#4 Breath Mints



  • Oats – 2 cups
  • Parsley – ½ cup
  • Mint – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Water – ¼ cup
  • Coconut oil – 3 tbsps.


  1. Preheat your oven at a temperature of 325 degrees F.
  2. Take a blender and add oats into it, pulse oats until it turns into a flour-like powder
  3. Take a large bowl, add mint and parsley, water, oil and egg in it
  4. Add the oat flour and mix all the ingredients
  5. Knead the oat dough various time and place on a flat surface
  6. Use a rolling pin and flatten the dough
  7. You can use a knife or cookie cutter for cutting 1-inch mints (you can cut it in any size as per your choice)
  8. Take a tray, lay parchment paper and place the mints at a distance from one another
  9. Bake the mints for 40 minutes
  10. Before serving, let the mints cool down


#5 Pawprint Treats



  • All-purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Wheat germ – ½ cup
  • Yeast – ½ cup
  • Salt – 2 tsp.
  • Canola oil – 3 tbsps.
  • Chicken stock – 2 cups


  1. You can preheat your oven at a temperature of 400 degrees
  2. Take 2 baking sheets and line with parchment paper
  3. Take a bowl and add yeast, salt, wheat germ, and flour
  4. Combine all these ingredients
  5. You can place canola oil in a separate bowl
  6. You can knead the dough on a flat surface for 2 minutes
  7. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin
  8. Use a cutter and get round cutouts
  9. Transfer the treats to the baking sheets
  10. Firmly press your thumb on the treat, making its impression, then by using your fingers make four circles on the top of your thumb impression
  11. Repeat the same process with all the other treats
  12. Now freeze these treats for 18 minutes
  13. Bake the treats for 20 minutes by changing sides of the treats and brushing treats with chicken stock
  14. Turn off your oven, and keep the cookies in the oven for next 40 minutes


#6 Banana and Almond Bites



  • Pasture-raised egg – 1
  • Almond butter – ¾ cup
  • Banana – 1/3
  • Cinnamon – 1 tsp.


  1. Preheat your oven at a temperature of 350 degrees F
  2. Take a baking sheet and lay parchment paper in it
  3. Take a large bowl, add bananas in it
  4. Mash the bananas by using a fork
  5. Add remaining ingredients in the bowl and mix everything
  6. Make sure that the consistency of the batter is gooey and thick
  7. Spoon out one bite-sized dollop and put on the baking tray
  8. Put the tray in the oven for 7 minutes and turn over the bites after 7 minutes
  9. After 5 minutes, turn off oven and take the bites out
  10. Let the bites cool down

Note: You can use these bites for the next 7-9 days if placed in a moisture-free area


#7 Frozen Apple Pops



  • Apples 2
  • Plain yogurt – 1 cup
  • Water


  1. Take apples and dice apples in small pieces but make sure you remove the apple seeds
  2. Take a blender, add apple slices, water and yogurt and blend all the ingredients
  3. Blend the mixture until it has a good consistency
  4. Take an ice cube tray and pour the mixture in the tray
  5. Put the tray in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours

Note: Give only one apple frozen pop to your dog in a day. You can keep the leftover pops in the container and can keep in the freezer for a week.


#8 Sugar-free Dog Treat



  • Wheat flour – ½ cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Beef liver – 2 pounds (cut into pieces)


  1. Preheat your oven at a temperature of 350 degrees F.
  2. Take a jellyroll pan and lay parchment paper in it
  3. Take a food processor and place the liver in it
  4. Pulse the liver until it is chopped finely
  5. If there is room left in the processor, add eggs and flour
  6. Blend the ingredients until the mixture is smooth
  7. Spread the mixture on the pan evenly
  8. Bake the mixture in the oven for 16 minutes
  9. Let the treat cool down and then cut it into small squares
  10. The treats will look like a sponge

Note: This treat is perfect if your dog is diabetic. You can store it in the airtight jar for a few days. ​


How to Give Your Dog a Treat Correctly

The best technique for giving a treat to your dog is to hold the treat in your two fingers and allow your dog to sniff it.

Let your dog know that you have to treat with you.

When you are allowing your dog to smell anything, you are activating the most important part of your dog, his brain

Remember that in terms of canine, nose first means let them smell, then eyes let them see and examine, and ears last.

  1. After smelling is done, it is time for eyes. 
  2. Hold the treat right on the top of his nose and move from his back towards his shoulders.
  3. Take the treat slowly so that your dog can still sniff it.
  4. When your dog jumps, move the treat away.
  5. Now hold the treat close to his head.
  6.  When his eyes and nose start to follow the treat, give him a command like ‘sit’ in a calm voice.
  7. As soon as he sits, give him the treat

Keep in mind that you give him a command in a soft voice so that he will follow your command and learn the behavior. Your harsh voice can frighten him, and he may not learn the behavior.

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Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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