Shiba Inu puppies are likely to be in the top ten of cutest things on this planet. They easily bring joy, smiles and laughter to the new Shiba Inu parent.

Unfortunately, they usually also bring about some big challenges specifically in the the area of obedience training.

While some of us may be lucky with some studious and obeying pups, most of us will be left with puppies that can be stubborn and / or not exactly interested in obedience training.

So basically, we need all the help we can get. Puppy training treats is the secret weapon needed to properly obedience train as well as house train your young Shiba Inu puppy.

shiba inu puppy lying down

"You want me to roll-over for what kind of treats exactly?"

And while picking out goodies for your Shiba Inu may seem like a pretty simply task, the reality is that the range in quality of puppy treats is tremendously vast.

In this article, we set you on the right path in choosing and using the best puppy treats for your Shiba Inu.

Treats are one of the most effective ways you can communicate with your Shiba. It's almost like a Shiba currency. When you got treats - you got your Shiba's attention.

shiba inu puppy raising paw up

Types of Puppy Treats 

If you go online or into the pet store and explore the dog treat section, you’re bound to be overwhelmed.

There are literally thousands of dog treats on the market, from the pricey organic ones to cheap but horrid treats that you can find your local grocery store.

Commercial dog treats can be divided up into four basic categories:

Meaty Treats: meaty treats are generally soft and made with some sort of animal protein. Some of these treats are 100% meat and are more like jerky than dog treats. Some of them are also freeze dried- an especially popular choice with Shiba Inus.

Biscuits: Biscuit treats are hard, baked cookie-like treats. They can be made of a mix of meat, grains, vegetable and fruits and are generally one of the least expensive options.

Training Treats: Training treats are specially made to be bite sized, both because it’s they’re easy to give to your dog quickly during a training session and because they limit the amount of calories your Shiba Inu is consuming. They are generally (but not always) meaty, tasty, and high value.

Chews: Chew treats are generally larger, harder, and more long lasting. They are generally made of some sort of dried meat and vegetable, and can either be broken up into smaller pieces or offered whole if you want to keep your Shiba Inu busy for a while.

shiba inu licking dog cake icing frosting

Homemade treats made with love and high quality, fresh ingredients

Additionally, if you have the time, homemade treats are great for your puppies because you can control the quality and freshness of the ingredients you put in.

You can find tons of healthy recipes online or at your vet’s office, or you can keep it simple and just offer little morsels of human quality meat, such as chicken, liver, or turkey.

This is a great idea because it gives you the opportunity to know exactly what is going into the treats and precisely what your Shiba will be ingesting.

Treat Tip : fresh meat is a fantastic “high value” treat for special occasions.

Types of Puppy Treats To Avoid

There are some types of dog treats that you should always avoid.

Generally speaking, you should never offer your Shiba Inu very inexpensive treats that you find at the grocery store.

Many of these low quality treats are made of sub-par ingredients, including animal byproducts, chemicals, corn, and other nutritionally useless additives.

 no commercial treats

AVOID: Cheap grocery store treats of unknown quality

When determining the quality of dog treats, your best bet is to take a look at the ingredients list. The first ingredient should always be  high quality animal protein (chicken, beef, liver, etc.) Or, if the treat is not meaty, it should be some other sort of protein, such as peanut butter.

Here are a few ingredients to watch out for:

BHA: BHA is highly controversial additive used as a preserving agent in dog food. Never choose any dog or puppy products that contain this additive.

Brewers Yeast: It’s used for flavoring and can be toxic in large quantities. High quality dog treats don’t need any extra flavoring.

Wheat: Wheat is pretty nutritionally useless for Shiba Inus (and every other breed of dog) and is used as a low-cost filler.

Animal Digest: This ingredient is simply gross. Animal digest is a hodge podge of animal byproducts that are liquefied and then sprayed onto the treats to make them taste better. The issue here is that we don’t know what kind of animals they were nor what body parts were used. Not good eats. Treats should be tasty because of the main ingredients and not require any animal gloop to make them palatable. 

General Treat Guidelines

Because Shiba Inus can be picky eaters, you may have to experiment a bit before finding out which treats really appeal to them.

shiba inu dog closing eyes

But once you’ve chosen which treats you’d like to give your Shiba Inu and they’ve given you the seal of approval, your next question is probably “ how many of these can I actually give them?”

A simple guideline to follow is the 10% treat rule.

The 10% rule is pretty simple: treats should never make up more than 10% of your dogs diet at any given time. You should also only give treats in-between meals (but not too close to them so you don’t ruin your Shiba Inu’s appetite).

It’s best to save treats solely for training and special occasions; otherwise you risk lowering their “value”. If your Shiba Inu doesn’t think treats are all that special, they are less likely to serve as a motivator.

Practice using a "tiered" treat system which basically assigns different values to treat based on different situations (different levels of training difficulty, etc).

Set aside training treats that you use every time you train your Shiba Inu, as well as “high value” treats that you can save for very special occasions, such as during the house training process when they go potty outside.

black and tan shiba inu puppy looking up for a puppy treat

Keep in mind that treats are a sort of supplementary training tool and should not be considered a real part of your Shiba Inus diet.

While you should take care to pick the tastiest and healthiest option available, treats are not and should never be considered a substitute for a healthy, balanced meal.

Treats are a tool and a reward, not a meal! However, if you occasionally do a prolonged and successful Shiba Inu puppy training session, just remember to either skip or reduce the next meal.

Shiba Inu Puppy Training With Treats Guidelines

Puppy training treats are absolutely essential for training your Shiba Inu puppy to follow new commands.

Shiba Inus are whip-smart and generally pick up on things very quickly however they are also known to be stubborn and need additional incentives to get them to do what you want them to do.

