Welcome, dog owners and aspiring trainers!
We know you’re here because you’ve seen the glint in your dog’s eye when you pull out a special treat – something a notch above their daily kibble.
Yet you might find yourself overwhelmed with the plethora of treats available, uncertain about which will help your dog flourish during training. We understand – finding the right high-value treat for your dog can feel like looking for a needle in a treat-filled haystack.
What Are High-Value Dog Treats and Why Use Them?
High-value dog treats are the canine equivalent of your favorite dessert: they’re irresistible, exciting, and a little bit special.
These treats are meant to grab your dog’s attention and motivate them even in the face of distractions, which is why they play a crucial role in training.
They aren’t your everyday kibble; these are the treats that make your dog’s tail wag just that bit harder. High-value treats come in various forms, but they all have one thing in common – dogs find them deliciously irresistible.
Used strategically, these high-value treats can give your training sessions a serious boost, helping your dog make leaps and bounds in their learning.
What to Look for When Choosing High-Value Treats?
Selecting the perfect high-value treat for your dog can be a balancing act. You want something that tickles their taste buds, but it also needs to be healthy. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Quality Ingredients. Check the label before you buy. Look for treats made with wholesome, natural ingredients. Avoid products with a long list of artificial additives or fillers.
- Nutritional Value. The best treats offer more than just good taste. They should contribute positively to your dog’s overall diet.
- Palatability. A high-value treat should be something your dog drools over. It’s the “yum factor” that makes these treats so effective during training.
- Size. Smaller treats can be consumed quickly and won’t interrupt the training flow. However, for big achievements, a larger treat might be in order.
Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. It’s always a good idea to experiment and find what your furry friend loves the most. The right high-value treat can be a game-changer in your training sessions.
Our Favorite High-Value Training Treats for Dogs
We’ve used and tested lots and lots of varieties of dog treets, and found these to be the most effective.
If your pup could talk, they’d thank you for PureBites. These single-ingredient treats are made from 100% pure, freeze-dried beef liver, offering a rich and enticing flavor that dogs can’t resist. They’re packed with protein and are free of any preservatives or additives.
Whenever I whip these out during a training session, my Sam becomes the most attentive student! Ready to see your dog’s eyes light up? Try PureBites for your next training session.
Though originally intended as a complete meal, these patties make fantastic high-value treats when broken into smaller pieces. They come in a variety of flavors, all grain-free and filled with raw, cage-free poultry or grass-fed meat, along with organic fruits and vegetables.
Charlie’s favorite is the Duck Duck Goose recipe – he’d do a backflip for it if he could! Discover Stella & Chewy’s for a treat your dog will flip for.
Previously ‘Marrow Roasts,’ these grain-free treats are not only a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, but also an excellent choice for supporting joint health. They’re crafted with real beef, packed with protein, and contain no artificial colors or flavors. Plus, their unique crunchy texture gives an extra layer of sensory enjoyment to reward time.
Charlie and Sam both perk up when they hear the rustle of this bag – they know it’s time to bring their A-game. Experience the power of Wellness CORE with your pup today.
Rocco & Roxie Jerky Dog Treats are a top-tier reward that your dogs won’t be able to resist. Made with high-quality American beef, these treats are smoked for a taste dogs find simply irresistible. They’re grain-free and free of artificial flavors and additives, making them a healthy choice even for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies.
They’re easy to break into smaller pieces for training, or can be given whole as a special reward. Check out Rocco & Roxie Dog Treats, and let your pups experience the delicious, high-quality reward they deserve.
Bonus: Grilled Chicken Cubes
Chicken is a protein-rich food that most dogs love, and it can serve as a wonderful homemade treat. Grill or boil a boneless, skinless chicken breast, then let it cool and cut it into small, bite-sized cubes. Be sure to avoid using any seasonings that could be harmful to dogs, like onions or garlic.
