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  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Tail-Waggingly Good! Top 5 Treats to Make Puppy Training a Breeze

Updated: 5 days ago

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Dogs are incredibly food orientated which can be extremely helpful when training your new puppy. Simply introduce some tasty puppy treats as a reward for training and it can really work wonders for grabbing their attention.


However, it is all too easy to cross the line into an unbalanced diet by feeding unhealthy, high fat treats whilst you're training.


A girl and puppy using puppy training treats

The dog food market is flooded with unhealthy dog treats which will be akin to feeding your puppy a massive plate of fish and chips everyday.


So how do you know you're buying healthy, good quality puppy training treats ?

FEBRUARY 2024 : UPDATE After a new round of testing, we've added Pets Purest dog treats as our top pick for 100% meat treats

Best puppy training treats list

TABLE OF CONTENTS

How We Selected & Tested Puppy Treats


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Buying Guide for Treats for Puppy Training


The type of treat you choose can make a big difference in how successful your training sessions are. Firstly for any treats to work, they need to be considered 'high-value' by your puppy.


This doesn't mean expensive on your pocket, simply worthy of keeping their attention when faced with inevitable distractions.


At the same time, you need to be able to easily manage their calorie intake and ensure that they are getting the healthiest treats possible.

Bulldog puppies

Let's face it, if you look at the ingredients on the treat packaging and you see a long list of ingredients, many of which you struggle to pronounce, they will have questionable nutritional value.


With so many options available, it can be hard to know which treats are best for puppy training.


At Smart Bark we're always on the hunt for the best of the best so we continually purchase, test and review dog treat ranges all made right here in the UK.

Our Buying Guide will provide you with an overview of your options and help you decide which puppy training treat features are most important to you. So, take a break, relax and read through our guide knowing that we always have your best interests at heart.


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Features to Consider


Ingredients

With a young puppy you may not be aware of any allergies. Choose a puppy treat that's free from common allergens to avoid any nasty reactions or stomach upsets.


Size

Whilst training, you want your puppy to be completely focussed on you and not the treat. The treats need to be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand so you can hide them.


Smell

The smellier the better ! Dogs are scent driven so those stinky treats unfortunately usually work really well. However if you really don't like the strong meaty smells, we've noted which treats are less smelly.


Texture

Soft puppy training treats are the best option for your pup because they are designed for your pups mouth. If you opt for crunchy treats, keep them small and snap them into smaller pieces where possible.


Price

Smart Bark can offer discount codes for nearly all the brands featured, or if you prefer, take advantage of Amazon Subscribe and Save for up to 15% off when you schedule repeat deliveries.


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The Best Puppy Treats for Training



1. Best Puppy Treat Overall

Forthglade

Forthglade range of dog treats

Forthglade's range of Soft Bite treats are softer semi-moist training treats offering a change to the usual crunchy biscuit. Recently awarded 'Highly Commended' in the Best Treat category 2024 by readers of Your Dog magazine, we're clearly not the only ones to rate their dog treat range.


Easy to swallow they make the perfect treat for puppy training sessions as you can deliver the reward quickly to encourage repetition of a new behaviour.


The soft bite range has more traditional flavours like Turkey, Lamb and Salmon alongside two recipes Forthglade have developed in alliance with the National Trust.


Ultimately, if you're not keen on the big meaty aromas some dog treats have, then the Forthglade Soft Bite range of treats will make a welcome change.

Forthglade multifunctional soft dog and puppy treats

It doesn't end there, with the ever-expanding range now includes multifunctional recipes -

⭐️ Digestive Health with Parsley, Ginger & Chicory

⭐️ Joints & Bones with Salmon oil

⭐️ Rewards with Honey & Banana

⭐️ Calming with turkey, camomile, lavender & lemon balm

⭐️ Rewards with chicken & liver

⭐️ Fresh breath with peppermint & parsley


Crucially, these star and leaf shapes treats were slightly smaller than the rest of the heart-shaped range and had a central groove making them super easy to snap in half.


We love this option of a smaller sized treat when you want multiple treats to develop response behaviours or a larger, whole reward - 'just because'!


It's worth noting that in testing, they were soft enough to break into two pieces easily but didn't leave loads of crumbs in our pockets. If you're interested, there were 45 star shaped treats and 38 leaf-shaped treats in a pack.


If you simply can't decide, Forthglade offer a treat multipack so you can try one bag of each variety.

Forthglade meaty treat range for dogs

Lastly it's worth mentioning the brand NEW Meaty Treat range. Developed as a high protein option, this range of 3 new treats includes some small Meaty Nibbles which we think are the perfect size for puppy training. You can pop loads in your hand !


