Whether as a snack or training reward, your German Shepherd Dog (GSD) deserves the best treats. Still, your pet’s treats should both be nutritious and delicious at the same time. This way, the best dog treats for German Shepherd will compliment your pet’s diet.
For this post, I scouted 40+ dog treats and came up with these 8 best-selling options. Each of these treats is dog-approved and guaranteed to make your GSD wanting more. See which of these your German Shepherd will like!
Benefits of dog treats
Dog treats have become a popular part of a canine’s diet. Like humans, dogs also deserve snacks aside from their full meals. Here are some of the benefits of giving your German Shepherd sumptuous treats:
- Useful for training! GSDs are smart canines that thrive well in training. And to make sure that the pooch will learn the drills, you can give him delicious treats. Many dog trainers have proved this reward system to boost a canine’s command recall.
- Extra nutrition. With the right choice of treats, you can give your dog extra nutrition. Opt for dog treats with high protein content and are packed with vitamins and minerals. This way, your German Shepherd will have an added dose of nourishment on each bite.
- Promotes chewing. Chew treats encourage your dog to munch more, which will help reduce plaque buildup. It will also help freshen your dog’s breath, especially if the treats are blended with minty flavors.
- Augmenting hunger. If your German Shepherd gets hungry between each meal, you can use dog treats to quell the hunger. This way, your pooch won’t become whiny. Just make sure that you factor in the number of treats to the overall calorie intake of your canine.
- Training your dog’s mind. You can also use treats to keep your German Shepherd’s mind engaged. For example, you can hide pieces of treats at home, which your doggo will hunt. This brain game is much-needed for an active breed like GSDs.
Take note that all these benefits are only possible if you choose the right treats for your dog. Below, I reviewed 8 of the best-selling options in the market that has been tried and tested by dogs and their owners alike.
8 Best Dog Treats For German Shepherd
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Trail Treats
Product Name: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Trail Treats
Product Description: If you’re looking for the best dog treats for German Shepherd, you should consider the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Trail Treats. This is a biscuit-type treat made crunchy so that it will appeal more to picky eaters. This has real meat as its main ingredient, which makes it a good source of protein. Also, it guarantees an irresistible flavor without artificial additives. This specific package has the duck, salmon, and turkey varieties that will surely make your doggo wanting more. Since these treats are crunchy, they will help clean your German Shepherd’s teeth. It’s also packed with Omega fatty acids that will boost your pet’s coat health. Moreover, these treats are free from poultry by-products, soy, and wheat. Every piece is wholesome and will deliver nourishment to your dog.
Offer price: $$$
I also like that this treat has minimal ingredients. Aside from the meat ingredient, it has flaxseed, salt, rosemary oil, tocopherol, and calcium carbonate. It’s unlikely to cause irritation to a GSD or any dog, for that matter.
Overall, each piece of this crunchy treat has 30% protein, 15% fat, and 3.5% fiber. Just note that the salmon flavor has a slightly higher calorie content than the other two flavors.
The only thing I noticed is that these treats are a bit crumbly, so you should store them well. Also, be careful in opening the bag because the zip thingy gets ripped off easily.
Real meat is the first ingredient
A bit crumbly, so proper storage is crucial.
Nudges Natural Jerky Cuts Dog Treats
Another treat I recommend is the Nudges Natural Dog Treats. This is made from real chicken cuts with a natural smoke flavor. It’s also free from soy, corn, wheat, and artificial additives that could mess your German Shepherd’s tummy.
Moreover, these dog treats are packed with chondroitin and glucosamine. These two nutrients are crucial in maintaining your GSD’s healthy joints. For this breed prone to various orthopedic problems, the added nourishment is a big plus.
These treats are oven-dried and easy to tear, so you can easily control the portions for your dog. For training purposes, it’s best to tear this into smaller morsels for fast consumption.
Each piece of the Nudges Natural Jerky Cuts contains 25% protein, 9% fat, and 1% fiber. For German Shepherds, you can give up to three of these jerky cuts per day. Feel free to slice it into small pieces to stretch the serving throughout the day.
For those with finicky dogs, this treat might be the answer. It’s smelly and flavorful – something that’s quite irresistible.
Since this is jerky, you have to keep it sealed all the time to prevent molds. Other than that, these treats won’t disappoint.
Rocco & Roxie Jerky Sticks Dog Treats
For German Shepherds who love jerky treats, the Rocco & Roxie Jerky Sticks Dog Treats are a good choice. Although it’s a type of jerky, the sticks are easy to break into smaller pieces so that you can stretch each piece throughout the day.
American-raised beef is the first ingredient of this treat. It also contains limited ingredients to suit German Shepherds with sensitive tummies.
If your doggo is a picky eater, the hickory wood-smoked flavor of this jerky will prove irresistible. The premium beef is smoked for 10 hours, so the flavor penetrates deep into the meat. It’s also the reason why there’s no need for Rocco & Roxie to use additives.
Also, this treat doesn’t have corn, gluten, soy, and wheat that are hard to digest. I also like that it doesn’t stink too much, unlike dog treats packed with artificial flavorings.
