Puppy Training, What Treats Should You Give Puppies?

Would you like to get a puppy or did you recently move in with a new dog? Then you will have a great responsibility towards your animal in the future. However, this not only refers to sufficient exercise, daily walks, and the right food but also includes good and careful training so that your dog obeys your every word. Depending on the breed of dog, however, training is not an easy task and should be carried out regardless of the size and breed of your dog.

If your own dog has not been trained, there will always be situations that make a life together more difficult. For example, it is essential to get the dog housebroken and to show him that business is to be done outside. In addition, the dog should walk well on a leash, behave normally and peacefully towards other people, such as joggers, cyclists, or walkers with dogs, and sitting and sitting down are also part of typical dog training.

All beginnings are difficult and why would a puppy do things without getting anything in return? Rewards in the form of small treats support puppy training. But which treats are suitable for puppies and what should you as a puppy owner pay attention to? You will find out all of this in this article.

When are treats useful for puppies?

A treat can basically be given from the start. However, it is important not to start directly with juicy pig ears or bones. The simple reason for this is that these foods are too greasy and can quickly lead to severe diarrhea and abdominal pain in the dog. So it’s important to start with treats that are easy to digest. This can be gradually increased because there are special treats at a later point in time, which are important for dental health and jaw muscles, for example. However, these are not suitable for puppy training itself.

The timing is important

In order for floppy ears and co. to be able to classify the reward received correctly, it is important to give it at the right time. This point in time is in direct connection for their great heroic deed. The gift of the treat takes place before patting and stroking.

Example: Your dog should execute the command “sit”. He sits down, looks at you expectantly and you kneel down to reward him with a lot of stroking. Now here is the dog’s normal reaction to getting back up. If you only give the treat afterward, the dog will think that it was given for getting up and not for carrying out the command. So interpret the reward completely wrong.

Incorrect timing of the tasty treat can result in teaching your dog the opposite of what they originally intended. For this reason, it is important to give the treat directly. In addition, it is important to make sure that you only give your pet such a snack if he has actually done what you asked him to do.

Example: You want your dog to give you “paws” and will be rewarded after the successful execution. Now, however, your dog gives you its paw completely without being asked. In this situation, it’s important not to reach for the treats, otherwise, your dog will think he’s always getting a reward for giving his paw, whether you gave it as a command or not. These would now be the first steps to begging.

Small treats are enough

As soon as the treats are only intended for puppy education and dog training, it is sufficient to reach for small treats. These have the advantage that they can also be given in the middle of training, such as when training for “beifuss”. Here the dog does not have to stop to eat in peace. Of course, if you don’t want to buy small treats, you also have the option of breaking through larger products. However, the small treats have the same effect as the larger snacks for in between.

What should be considered when buying puppy treats?

The market for dog food, including dog treats, is full of many different products from various manufacturer brands. For this reason, it is not always easy to get an overview and decide on one of the many products. They differ not only in size, taste, and appearance, but also in composition. And this is exactly what should be considered, because the ingredients are probably the most important property of treats for puppies.

Size of the snacks

The size is very important for puppy treats and should always be adapted to your dog. This is the only way to ensure that your new family member does not choke or take too long to shred his reward. This would interrupt and disrupt puppy training too often.

No sugar

Sugar is just as harmful to animals as it is to humans. Sugar not only makes you fat, but is also bad for your teeth. It can be observed that dogs that get too much sugary food often have problems with caries, which of course has to be treated by the vet. Luckily, there are treats for puppies that are made without sugar and still taste great.


Dyes are often used to make the different treats more visually attractive. However, the puppy doesn’t care what its treat looks like, so these dyes were added exclusively for the human eye. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case, so you should also make sure that the treat for your puppy is without dyes.


Spices are also not uncommon in treats for puppies. However, sausage sticks or similar are often over-seasoned, so they should never be used as a permanent solution, but may only be given as an exception. Treats that are too spicy can cause skin problems and itching in dogs.


Of course, treats have to taste good and in puppy training, they have to make the dog more willing to learn and better implement the commands we show them. The rewards in the form of a treat are therefore essential. For this reason, it is advisable to choose a product that not only tastes good but is also healthy and rich in vitamins. The market also offers a good and large selection of treats in different flavors.

Meat portion

Dogs are carnivores. For this reason, it is advisable to make sure that the meat content is not too low when choosing the treats.

  • no sugar;
  • no dyes;
  • not too many spices;
  • rich in vitamins;
  • not too big;
  • healthy;
  • high meat content.

Should only treats be given?

During dog training, the little ones have to learn many different things every day. This starts with being house-trained, sitting, lying down, or walking well on a leash. “Sit”, “Down”, “Stay”, “Come”, “No”, and “Off” are the most common commands that every dog ​​should know.

Since you, as a dog owner, have to practice these things with your puppy several times a day, many people use the animals’ puppy food as dog treats. Not without reason. Because just like with us humans, too frequent snacking can also lead to dogs becoming fat or getting bad teeth. Therefore, many experts advise not only giving treats but also cutting off some of the daily rations of food and using it as a reward when training puppies, so that the dog can continue to be rewarded with good obedience without a guilty conscience.

Make treats yourself

Of course, there is not only the option of buying treats in a shop or ordering dog treats online, but also making dog treats yourself is becoming increasingly popular. Not without reason. If you prepare your dog snacks yourself, you can always be sure that only high-quality ingredients have been used. In addition, the preparation is simple, quick, and uncomplicated. The price is also not to be scoffed at and the variety of recipes that can now be found on the Internet guarantees that there is the right one for every dog. In addition, by preparing them yourself, they can be ideally adapted to the preferences and needs of the dogs, which also applies to the size of the individual snacks.


The reward with tasty treats is inevitable when training puppies. It is therefore important that you use quality products here as well and only give your pet the best so that your pet does not have to fear any disadvantages from treats. Whether it’s bought bags or homemade dog biscuits, normal puppy food as a reward, or even some fried meat, with the right rewards and consistent guidance on your part, nothing stands in the way of good education of your puppy and many great years together.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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