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Buying Guide: Best Dog Training Treats

A high value and low calorie treat is key to successful dog training. Click here to read MyDogLikes official list of the best dog training treats!
Written by Rachael Sando

Whether you have a puppy who is learning the basics of obedience, an adult dog participating in agility, or you just love to teach your dog party tricks; a high value treat is necessary to reinforce behavior during training sessions. While human food like cheese, deli-meat, or hot dogs can be used, the following products are our favorites because of their convenience, cleanliness, and high quality ingredients:  

The Best Dog Training Treats

Zukes Mini Naturals 

The small size of Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Treats make them perfect for dog training

Zukes Mini Naturals are small cylindrical shaped treats specifically designed to be used as a reward during training. They come in several varieties which include: Duck, Pork, Wild Rabbit, Salmon, Peanut Butter and Roasted Chicken. All Mini-Naturals are Soy, Corn, and Wheat free and made with only with the most wholesome ingredients; perfect for dogs with allergies! Zukes Mini Naturals also contain antioxidants such as cherries, rosemary, and tumeric! At only 2.7-3.5 calories a piece, they are perfect for the repeated treating needed for training sessions. See our full review, here.

Click here to grab these treats on Amazon

Merrick Power Bites

Merrick Power Bites have become one of our favorite treats for dog training classes. These small, low calorie treats are perfect for repeated reinforcement.

Merrick Power Bites are soft and chewy, all-natural, protein packed treats. These small star-shaped treats come in lots of different varieties which include: Chicken, Pork, Salmon, Texas Beef, and Turducken. Grain free and gluten-free, Power Bites start with real deboned meat as the first ingredient and contain fresh fruits and vegetables. We have tried many Merrick treats and love the quality and care that go into each and every one. One of the things that we love the most about these treats is the star shape, which prevents them from rolling away when tossed or placed on a flat surface! This was one of our favorite features since we often need to toss treats to Charlie in class when working on skills like “place” or when setting treats on a target! 

Click here to purchase from Amazon

Primal Chicken Nibs

Primal Jerky Chicken Nibs

The Primal Pet Foods treat line was created for dogs and cats with the goal of providing wholesome, human-grade snacks containing no preservatives, gluten or grain. Primal Chicken Jerky Nibs are produced using USDA meats, poultry and game raised in the United States and New Zealand without antibiotics or added hormones. Although, they don’t come in only one protein source, these treats contain only a few organic ingredients: chicken, honey, and sea salt! These treats are not as soft as the other training treats we have highlighted but have a strong scent and are easily consumed on the go. We found these treats to be especially high value, when working with Charlie on releasing his prized possession, his Frisbee. The irregular shape of these treats prevents some rolling, though not as much as the star-shaped Power Bites. See our full review, here

Click here to pick up on Amazon

Dr. Harvey’s Power Pops

Freeze Dried Dog Treats from Dr. Harvey's

Power Pops are a freeze dried dog treat consisting of 100% green tripe. This immediately caught our attention since we LOVE single ingredient dog treats around here! Tripe is packed with probiotics (healthy bacteria) which work to improve the bacterial composition of your dogs gut. This can help to improve a wide variety of digestive issues such as gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

Power pops are small, lightweight and have just the right amount of scent to entice a working dog!

Save 10% on Power Pops with code MDL317

Why MyDogLikes Dog Training Treats 

Zuke's Mini Naturals training treats for dogs are key to our obedience success

Training treats are a great way to reinforce appropriate and desired behavior in your dog. Each of these training treats provide a high value reward that makes your dog really work for it without packing the pounds on! While human foods also are a high reward treat, we like these treats because they are soft and have a strong smell, but don’t leave an offensive odor or “juice” on our treat bag. Most importantly each of these treats can be purchased last minute on the way to class for a busy dog-Mom or Dad! 

Zukes Mini Naturals Merrick Power Bites Primal Chicken Jerky Nibs
 Ingredients Grain, Gluten, Soy, Corn, Wheat Free, USA Made Grain, Gluten, Soy, Corn, Wheat Free, USA Made Grain, Gluten, Soy, Corn, Wheat Free, USA Made, 99% Organic Ingredients (Chicken, Honey, Sea Salt)
Shape/Roll Round, Roll Easily Star Shaped, Stay Put Irregularly Shaped, Roll Less
Varieties Duck, Pork, Wild Rabbit, Salmon, Peanut Butter & Roasted Chicken Chicken, Pork, Salmon, Texas Beef, & Turducken Chicken
Calories 2.7-3 Calories Each 5 Calories Each 170 Calories per oz, 6 oz/bag


Any that we missed?

What are your favorite training treats for dogs?

About the author

Rachael Sando

Rachael is a School Psychologist with degrees from the University of Rochester and RIT. Though a lifelong dog lover, this passion has taken on a new direction through the utilization of therapy animals in her day job. Charlie, our Golden Retriever, works with Rachael as a school therapy dog in a local primary school where he brings comfort and support to students and staff on a daily basis.


    • We have yet to try Isle of Dogs treats, but we sure do love the Shampoo and Conditioning products!!! We look forward to trying them and updating our buying guide!

  • We use the Zukes and Merrick ones for stuff around the house all the time. We use Primal freeze dried high value treats sometimes for nose work or tracking. Good suggestions!

  • Training treats are vitals, especially when training youngsters, as I am Ethel. Feed, feed feed for good behaviour.

  • We love the Zuke’s and Merrick treats as well for training. We definitely need to try those Primal nibs…they look great! We use the Primal freeze dried treats, and some other freeze dried ones (Stewart’s, I think, they break apart easier) but they are a little bigger so we usually mix them in with the smaller ones. They are definitely a favorite though.

  • Mmm. Our FiveSibes love their nommms! Will check these out – especially since they are wheat gluten free! Thanks for the review!

  • We are just in the process of getting all the stuff for our golden puppy that we get to pick up August 4th! We just got to see the puppies on Thursday! We just wrote a whole post about it if you want to check them out: We just got the Blue Buffalo training treats, have you heard/tried them? I’m going to be getting some stuff from Amazon soon though and will definitely check out these options!

    Can’t wait to follow your blog for tips with my soon-to-be golden puppy! 🙂

  • We also really like the Zuke’s treats (I personally love the fact that many of them also contain turmeric!), but haven’t tried any Merrick or Primal yet ~ we will put them on our to-try list. That list is growing and growing 😉

  • My dog loves the Zuke’s treats. We haven’t tried the others, but I’m sure he’d love those too. It helps that my dog is not very picky. He will work for pretty much anything. 🙂

  • We love Zukes and Merrick treats! Great review of all 3 treats. We also love Hill’s Grain Free Treats w/ Chicken & apples. They’re just the right size for treating and my dogs love them!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  • Zukes is my training treat for Valentino now and was for my previous dog too. I will be sure to try the Merrick and Primal. Valentino enjoys whatever I give him!