Moreover, you can get the Jerky Sticks Dog Treats in beef, chicken, and turkey versions. This way, you can experiment to find what suits your GSD’s taste best.
Rocco & Roxie also provides an unbeatable guarantee for their treats. If your German Shepherd isn’t happy with the treats, the brand will refund your money. That’s how much they stand by the quality of their products, which makes these treats even more worthy of the price.
As for the downsides, I just wish they could improve the packaging. If you pull the tear tab too much, you’re going to ruin the resealable zip.
NUTRO Mini Bites Dog Treats
Is your German Shepherd obsessed with peanut butter? If so, the NUTRO Mini Bites will be a big hit! This yummy treat is made of real and non-GMO peanuts. Also, its #1 ingredient is real chicken, which makes the treat a good source of protein.
Each piece of these doggo treats contains 10% protein, 8% fat, and 1% fiber. This is also a low-calorie treat, and each piece only contains 2.3 calories. With that, a 75 lbs. German Shepherd can consume as many as 59 treats a day! It’s perfect for training and augmenting hunger in between meals.
Moreover, these treats also contain trace nutrients for added nourishment and taste. It’s both a delicious and nutritious treat that your doggo surely can’t get enough of.
In case your GSD isn’t a big fan of peanuts, you can also get this treat in beef & hickory smoke, chicken, and berry & yogurt. These are unique options for doggos with finicky tastes.
Overall, these treats smell great, and my German Shepherd approves of its taste. Just make sure that you seal the container well because these treats will dry and crumble if exposed to air.
The only thing I noticed is that the pieces are quite small. It’s not a problem for training purposes, but you may need to toss a few for snacks. Also, it has a strong smell, but dogs love them, and it has natural ingredients, so it’s not really a deal-breaker.
The Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews Dog Treats
German Shepherds with dull coats will benefit a lot from The Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews Dog Treats. This is made of a single ingredient: dehydrated cod skins. It doesn’t have unnecessary salts and sugars, but the natural fish flavor will surely make it irresistible for your dog.
Every piece of this treat contains 80% protein, 4% fat, 1% fiber, and 14% moisture. Above all, it’s rich in Omega fatty acids that help boost your dog’s coat and skin health. Each piece is also large and can be sliced into tinier servings to make each bag last long.
Moreover, these treats are human-grade, so it’s guaranteed safe for German Shepherds with the most sensitive tummies. It also means that your doggo will receive quality ingredients and nutrients.
Since this is only made of one ingredient, The Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews doesn’t have fillers or preservatives. The cod is also wild-caught, so it has the highest level of nutrients compared to cultured ones.
Aside from codfish, you can also get this treat in the Wolffish skin version. See which one appeals to your dog more. This is a vet-recommended treat, which is added peace of mind on your part as a dog owner.
The only downside here is the strong smell. It’s made of fish, after all, so it’s something you should expect. Nevertheless, the strong odor is an advantage for your dog. Just make sure that you wear food gloves when handling this treat to avoid the smell from clinging to your hands.
Old Mother Hubbard Classic P-Nuttier Dog Biscuits
Many German Shepherds love crunchy biscuits. And if you’re still in the training phase, the Old Mother Hubbard Classic P-Nuttier is a great choice. This crunchy treat is made of peanut butter, whole oatmeal, sweet apples, and carrots. It’s both delicious and packed with nutrients to boost your GSD’s health.
This all-natural dog biscuit doesn’t have artificial preservatives. You can also pick between small and large sizes to suit your German Shepherd. Overall, these treats work for training and casual treating in between meals.
Moreover, these biscuits are slow oven-baked to unleash all the natural flavors. It also makes each piece crunchy and appetizing.
The fact that Old Mother Hubbard has been making dog food products since 1926, the quality of this treat is guaranteed.
Since this is a biscuit-type treat, it’s prone to crumbling. You should also store it well to prevent it from going stale and moldy.
Each piece of this treat contains 12% protein, 7% fat, and 5.5% fiber. It also has 10 calories, so you should be modest in the number of treats you feed your GSD. You can also split each biscuit into smaller pieces to stretch the day’s recommended serving.
Overall, these yummy treats are free from artificial ingredients or by-products that will mess your pet’s tummy. I also like that the biscuits are sized well for medium to large canines. It also smells great but not too stinky.
Whole Life Pet Pure Chicken Dog Treats
For German Shepherds that can’t get enough of chicken, the Whole Life Pet Pure Chicken Dog Treats are a smart choice. It’s made of real chicken breast as the single ingredient on the bag. It doesn’t have additives or chemicals that could upset your GSDs tummy.
Aside from that, every batch of these wholesome dog treats is micro-tested for safety. You’ll have peace of mind that your German Shepherd receives healthy and contaminant-free treats.
You can use this treat as a meal topper or a standalone snack for your doggo. Every piece contains 80% protein, 16% fat, and 1% fiber. With that, it’s an excellent source of lean protein that complements your GSD’s diet.
Moreover, this is a grain-free and gluten-free treat. It’s a perfect choice for German Shepherds with sensitive tummies. These treats are also minimally processed to retain the nutrients of the chicken ingredient.