Also in the range are the larger heart-shaped Fishy Bites and Meaty Bites. Super soft, moist, smelly and with 75% chicken or salmon, your dog will simple adore them.


BUYING OPTIONS


For 15% OFF

enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout

Forthglade best puppy treats


2. Best Probiotic Treats

Pooch & Mutt


The second treats to feature in our review are from Pooch & Mutt, a British, award-winning dog food company. Their range boasts all natural ingredients, lean meat, fresh vegetables and are packed with vitamins and minerals.

Pooch & Mutt meaty treats 3 recipes and packaging

For this review we tested their Calming, Skin & Coat and Dental Probiotic Meaty Treat Range.


Not simply yummy treats, we loved that all three recipes are formulated with probiotics targeting important areas of canine health.


Perfect for puppies with sensitive tummies, they're formulated with no added artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, gluten, beef, soy, dairy and non-GM produce.


Pooch & Mutt treats are packaged in resealable pouches. Everyone found them really easy to seal, store and keep fresh. This is important because they are quite smelly. Great for enticing your dog but not so nice left open in the cupboard !


Our tester Hudley loved these bite-sized treats as rewards (spoiler alert, he loved them all).


Whilst still on the soft side, they were firmer than the Forthglade range and our testers commented that they didn't crumble in the bag or pocket. If you can't decide which one to buy, they are available in a three bag variety pack.


As well as being great value, by varying the treats on offer you can help keep your puppy focussed, so the assortment works on several levels.


Anything else I should know ?

Pooch & Mutt Meaty Dog Treats Variety Pack

If you're looking to save money, consider buying your dog treats direct from Pooch & Mutt.

Their new and improved Pooch Rewards programme means that you earn points in lots of different ways.


You can then redeem them for money off future orders, free treats or charitable donations.


If you sign up for a subscription, you can earn 5 times more points.


So it's Win Win !


BUYING OPTIONS


Save 20% OFF Pooch & Mutt

Enter SMARTBARK20 at checkout


Elevate your puppy's style game with our stunning collection of must-have puppy essentials. From chic car seats to fashionable harnesses, make heads turn with something from our collection

Pooch & Mutt Puppy Treats

3. Best 100% Meat Treats

Pets Purest


In addition to their award winning range of supplements, Pets Purest offer a wide range of dog training treats.


We love their Chicken Bites and Chicken Sausages as they are 100% meat with no additions so they're perfect for puppies suffering with allergies and sensitive tummies.


Pets Purest Chicken Sausages and Chicken Bites for Puppy Training

Chicken is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, phosphorous and selenium which is great for the immune system as well as being a lower calorie energy source than many other proteins.


In testing we liked the flexibility the Chicken Sausages offered. You could grab a few before a walk and break them into smaller pieces as needed for recall or offer them whole as a special treat when you are competing with a major distraction - squirrel, deer or the dreaded fox poo!


On the other hand, our reviewers found the bitesized Chicken Bites the perfect size for rewarding whilst training. These little gems are particularly small so you can fit lots in the palm of your hand to avoid unnecessary distractions during training sessions.


Pets Purest Chicken Bites puppy treats

Pets Purest recommend them for puppies over 8 weeks old, so they're perfect for helping with toilet training and recall.


Our testers, loved both these treats, they're highly palatable and really packed a punch.


There are lots of other options in the Pets Purest range including some novel proteins :-

⭐️ Turkey

⭐️ Duck & Venison

⭐️ Pork & Beef

⭐️ Pheasant

⭐️ Fish

⭐️ NEW Pork & Apple


That's about it, save for the fact that Pets Purest offer a selection of money-saving variety bundles (3 x 200g bags) so you can benefit from several proteins at a great price.


BUYING OPTIONS


You might also be interested in..... During testing, we've found that Pets Purest Bites are the perfect size for treat dispensing puzzle toys such as Kong Gyro, Bob-A-Lot and Snuffle Mats.

If you're looking for a puzzle toy for your eager pup, we review these and other dog toys in Best Dog Puzzle Toys and categorise them into difficulty levels from entry-level to Einstein.

Pets Purest dog treats

4. Best Soft Training Treats

Scrumbles


The forth puppy treats to feature in our review are Scrumbles Softies Dog Training Treats.

Scrumbles softies puppy training treats

Baked in the UK using only natural, responsibly sourced ingredients these treats have been specifically created with puppies in mind.


We loved that they're baked to give a softer treat for young mouths which is ideal for puppies as young as 12 weeks.