Here’s a summary in a table of our picked high-value treats:
|High-Value Treat Name||Key Features|
|PureBites Beef Liver Dog Treats||Single-ingredient, 100% freeze-dried beef liver, packed with protein.|
|Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties||Complete meal, grain-free, cage-free poultry or grass-fed meat.|
|Wellness CORE Healthy Joints (Previously Marrow Roasts)||Grain-free, supports joint health, real beef, no artificial colors.|
|Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky||High-quality American beef, smoked, grain-free, can be divided for training.|
|Bonus: Grilled Chicken Cubes||Protein-rich, cost-effective, healthy, easily digestible.|
These treats are a cost-effective and healthy supplement to your dog’s diet, but remember, they should not replace a complete, balanced dog food. Always consult your vet before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet and read more before you choose.
And remember: the best treat is the one your dog loves. It may take some trial and error to find your dog’s dream treat, but the reward of a well-trained, happy pup is well worth the effort.
How to Use High-Value Treats Effectively?
High-value treats are like the secret weapon in your training arsenal. But like any weapon, it’s about how you wield it that really counts. Here are some tips to help you use high-value treats effectively:
- Save them for special occasions. High-value treats should be just that – high value. They should be kept for special occasions or significant training milestones. This helps maintain their ‘special’ status in your dog’s mind.
- Portion Control. Even though they are tasty, too much of a high-value treat can spoil your pup’s appetite for regular meals or cause weight gain. A small piece is enough to get their attention and motivation.
- Use them for challenging training scenarios. If you’re venturing into a noisy park or working on a particularly tough command, that’s when you bring out the big guns – the high-value treats. They can provide that extra motivation in a distracting environment.
- Pair them with praise. Pair your high-value treat with lots of praise. The aim is to gradually reduce the dependence on treats as the sole motivator for good behavior. This isn’t something you’ll see in most blogs, but trust me, the combo of praise and treat can work wonders.
- Switch it up. Just like us, dogs can get bored of the same thing. Rotating between a few different high-value treats can keep things interesting for your dog and maintain the appeal of these treats.
Wondering how the differ from low-value treats? check our low-value treat selection guide.
Can High-Value Treats Also Be Healthy?
A common concern is that high-value treats, while great for training, might not be the healthiest option.
That’s a myth I’d like to bust right here.
High-value treats can absolutely be healthy and beneficial to your dog’s overall diet. The key lies in choosing treats made with quality ingredients and ensuring they contribute to a balanced diet.
For instance, the PureBites Beef Liver treats we mentioned earlier are made from one ingredient only – 100% pure beef liver, which is an excellent source of lean protein. Similarly, Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties are filled with raw, cage-free poultry or grass-fed meat and organic fruits and vegetables, offering a balanced nutrient profile.
Let me share a personal anecdote about my dog, Sam. He was struggling with maintaining a healthy weight, and I was worried about using high-value treats. So, I started incorporating Ziwi Peak’s air-dried dog food as a treat, given their high-quality ingredients and nutritional balance.
Sam was motivated, and his weight became stable. That was the moment I realized: high-value treats don’t have to be a guilty pleasure for your dog. They can be a nutritious part of their diet, too.
What types of treats are considered high-value for dogs?
High-value treats for dogs typically consist of foods that are unusual, extremely tasty, and not part of their regular diet. They can range from store-bought treats like freeze-dried liver or gourmet dog food to home-cooked items like small pieces of grilled chicken or cheese.
When is the best time to use high-value treats?
High-value treats are most effective during challenging training scenarios, such as learning a new command, training in a distracting environment, or rewarding a significant milestone in training progress.
Can high-value treats replace regular dog food?
High-value treats should not replace regular dog food. They should complement a balanced diet and be used primarily for training purposes, making up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
Is it possible for a dog to become dependent on high-value treats?
It’s possible for a dog to anticipate high-value treats, but dependency can be avoided by using them wisely in training sessions. This includes pairing them with praise, not using them for every minor success, and gradually reducing their frequency as the dog progresses in their training.