9 Best Treats For Golden Retriever Puppies + Tips

Looking for the best treats for your Golden Retriever puppy? We’ve compiled this curated list of our 9 favorite treats, plus our favorite treat pouches, as well as what makes a treat great (plus what to avoid.

What Makes a Perfect Puppy Training Treat?

As a pet owner, you want to provide the best for your pet, including the best training treats. 

  • The ideal training treat is tasty, appealing, high in protein, and low in calories. 
  • The texture is also important because you want a treat that is easy to chew but firm enough to hold without falling apart. 
  • The size of the treat is also essential, as it should be small enough to be eaten quickly without interfering with the training session. 
  • Finally, select a training treat made from high-quality, natural ingredients free of fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives. 

So spoil your pet with some tasty and healthy training treats! 

By choosing the right training treat, you can assist your pet in learning new behaviors, reinforcing good habits, and strengthening your bond with your pet.

Best Treats For Golden Retrievers

Vital Essentials Mini Nibs

These freeze-dried treats come in various proteins and are ideal for training. They are made with high-quality ingredients and can provide your dog with a complete diet.

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Treats

These air-dried treats are available in small bite sizes that are ideal for training. They have a short ingredient list and are designed as a complete dog diet, making them healthy and tasty.

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Treats

These jerky-style treats can be fed as a complete diet and are great for breaking into smaller bits. They are available in three different flavors and are high in nutrition.

PureBites Mini Trainers

These freeze-dried treats contain just one ingredient: beef liver. Because they come in small cubes, they are healthy and ideal for training.

Wild Meadow Farms Minis

These soft treats are made with high-quality ingredients and come in various flavors. They are ideal for training and are simple to consume.

Farm Hounds Treats

These treats are made from human-grade ingredients and are available in various flavors. Because they are air-dried, they are both healthy and delicious.

Lamb Crunchys

These crunchy treats are made with lamb and are free of preservatives and artificial ingredients. They are ideal for dogs who have food sensitivities.

Zuke’s Puppy Naturals

These soft treats are made with high-quality ingredients and come in various flavors. They are ideal for training and are simple to consume.

Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews

Made from wild-caught fish, these chews are a healthier alternative to traditional rawhide chews. Although the smell may be unpleasant to our senses, your dog will appreciate this tasty treat.

Ultimately, the best treats for your Golden Retriever will be determined by their tastes and needs. Choose a treat with high-quality ingredients appropriate for your dog’s size and age.

What Treats Should I Avoid Giving My Golden?

While many healthy and tasty dog treat options exist, some should be avoided. Here are some treats you should not give your golden retriever:

  1. Rawhide treats can be difficult for dogs to digest and pose a choking hazard if not properly chewed.
  2. Treats high in fat and calories: While a balanced diet is vital for your dog, treats should not account for a large portion of their caloric intake. High-fat, high-calorie treats can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.
  3. Artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors – these additives can harm your dog’s health and are unnecessary in their diet.
  4. Cooked bones should be avoided entirely, as they can splinter and cause blockages or injuries in a dog’s digestive system.

Always read the labels and ingredients of treats before giving them to your dog, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

What To Look For In Golden Retriever Puppy Treats?

As a responsible pet owner, you must exercise extreme caution when choosing treats for your golden retriever puppy. Consider a few key factors before making your decision. 

  • Avoid treats that contain added sugars or corn syrup, for example, as these can lead to health issues such as obesity. 
  • Similarly, avoid treats containing preservatives or artificial dyes, which have been linked to carcinogens. 
  • Consider the texture and size of the treat and the presence of filler ingredients, which can harm your puppy in the long run. 

When choosing treats for your puppy, prioritize their health by keeping these factors in mind.

The Difference Between Low-Value And High-Value Treats

Low-value treats are used for most training purposes, significantly when reinforcing commands your dog already knows, working in low-distraction areas, and walking down familiar streets. As low-cost treats, many trainers use regular dog food. The important thing is that your dog will consistently work for them. 

If you and your dog are dealing with a lot of distractions, or if your dog is having difficulty following commands, you may need to up the ante. Low-cost treats are tasty; high-cost treats are delectable. High-value treats are more appealing and are used in challenging situations to motivate and reward dogs better. Switch to high-value treats if your dog is responding slowly, not paying attention, or simply struggling to stay on task.

How Many Treats Should You Feed Golden Retriever Puppies?

It is critical to understand that dog treats are not the same as dog food and should not be used as a complete source of nutrition. While dog treats may taste better than dog food, they can disrupt nutrient balance and should be given in moderation.

According to veterinarians, treatments should be at most 10% of your golden retriever’s daily caloric intake. Excessive consumption can lead to serious health issues such as obesity and nutritional imbalances.

Golden retriever puppies can be given three types of treats: high-value rewards, low-value training treats, and biscuits. 