Hudley adored the Scrumbles Softies and their range includes several varieties from plant based to chicken or salmon & sweet potato.


Another big tick for Scrumbles is the eco-friendly packaging. Thoughtfully designed to be completely compostable (whilst your puppy won't care, you probably do).


With Freddie's training, I found I could hide quite a few in the palm of my hand.

Scrumbles Softies dog treats and a cockapoo

Being soft, they were very quickly digested so there was no potential choking as we moved quickly from one training command to another.


The only downside would be their lack of smell. Whilst us humans love a treat that doesn't smell too meaty, for most puppies the smell will help entice them and keep their focus.


Their Softies range includes :-

⭐️ Vegetarian Training Treats

⭐️ Chicken & Duck Training Treats

⭐️ Salmon & Sweet Potato Training Treats


If you're interested, Scrumbles also stock a crunchier range of Nibbles Calming Treats with Lemon Balm & Camomile along with Gnashers Mini Dental Bones and their new Chicken or Salmon Chonks.


BUYING OPTIONS

Scrumbles are offering first time customers from Smart Bark 15% off.

Simply use the code SCRUMBLESBARK at checkout

Scrumbles soft puppy training treats


5. Best Low Calorie Treats

Barker & Barker


Barker & Barker offer an extensive range of healthy dog training treats in different sizes to suit different breeds of dogs. A family run business based in Devon they've been making dog treats since 1976.

Barker & Barker Training Treats

If you're looking for a low calorie dog treat then these are perfect. At only 0.3Kcal per treat, they are ideal for repeat puppy training and needn’t be either a guilt trip or a rare occurrence.


Being small and low fat/ low calorie you won't have to worry about adjusting your pups food intake.


Their miniature sized puppy treats are available in a range of 6 flavours.


Barker & Barker offer a variety pack of all 6 flavours if you simply can't decide which to buy.


You also have a choice of pots with 330 treats or a money-saving bumper resealable bag of 925 treats ( liver flavour are also available in extra large packs of 1250 or 2500).


The small pots are ideal to try before purchasing more. We love these pots as it's easy to grab a few for a training session and snap the lid shut. We refill our handy pot from the resealable bag.


Suitable for puppies from 8 weeks old.


BUYING OPTIONS

You may be interested in out review of the Best Puppy Chew Toys to help stop biting and nibbling

Testing puppy treats

Our Verdict


If you are searching for healthy and natural treats to use whilst puppy training, then all five treats featured in this article are great options. None of them add any nasties so you can be sure you are giving your puppy a healthy start in life.


Importantly for training, they are all small enough to fit in your hand so are less likely to cause unnecessary distractions whilst you and your four-legged friend concentrate on training.


If you prefer a soft puppy training treat then Forthglade's Soft Bites are a great pick or if you prefer a crunchier treat then we recommend the Pooch & Mutt Meaty Treats .


For intense, repeat training sessions maybe at a puppy training class, we'd recommend the 100% meat range from Pets Purest. Small, so easy to hold lots at a time, they won't break the bank and they come in an assortment of flavours.


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How We Selected & Tested Puppy Treats


We scoured the market to find the Top 5 treats for training which would help keep your puppy healthy whilst allowing you to focus on edible reward-based training.


We shortlisted a range of treats which delivered on our 5 perfect puppy treat essentials :-


✅ Healthy and natural without any added nasties

✅ Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand so as not to cause a distraction

✅ Designed with your puppy's mouth in mind - small or easy to break up

✅ Free from common allergens - as you may not be aware of any possible allergies

✅ Made in the UK to keep that all important carbon paw print low.


A selection of five puppy training treats reviewed

Based on our criteria, we've tested a selection of treats from 20 companies since 2021. If we find new ranges that make the cut, we simply add them to our review.


Freddie our Cockapoo put the treats through their paces with some advanced recall, fetch along with sit and stay training. We assess two aspects of the puppy training treats -

✅ Treat Size - could the treats be easily concealed in my hand ?

✅ Reward Value - were the treats regarded as a high-value reward ?

A German short haired pointer dog in the garden

Now all we needed was a willing puppy to test the treats alongside Freddie.


Meet Hudley, the super handsome German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. Still too young for his vaccinations so can't venture out on dog walks outside his garden.


At this early stage his family were working hard on toilet training him.


As toilet training is the first routine most puppies learn, this was an ideal opportunity to put these puppy training treats through their paces.



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You could make your own dog treats. They’re simple to make, healthy and delicious - Easy Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits


Thank you for dropping by and reading our article on the Top 5 Puppy Training Treats for 2024.



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