What Treats Do Dog Trainers Use for Positive Reinforcement?

Dog training with positive reinforcement is a common and effective practice for many trainers. In order to give their pup the best chance of success, it’s important to use the right treats as a reward. Treats such as kibble, hot dogs, and cheese are all popular choices for positive reinforcement, but it’s important to also consider size, cost, and nutritional profile when making a decision. Use this guide to help you pick the perfect treats for your pup and get them well on their way to being a well-behaved pup.

Benefits of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage your pup during training since it promotes good behavior while making it fun and rewarding for them. When they do something correctly, they will get rewarded with a treat, making sure to get their attention, increase motivation and improve their level of engagement. This can help reduce stress and promote positive emotional responses that can be beneficial in the long run.

When using treats for positive reinforcement, make sure it’s something your pup loves; something that will make their mouth water. You can opt for kibble, hot dogs, cheese, or even a combination of these.

It is important to keep the size of the treat in mind as well as the cost. You also want to be mindful of its nutritional profile, as too many treats can lead to health problems.

Common Treats Used for Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to using positive reinforcement to train your dog, treats are a great way to reward your pup and encourage them to learn. Common treats used for positive reinforcement include kibble, hot dogs, and cheese. When choosing the right treat for your pup, it’s important to consider the size, cost, and nutritional profile of the treat.

Kibble is a great and affordable option for positive reinforcement.

It is small enough for a pup to easily consume, lightweight, and can be found at most pet stores. Hot dogs are another popular treat for positive reinforcement as they can be cut into small pieces and are easy for a pup to eat. Cheese is also a great option and many dogs love the taste.

Cheese can be high in fat, so it should be given in moderation. When choosing treats for positive reinforcement, it’s important to ensure that the treats are the right size and are affordable.

Consider the nutritional profile of the treat as some treats can be high in fat. With the right treats, you can reward your pup for good behavior and help them stay focused during training.


Kibble is a great choice for positive reinforcement when training your dog. It’s small, affordable and a healthy option for your pup.

When choosing the type of kibble for your pup, consider its size, the ingredients it contains and the cost. Smaller pieces of kibble are usually better for smaller breeds, since larger pieces can be too filling. If you have a picky eater, try to find a kibble that has a variety of flavors and textures.

Consider the ingredients and make sure they are high-quality, natural ingredients.

Make sure you choose a kibble that fits your budget. Kibble is a great choice for positive reinforcement. Not only is it small and affordable, but it’s also a healthy treat for your pup.

Make sure to consider the size, ingredients, and cost when choosing the type of kibble that best fits your pup. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect kibble for your pup and your wallet.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are an excellent choice for positive reinforcement treats. They are easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and dogs love the taste. It is important to remember to only give a small piece of hot dog at a time, as they are high in fat and can cause weight gain when over-consumed.

Some hot dogs contain added flavors, spices, and preservatives that can cause allergies in dogs, so make sure to read labels carefully. Hot dogs can be a great treat for positive reinforcement, as long as you know what to look for and use them in moderation.


Cheese is a popular and delicious treat for dogs and makes a great reward for positive reinforcement. It’s important to consider the size of the cheese you provide and the cost.

Small cubes are best as they are easy to eat and don’t provide too many extra calories. If you’re on a budget, opt for cheaper cheeses like cheddar, as they can still be a tasty and rewarding treat for your pup. It’s important to look at the nutritional profile of the cheese you’re using; some cheeses can be high in fat, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients, so be sure to choose a healthy option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Treats for Positive Reinforcement

When selecting treats for positive reinforcement, there are several factors to consider in order to ensure your pup gets the best rewards possible. Cost, and nutritional profile should all be taken into account. When it comes to size, you want to make sure the treat is small enough for your pup to quickly eat and enjoy.

If a treat is too large, it can become a distraction for your pup, and they will end up focusing more on the treat than the task at hand.

You don’t want the treat to be too small either, as it won’t be as rewarding for your pup. Cost is also an important factor when it comes to choosing the right rewards for your pup.

You want to make sure you’re not spending too much money on treats, as this can add up quickly and could be better spent elsewhere. Look for treats that are not too expensive, but still provide the nutritional benefits your pup needs.

You want to make sure that the treats you select are nutritionally beneficial for your pup. Look for treats that are high in protein and fiber, as these are the nutrients that will help keep your pup full and satisfied. Avoid treats that are high in sugar and fat as they won’t provide any beneficial nutrients. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can be sure that you’re selecting the right treats to reward your pup and provide positive reinforcement.


When it comes to treats for positive reinforcement, size matters. Too big, and the dog won’t be able to finish it in one bite, too small and it won’t have much impact.

Finding the right size is key – it should be small enough that the dog can finish it quickly, but large enough to make an impact. If your pup isn’t finishing the treats, then you know it’s time to try something bigger.

If your fuzzy friend is gobbling up each treat in a single bite, then you may want to try something a little smaller. It’s also important to make sure the treats you’re using fit the situation. For instance, if you’re using treats for a long training session, you’ll want to use something with a higher calorie content so the pup will still have enough energy to focus. But if your aim is to use treats to reward good behavior out and about, you’ll want something smaller and less caloric that won’t fill up your pup too fast.


When it comes to the cost of treating your pup during training sessions, try to find a balance between what is affordable and what will be the most effective. If cost is a major factor, opt for smaller treats that are calorie-dense. You will still get good results with tiny treats, but it’s important to adjust the amount that you give your pup to make sure the calorie intake is not too high. Look for treats that are made with quality ingredients for a better nutritional profile.

Nutritional Profile

When selecting treats for positive reinforcement, it’s important to consider the nutritional profile of the treats. Processed treats may contain high levels of sugar, fat, and other additives that can be unhealthy for your dog. Look for treats that are made from natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains.

These treats are usually lower in calories and preservatives, and can provide your pup with the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Look for treats that are low in sodium, as this can be unhealthy in large amounts.

Another factor to consider is the size of the treats.

Smaller treats can be easier to give and can be more rewarding for your pup, as they can receive multiple treats at once. Larger treats can be good for older pups or dogs with dental issues as they can be easier to chew. You can also break larger treats down into smaller pieces to make them easier to give.

You should also consider the cost of the treats. You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive treats, but it’s important to make sure you’re choosing quality products that are made with natural ingredients and are free of unhealthy additives. Doing a little research to find the best treats for your pup can be worth it in the long run.

Megan Turner
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