What you need to train your dog

Everything you need for dog training, the best treats for trianing your dog, treat pouches and more!

Ready to start training? I’m going to go over what you need to train your dog.

Your dog + Leash

Of course, you want your dog with you during training! When starting out training I often keep my dog on a leash, this helps keep the training session focused and in one area. 


Rewards are a big part of training, especially when learning new behaviors. The same way we want a paycheck for our hard work our dogs deserve reward and praise too. Studies show the more we reward good behaviors the more likely they are to occur. Do I take treats with me everywhere all the time? No, and with training, you’ll get to that point too.

the best dog treats for training

For treats, I stick with treats that don’t have added sugar, grains, or additives and are mostly meat. I like treats that are a bit stinky (helps to get and keep their attention) and either small in size or that I can break up easily. Smaller pieces lead to longer training sessions no matter the size dog.

I generally mix up the type of treats I use in a session, dogs love the variety and not knowing what is coming next.

You can find a list of my favorite go-to treat’s here.

Photo Title Price Info Buy
ZIWI Peak Good...image Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb/Beef/Venison $11.78 ($3.93 / oz)

(Or save 20% off your order directly from Ziwi with code Maggie20) Our #1 go to for training. With no added sugar, no grains, and additives it’s perfect for training. I don’t worry about giving them unhealthy items and they are working for meat/food which is fuel and helps them throughout the day. Not to mention even my pickiest dog clients (& Maggie) LOVE Ziwi.

Blue-9 Inspire Dog...image Blue-9 Pet Inspire Dog Treats

I love the size, how easy they are to break into small pieces and that there are no crumbs either. Great for training for puppies to adults.

Pupford Freeze Dried...image Freeze-Dried Training Treats from Pupford $15.99 ($4.00 / oz)

(Or get 10% off on their site with code nicole10) I absolutely love the Pupford treats, they are small and low-calorie and the dogs love them. These are a go-to in my training sessions and all the dogs love them. The size is perfect for both training and their treat balls (in our mental enrichment section). 

These are available in Chicken, Beef Liver, Rabbit and Sweet Potato.

Full Moon All...image Full Moon All Natural Human Grade Duck Training Treats For Dogs, 5 Ounce (97541) $7.49 ($1.50 / oz)

I really like this company and probably the least expensive on this list. The duck is my go to, these are soft treats so be sure to seal that bag well. It's all human-grade, farm-raised and is actually sold at target (the only good treat company there IMO).

Northwest Naturals Raw...image Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards Freeze-Dried Treats $29.99 ($3.00 / oz)

I generally stay away from freeze-dried treats for training simply because they are super messy and distracting. But gosh, dogs go CRAZY for these, especially the white fish. So if you are looking for a great item to reward when your dog does amazing I really would consider these. Also great for your mental environment games

Full Moon USDA...image Full Moon USDA Organic Chicken Training Treats Healthy All Natural Dog Treats Human Grade 175 Treats $8.49 ($1.42 / oz)

I really like this company and probably the least expensive on this list. It's all human-grade, farm-raised and is actually sold at target (the only good treat company there IMO).

ZIWI Venison Hoofer...image ZIWI Venison Hoofer - Small Deer Dog Bone – All Natural, Novel Single Protein, Air-Dried Treat for Gentle Chewers $13.02

A longer lasting chew, something for our dogs to focus and chew on from Ziwi

Full Moon Wild...image Full Moon All Natural Wild Jerky

I love these Bison treats because it's a rare protein most dogs do really well on it, I haven't seen a dog not excited to eat these and they are easy to rip tiny smaller pieces for training.

Best Bully Sticks...image Best Bully Sticks Odor-Free Bully Sticks $54.99 ($2.75 / Count)

Need to keep your pup busy and occupied? They will love these and you'll love they are odor free. Be careful some companies make theirs in China, this is the brand we use.

ZIWI Dog Chews...image ZIWI Dog Chews Treats – All Natural, Air-Dried, Single Protein, Grain-free, High-Value Treat, Snack, Reward (Beef Weasand) 2.5 Ounce (Pack of 1) $15.00 ($6.00 / oz)

Delicious and healthy chews! These are great for a quick snack that help with oral health too.

Blue-9 Inspire Dog...image Blue-9 Dog Training Treat Pouch

This is my go to treat bag of the many I own. It has a zipper on the back to put my key or cards, the front pocket fits my phone and a quick closure to the treat section so no treats are spilled during our adventures.

My favorite dog treat bags

This seems silly, but after putting treats in my pockets, fanny packs, traveling the world with The Pack using treats everywhere, and more I can say a good treat bag is worth it’s weight in gold! 

My go-to is by blue-9 pet products and has a pocket big enough to fit my phone (to capture those cute moments), a nice size compartment for treats, a zipper pocket for a key, business cards, etc, and is slim fitting to not get in my way. You’ll find it linked above with the treats too.

My next favorite is by Doggone Good that makes a variety of training bags to fit whatever size and lifestyle your needs require.

Training Platform

While a training platform isn’t required, it can set you up for a bit more success. When starting a new dog out for training I almost always have them start on a training platform, I use the Klimb. The idea is that when an animal is on a higher level, they think a bit more before moving around – which gives you a head start on their attention during training.

If you don’t have a platform an ottoman or on your sofa works great too. A platform just gives a bit more versatility such as making a slow feeder, a wobbly surface, a table to crawl under, and much more.

You’ll see me discuss this a bunch in my training videos, so you don’t need to rush on it now. 

Now, it’s time to start training! Starting with… how long and where to train.

Looking for….

  1. Puppy training
  2. Trick training
  3. Basic training

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