Tips To Keep In Mind Before Starting Puppy Training:

  1. Find bite sized training treats. You want to offer them something they can eat quickly so you can move on to the next command! You can also cut up most non crumbly treats to smaller bits.
  2. When first starting training, use the tastiest treats available - small meaty treats are generally a good choice.
  3. Offer your Shiba Inu the treat the moment they do what you asked them to do. If you wait too long they may not make the connection between their action and the reward.
  4. If your Shiba Inu gets too excited about treats to focus on the training, try offering treats that are a little less enticing. Your Shiba Inu won’t learn anything if they are too excited to concentrate on the task at hand.
shiba inu puppy performing trick for treats
Using Training Treats For Shiba Inu Obedience and House Training
  • High value treats, such as lean protein, veggies, and fruit, are a great choice for when you’re house training your Shiba Inu puppy. As soon as they pop a squat, grab the treat and get ready to give it to them. Accompany the treat with tons of praise and a key phrase, such as “good potty,” or “do your business”.
  • Keep the training sessions short and the treats plentiful.
    Don’t offer your Shiba Inu puppy treats in the interim. Your puppy should know that they get treats when they go potty outside or during training sessions. Giving treats willy-nilly during the day can make them less enticing and will lessen their effectiveness.
  • Only attempt to train your puppy when they are calm and relaxed. Trying to get a Shiba Inu puppy to pay attention to you when they’re all wound up is a recipe for disaster. Get them nice and tired with a long walk or play session, and then move on to the training.
  • If you’re worried that your Shiba Inu puppy will only perform commands when there is a treat being offered, don’t panic! Offering treats every other command, or even every third, is a good way to condition your Shiba Inu into thinking that treats after performing a command are likely but not guaranteed. 

Our 6 Favorite Shiba Inu Puppy Treats:

Open Farm OF12341 Dog Treat Dehydrated Chicken, One Size

Open Farm dehydrated chicken treats are the type of treats that you can feel great about giving to your puppy or adult Shiba Inu.

The Open Farm brand is one of our favorite and most trusted brand of dog nutrition. In fact, this is one of the only brands of dry kibble we can confidently recommend for Shiba Inus.

These chicken treats are from chickens that were sustainably and most importantly, humanely raised. In addition, these treats contain no artificial colors or preservatives. All of the ingredients in this treat are from non-GMOs sources as well.

Check the latest price of the Open Farm OF12341 Dog Treat Dehydrated Chicken, One Size here.

ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Treats

ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Treats are made by another ethical dog manufacturing company that values both responsible sourcing practices as well as protecting the environment.

Made in New Zealand, ZiwiPeak treats are air dried to preserve nutrients as well as antioxidant potential.

These beef treats are made from 98% beef from free-range, non-GMO / hormone / antibiotic cattle.

Additionally this product contains zero grains, corn, soy, potatoes, wheat, rice, fillers, sugars, glycerins, rendered meals, and preservatives. Basically, this is one of the very few treats that have all of the good, and none of the bad.

What's also great about this treat is that it is a low calorie training treat that can be easily cut into even smaller pieces due to its flat shape.

Check the latest price and availability of the ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Treats here.

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Vital Treats Beef Nibs

Vital Essential Freeze-dried dog treats are one of our favorite brands of raw dog treats.

These beef treats are made from USDA quality beef from the U.S. In addition to lean beef, these treats contain highly nutritious beef organs such as heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Vital Essentials utilizes a 48 hour slow freeze dry method that maximizes nutrient, enzyme, and antioxidant retention in the treats.

Vital Essential beef treats are very high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. For smaller Shiba Inu puppies, these treats can easily be cut into smaller pieces for training.

Check the availability and latest price of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried treats here.

Primal Freeze-Dried Beef Liver Munchies 2oz

Primal is another responsible dog food / treat manufacturer that produces high quality and nutritious products.

They use 100% USDA beef that is responsibly sourced from USA and New Zealand.

The beef they use is raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
This Primal beef treat is a single protein source treat that is good for dogs that may have food intolerances and / or allergies.

In addition to beef, Primal also produces single protein treats made out of chicken, turkey, buffalo, and venison.

Check the availability and latest price of Primal Freeze-dried USDA beef liver treats here.

Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried treats for dogs

Beef liver treats have always been a favorite amongst dogs. And the Stewart line of freeze-dried liver treats have always delivered a high quality product with no added fillers, flavorings or preservatives.

Just 100% pure beef liver which is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Since liver is an organ meat, you must be sure to limit the amount of treats you give to your dog at one time.

Because of this limitation along with the high price tag, this type of treat should be designated as a “high value” treat and used sparingly.

Freeze dried treats are better than dehydrated treats because freeze drying preserves most of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes.

Freeze drying is also a much more complicated process than dehydrating, hence the higher price tag.

Check the availability and latest price of Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze-dried liver treats here.

Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Treats

Zuke's Mini Naturals Peanut Butter treats are a great training treat for high volume puppy training due to its easy to cut pieces. Also, it's a great option for adding variety to mostly beef based treats.

The Zuke's brand of treats, based in the US, was created by an in inspired pet owner who wanted to give his own dog healthy and nutritious treats that was free from dangerous chemicals and additives. 

These mini treats are made mainly from whole ingredients with peanut butter as the main ingredient. Zuke's treats contain no added corn, wheat, or soy in their products.

Check the latest price of Zuke's Mini Peanut Butter Treats here.

Conclusion

Shiba Inu puppies are both a joy and challenge to own. Arming yourself with the right mindset and tools to train your puppy will offer long lasting rewards for both you and your pup.

Using treats correctly will undoubtedly set you on the path to having a well-behaved Shiba Inu.

Once your Shiba Inu is trained, you can offer treats “just because”, which lets your Shiba Inu know that you are not only a source of love and security, but tasty snacks too!

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