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Best Dog Training Treats

LAST UPDATED 20 July 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr Brittany Ward BVSc

Have you found the perfect training treat yet? Our dogs are intelligent and eager to please, so they are always learning. Training is ongoing throughout their life, it doesn't just stop after puppyhood. It can be difficult choosing the right treat and many treats aren't universally suitable for all dogs. To find a treat that suits your dog, look for treats that are nutritious, delicious, easy to use and make your dog excited to learn. Soon your treat pouch will be packed full of tasty morsels!

Why is choosing the right training treat important?

Choosing the right training treat can make or break your training. Training is an essential part of raising a sociable, calm and obedient dog that you can enjoy your life with. In order to reinforce the behaviour you want to see more of in your dog, it's important to ensure you are providing them a valuable reward. Choosing the right treat ensures your dog is engaged with their training and motivates them to work harder.

As our dogs come into adulthood, some of them may also experience health conditions such as Pancreatitis or a Food Allergy which can alter their dietary requirements. Making sure you choose a treat that suits their health needs and is enjoyable for them to eat will make training a breeze!

Four reasons why it's important to choose the right training treat are:
  1. Provides Reward: Each treat has to carry value for your dog to make them want to repeat the behaviour it is being given for. Dogs can quickly become distracted or opt not to work if they aren't getting a valuable reward for their efforts. The tastier the treat, the higher the value and the more willing your dog will be to work.
  2. Improves Engagement: It's easy to get distracted by the busy world around us, but having dogs that are engaged with you and listening for your commands could potentially be life saving! Having the right treat will make engaging with you more valuable to your dog and they will be more eager to listen to you.
  3. Safe To Eat: Nobody likes to see their pet feeling unwell. Choosing healthy treats that support your individual dog's health needs is vital for helping them stay healthy and keeping them interested in training. Make sure you introduce new treats slowly to avoid tummy upsets.
  4. Easy To Use: Training can happen anywhere and at any time. Choosing treats that are easy to store, clean to transport and small enough to provide a quick reward means you can capture good behaviours whenever they occur.

Results:

  1. Best Natural Treat:Natures Cut Liver Training Treat
  2. Best Low Fat Treat: Royal Canin Educ
  3. Best Hypoallergenic Treats: Prime100 SPT Fillet Treat
  4. Best Fish Flavoured Treat: Nature's Cuts Fish Nibbles
  5. Best for Supporting Charity:SavourLife Chicken Training Treats

How We Review Our Products

Our Pet Circle Vet Squad comprises 30 vets with over 120 years of collective, independent veterinary expertise. Our Vet team use their health and husbandry knowledge, along with their own personal and clinical experiences to evaluate each product and provide detailed, informative reviews, free of any commercial bias. We then collate this information into our 'best of' recommendations.

Top Dog Training Treats in Australia

Best Natural Treat: Nature's Cuts Liver Training Treats

Pros

  • Bite sized pieces perfect for training or easily breakable
  • High protein with chicken and beef and low fat
  • Australian made, wholesome treats
  • Available in a range of packaging sizes

Cons

  • Does contain preservatives and humectants
  • Suitable for supplementary feeding only

These are an excellent, Australian made and owned, wholesome and delicious treat designed specifically for use during training. With their high protein content and chicken and beef as the first two ingredients, it makes them an enticing treat that your dog will want to work for. They are also a cheaper option compared to many other natural treats. The packaging is resealable for convenience of use and they are suitable for all breeds and ages.

What our customers say: "These have been the only training treats I use for my puppy. They are so easy to break up which was perfect when we got him at 10 weeks old. He's now 9 months old and still loves them. I purchase these on auto delivery now with his dry food as we can't get enough of them!" - Tayla

What our vets say: "Nature's Cuts Liver Training treats are my top choice of positive reinforcement training rewards. They are Australian made, naturally delicious and have an irresistible smell that will have your pooch begging for more! These bite sized morsels are the perfect size to put in your pocket or treat pouch for training sessions at home or out and about." - Dr. Maree

Shop Nature's Cuts Liver Training Treats

Best Low Fat Treat: Royal Canin Educ

Pros

  • Come in easy to use bite sized pieces
  • Added nutritional support
  • A great low calorie treat option
  • Suitable for all breeds and ages
  • Uses hydrolysed animal proteins suitable for pets with allergies

Cons

  • Packaging isn't resealable
  • Consistent flavour with no other flavour varieties available
  • Lack a meaty scent

This treat is the most popular treat recommended by the Vet Squad. Not only is it bite sized for convenience of use, but it is also low calorie and uses hydrolysed protein, making it suitable for pets with a range of health conditions, such as Pancreatitis or food allergies. It's formulated by a premium quality, reputable brand using nutritionally beneficial ingredients and is reasonably priced compared to many other treats.

