How to Tell What Treat a Dog Likes Best

Sifting through the pile of treats to find your dog's favorite can be tricky.

Sifting through the pile of treats to find your dog's favorite can be tricky.

Treats are meant to be a tasty little reward for your pooch. Some dogs are food fanatics and enjoy every treat you give them, while others are more particular. Determining the type of treat your dog prefers is a trial-and-error adventure.

Test your treat theories out on a hungry dog. Work with him before he eats his normal rations. If your dog has a full belly, he may be less likely to pick out a particularly delicious treat.

Add a few different treats to individual sandwich bags and zip the bags closed. Include a wide range of treats such as pieces of carrot, little dog biscuits, a handful of dry kibble, small bits of cheese and chunks of fresh-cooked meats to give your dog a variety to choose from.

Sit the dog by your side and offer him a piece of the lowest-value treat. Low value treats are common or less desirable bits such as normal kibble or the same dog biscuits he’s had every day for the past few months. If he gobbles it up, keep that bag in your lap. If he disregards it with a sniff, set that bag aside.

Offer the dog a treat from another bag, working your way through all the treats. Some dogs are very food-motivated and will eat anything you give them, while others are more selective. Pay close attention to the dog as you give him each treat; if he whimpers or whines as you pull out a particular morsel, he may favor that treat.

Take a small piece of each of the treats your dog seemed to enjoy and place them side by side on the floor. Lead the dog to the treats and point them out with your fingers. Turn the dog loose and allow him to sniff the treats at his own leisure. The treat he gobbles up with the most enthusiasm is the one he likes best.

Items you will need

  • Plastic sandwich bags


  • Treats should only be given when the dog correctly performs a command. If you give him treats all the time, they will lose their motivational powers.

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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.

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