  • High-value rewards are high in calories and should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. 
  • Low-cost training treats are smaller and contain fewer calories, making them ideal for workouts. 
  • Biscuits are dry and hard, have many calories, and can be used as a snack or on non-training days.

How To Use Treats When Training Your Golden Retriever

Paying attention to timing when using treats during dog training is critical. Give your dog a treat and praise within seconds of asking for a behavior to help your dog associate the command with the behavior and reward. Give your dog a treat every time they obey your command during the learning phase. As your dog improves, only reward them for quick and perfect responses. 

Use a treat as a lure to position your dog when teaching a new skill. For example, when training your dog to sit, hold a treat in front of its face and move it over its head while saying “sit.” When they comply, give them a treat and lots of praise. 

Remember that using a lure is only necessary when teaching a new command and should be stopped once your dog consistently obeys your request.

Tips And Tricks For Using Treats For Training Your Golden Retriever Puppy

When using treats for training, keeping things interesting for your dog is critical. Try different treats to see which ones your dog prefers, then switch them up to keep your dog interested.

Pet your dog while giving the treat to make the reward even more valuable. This will help your dog associate your touch with the treat, making it even more rewarding. However, be careful to do it on the treats. 

Reduce your dog’s regular meals if you use a lot of treats during training to avoid excessive weight gain. As your dog becomes better at obeying commands, gradually reduce food rewards in favor of praise and sporadic treats. Keep your dog guessing to keep their motivation and enthusiasm for training.

Our Favorite Treat Pouches For Golden Retriever Training

If you’re looking to train your furry friend, a treat pouch can be a helpful tool in keeping your training sessions on track. Here are some different types of training treat pouches to consider:

PetSafe Treat Pouch Sport

This treat pouch has an open hinge for easy access to treats, a drawstring closure to keep treats secure, and a front pocket for personal items. It also has a clip for attaching to a belt or pocket.

AUDWUD Silicone Dog Treat Pouch

This treat pouch is made of durable silicone and has a magnetic closure. It also has an attachment clip and a poop bag dispenser built in. It is also easily cleaned.


This treat pouch from barkOutfitters features a quick-access treat opening and a snap closure to keep treats secure. It also comes with a detachable, adjustable belt that can be worn around the waist or over the shoulder.

Kurgo Go Stuff-It Dog Treat Bag

This treat pouch has a large opening for easy access to treats, a drawstring closure for security, and a zippered front pocket for personal items. It also comes with a clip for attachment.

Ruffwear Treat Trader

With its adjustable strap and durable fabric, this treat pouch can be worn around the waist or over the shoulder. It also has a small zippered pocket for personal items.

FAQs About The Best Treats For Golden Retriever Puppies

What foods are Golden Retrievers sensitive to?

While every dog is unique, Golden Retrievers are known to be food sensitive to corn, wheat, and soy. Furthermore, some dogs may be allergic to specific proteins or ingredients. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pup and avoid feeding them table scraps or human foods that may upset their stomach.

What is the timeline for training a Golden Retriever puppy?

The time it takes to train a Golden Retriever puppy varies depending on the puppy’s temperament and progress. Basic obedience training can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. However, training is a continuous process, and consistent and positive reinforcement is critical to ensuring that your pup learns and improves over time.

Can I use homemade treats for training my Golden Retriever puppy?

Certainly! You can definitely use homemade treats to train your Golden Retriever puppy. Homemade treats can be made with high-quality ingredients and can be tailored to your puppy’s specific needs and preferences. However, it’s important to ensure that the treats are safe and healthy for your puppy to eat and that they are used in moderation as a reward for good behavior.

Can treats be used for behavior modification training in Golden Retrievers?

Treats can be used for behavior modification training in Golden Retrievers. Positive reinforcement training, which involves rewarding good behavior with treats, can be an effective way to modify behavior and teach your Golden Retriever new skills. However, it’s important to use treats in moderation and to choose treats that are healthy and safe for your Golden Retriever. Additionally, it’s important to pair treats with verbal praise and other rewards to reinforce good behavior and create a positive learning environment.

Are there any training treats specifically designed to improve dental health in Golden Retrievers?

Yes, there are training treats specifically designed to improve dental health in Golden Retrievers. These treats are usually made with ingredients that help to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath, such as parsley, peppermint, and bicarbonate of soda. Some dental chews may also contain enzymes that break down plaque and tartar, reducing the risk of dental problems. When choosing dental treats, be sure to select an option that is appropriate for your Golden Retriever’s age, size, and chewing habits.

Galen has been connecting quality Golden Retriever breeders with loving families since 2012 and is the founder of My Golden Retriever Puppies. He and his wife have four children and love spending time together, traveling (lived oversees for 4 years), enjoying the outdoors and connecting Golden families.