High-reward treats are highly palatable and entice your dog to come to you, to follow your lead and learn. They are great for training, for off-leash park play, for emergency situations or even while grooming. The following list is based on years working at a pet store and being around dogs, testing and failing at giving treats. These are in no particular order.
- Crumps Chicken Morsels. These are freeze dried, single ingredient cubed treats made from dark meat chicken. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this they are experiencing supply chain issues and these are not available. Keep an eye out for them however, as they truly are great treats and loved by most dogs.
- Farm Fresh Pet Foods. These treats are truly one of a kind and hands down the best, most coveted treats I have come across. They are made in Calgary, Alberta. They contain no preservatives and thus should be zipped and kept in the fridge or they turn rock hard. They come in long thin sticks, much like small thin pepperoni sticks. Currently there are beef and bacon flavours. They can be easily broken into small bits, carried on walks and used as training treats. Just make sure to keep them in the fridge the rest of the time!
- Crumps Beef Tendersticks and Lamb Chops. These two types of treats are both popular. They come in bigger pieces but can easily be broken into smaller ones. They are easier on the tummy than liver treats, but just as enticing.
- Beef Liver. Liver is the main go-to for trainers and for good reason, dogs love them. Although it is a rich meat, and tummies can get upset, when needed beef liver is a great high reward treat. Some popular brands include: Benny Bully’s, Pure Bites, Crumps Beef Liver mini trainers and Nature’s Harvest cubes or wafers.
- Pets 4 Life Tripe Treats. Tripe in any format is highly palatable for dogs. Although slightly stinky, they get the job done. This brand has some great treats that come in small bites and different flavours such as Surf and Turf. They are however a higher price point.
- Granville Island Sardines. For the dogs that love fish, and not all dogs do, these dehydrated sardines are the best. There is not much to say other than these are tiny fish, eyes and tails and all. Stinky but high reward for the fish lovers.
- Snack 21 Salmon Jerky Strips. Another one for the fish lovers. Snack 21 makes great salmon and fish based treats. The strips are thin long salmon strips that can easily be broken into smaller pieces. They also make a ‘sushi roll’ that is a small, crunchier, bite size salmon meat with the skin, as well as, salmon skin rolls or for a bit of a longer chew, salmon skin rolls made into a bone shape. The only caveat for these treats: smelly smelly smelly.
A fun part of pet ownership is buying them all the treats and getting to know which they love the most. Why not buy one of each on the list and have a fun game of which they select first? Take the treats on a walk, or better yet in an off-leash area and see which one makes your dog come to you the fastest! I have my guesses, but I’ll leave it to you to experiment with your dog! Good luck and have fun.