What our customers say: "They are convenient and small and obviously very tasty because my dog gets very excited when she hears me open the packet, even when she is far away." - Barbara

What our vets say: "Royal Canin Educ Training Treats are a great tasting, versatile treat that can be given to all ages from puppies through to adults. Being a low calorie treat means they're perfect for training and great for owners who still want to spoil their pooches who may be on a diet. The treat is also an ideal size suitable for all dogs including small breeds." - Dr. Josepha

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Best Hypoallergenic Treats: Prime100 SPT Fillet Treats

Pros

  • Single protein, hypoallergenic treats
  • Variety of flavours available
  • All natural ingredients with no fillers, preservatives, colouring or flavours
  • Easy chew, soft treats
  • Australian made with 100% Australian meat
  • Resealable packaging

Cons

  • Not bite sized - need to be cut/torn
  • Use within 5-7 days of opening or refrigerate for freshness
  • Some flavours can be greasy to touch
  • Only available as 100g

These are a great tasting, highly enticing, Australian made treat by the Prime100 company. Prime100 specifically tailor their treats and diets to pets with allergies. They are designed to be hypoallergenic and are all Single Protein Treats (SPT) with novel protein options included. They use high quality, natural ingredients to make a delicious treat that is compatible with the Prime100 Single Protein Diets. Although they don't come in bite sized training pieces, they can easily be cut or torn into an appropriate size for training. The Kangaroo treats are low in fat (Min 6%) as well, for pets that might be on a diet or have Pancreatitis. A treat pouch full of these will motivate any dog to train. They are available in a range of flavours to add variety to your training treats including: Lamb, Kangaroo, Turkey, Chicken and Duck.

What our customers say: "My dog is absolutely obsessed with these they're certainly a great option for a natural, high value reward. Fantastic quality and great value." - F

What our vets say: "My dogs love the Prime100 treats, especially the Lamb! I think they are great training treats and I like the Prime100 company as well! They are a perfect choice for dogs with allergies and offer some fantastic novel protein options." - Dr. Angie

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Best Fish Flavoured Treat: Natures Cut Fish Nibbles

Pros

  • Single, novel protein, single ingredient treats
  • Australian made and sourced
  • Bite sized and clean to use
  • Resealable packaging
  • Available in a range of package sizes

Cons

  • Hard and crunchy
  • Non-specific fish species

These are another great, Australian made, single protein treat for pets with allergies. They contain 100% fish with no other ingredients; no preservatives, colours or flavours. They come in a convenient bite sized treat or are easily broken into smaller pieces for puppies. Also available as Kangaroo Nibbles or Chicken Nibbles if you are looking to offer your dog flavour variety.

What our customers say: "I use these in my dog's puzzles because they're not messy, they're crunchy and they're not full of junk- just fish, which is remarkable. She loves them. I mix up the chicken, fish and roo flavours for variety and they are all terrific and much enjoyed." - Chrissy

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Best for Supporting Charity: SavourLife Chicken Training Treats

Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Australian made and sourced
  • Added vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids
  • Donate 50% of profits to animal rescues

Cons

  • More expensive treats
  • Contains natural flavours and colours
  • Higher fat content (12%)

SavourLife is a great Australian company that uses high quality, Australian ingredients. They donate 50% of their profits to rescue groups to help save and rehome pets in need. They aim to make treats that are great tasting and healthy to offer with a limited salt content and only natural colours and flavours, nothing artificial. The treats are bite sized cubes for convenience, although some owners have found them may need to be cut into smaller pieces for smaller dogs. SavourLife Training treats are also available as Kangaroo, Milky Treats, Salmon and Puppy Chicken Treats.

What our customers say: "These are perfect for training and/or talking on walks. My boy loves them and I feel good knowing they're pretty healthy too. Great value and quality." - F

Shop SavourLife Training Treats Chicken

What to look for when choosing a dog training treat?

Tasty Ingredients

A treat is intended to be a reward and something that your dog wants to work for. Look for treats with a real meat protein source as the main ingredient and the other ingredients should be from natural sources. These treats are often more palatable and have an enticing smell that makes them highly engaging for your dog. Your dog's favourite treat is probably going to be the one that smells the strongest!

Nutritional Value

We all know that treats are a common contributor to weight gain in our dogs. So when looking for treats, you want to know you are offering something that is not only tasty, but is also healthy and wholesome. Look for low fat treats using natural ingredients with fewer artificial colours and flavours to ensure your dog is getting something that isn't going to pack on the pounds or make their tummy upset. Some treats may also contain added ingredients to support overall health, such as vitamins and minerals or omega fatty acids.

Flavour Variety

We all know that eating the same food all the time can get boring. The same principle applies for your dog. If they always receive the same treat, that treat will lose its value. Look for treats that come in a variety of flavours, mix and match treat options and rotate through different options. Chances are, your dog will prefer the treats that are the smelliest!

Bite Sized Pieces

Training treats are intended to be a quick and convenient reward. Treats that are hard to chew or take a long time to eat will slow down the progress of your training. Look for treats that come in convenient bite sized pieces or can be easily broken/cut into mouth sized pieces. This will keep your rewarding prompt and keep your dog wanting more. It will also keep the treat-associated calorie intake low.

Further Reading

What Are The Best Puppy Treats?

What Are The Best Dog Treats?

Homemade Dog Treats

Pet Treats: Friend or Foe?