Whole Life uses traceable and verifiable ingredients, which are all sourced in the United States. I also like that they use a vacuum-packed bag that preserves the freshness of the treats. It’s also resealable to prevent the pieces from getting stale once you’ve opened the container.
This treat is crunchy and breaks easily, so you can control the amount you feed your dog. However, it also means that the treat can be a bit crumbly. Additional care in handling and storage is needed.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Sausage Bites Dog Treats
Lastly, I recommend the Rachael Ray Nutrish Sausage Bites Dog Treats. This is available in chicken flavor that most German Shepherds will love. It’s made with real meat though you have to watch out since it also contains soy grits.
One thing that makes this treat stand out is the natural smoked flavor. It’s cooked in the United States and guaranteed fresh in every bag.
Also, it doesn’t contain corn or wheat, so the treat remains easy to digest. It’s also made from free-range chickens with higher protein and nutrient content. Rest assured that these treats are free of by-products and artificial flavors.
I also like the soft and chewable texture of the treat, which makes it easy to break into smaller pieces. It’s also savory and has a nice odor that appeals to many dogs.
Each piece of these chicken treats contains 22% protein, 10% fat, and 2% fiber. It’s a wholesome treat for picky eaters who are craving added flavors.
Overall, these are healthy treats, which isn’t surprising coming from Rachael Ray Nutrish. The price is a little off-putting for some, but if you’re into quality, the additional bucks are worth the splurge.
Just make sure that you store it in a sealed container because it’s prone to molds and drying. And if you want, you can also try other flavors of this treat, including beef, bison, bacon, and more.
How to choose the best dog treats for German Shepherd
There are literally a ton of dog treats in the market. However, not all of them are good options for German Shepherds. So if you’re looking for the right treats to buy for your GSD, here are some of the points to keep in mind:
The first thing you should think of is the type of treat you’re going to buy. Not all treat types are suitable for regular feeding, so you have to pick the right one. Here are the common options in the market:
- Biscuits. Dog biscuits are the most popular option since it’s easy to give and store. In addition, it’s dry and doesn’t stink as much as other treat types. However, you have to keep it in a sealed container to prevent getting stale and crumbly.
- Freeze-dried. For German Shepherds with picky tastes, freeze-dried treats are often the charm. These are real meat cuts dehydrated to give it longer shelf life. The good thing is that most freeze-dried treats don’t have additives and seasoning. It’s also a good source of protein for dogs.
- Soft treats. Soft treats often have a strong odor and varying flavors. It’s usually have real meat as the first ingredient together with a blend of other ingredients. Soft treats are easy to tear into small pieces, so it’s convenient to use during training.
- Dental treats. Dental treats are a good choice for German Shepherds to maintain healthy teeth. It encourages dogs to chew more, which will help dislodge plaque and trapped food bits in the mouth. However, it should be given sparingly and must never be used as a training reward.
- Rawhide. Like dental treats, rawhide is intended to boost your dog’s chewing. However, it requires close supervision to prevent the dog from consuming the shredded rawhide. This is a choking hazard, so you have to be extra careful.
- Hooves and bones. Hooves and bones are suitable for German Shepherds, must only be given sparingly. You should also supervise your dog as dog bones and hooves can splinter and cause choking.
Once you’ve picked a treat type, the next thing you should check is the ingredients in the bag. Always look for a treat with real meat as the first ingredient. This guarantees that your German Shepherd will receive high levels of protein.
For GSDs with sensitive tummies, a limited ingredient treat is a good choice. These treats are unlikely to cause stomach upset, and it will be easier for you to point out allergens in case your dog exhibits irritations.
Also, you should avoid by-products, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring. If your GSD has a sensitive stomach, consider avoiding ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, and gluten. These are usually safe for canines, but it takes more time to digest.
Next, you should check the nutritional profile of the treats. Protein should be the biggest component, followed by fat and fiber.
It’s also critical to check the calorie content of each treat piece. This way, you can adjust your German Shepherd’s diet and prevent it from consuming excess calories.
Treats rich in Omega fatty acids, chondroitin, glucosamine, and other nutrients are also a good choice.
The treat flavor is often the make-or-break part. Whether or not you have a picky German Shepherd, the treat must have an appealing scent and taste.
For this part, smoked flavors are big winners. My German Shepherds love smoked flavor treats, though reception will vary per canine. Stinky treats are also a big hit, though your nose would have to sacrifice because of the pungent odor.
In the end, you’ll have to purchase a few treats to see what works best for your GSD best.
German Shepherds are large dogs, so an equally large treat size would be ideal. However, if your GSD is on a diet or training, small to medium-sized treats are a good choice. This will keep the rewards easy and fast to consume.
The good thing is that you can slice treats into smaller pieces. This will let you use it for training or stretching the day’s serving, so your dog won’t run out of treats right away.
✔️Value for money
Lastly, consider investing in high-quality treats with premium ingredients. While it means spending a few more bucks, it also translates to healthier options for your dog.
In the end, buying premium treats will save your dog from expensive vet treatments. It will also save your pocket from hefty vet bills.
Tips in giving treats to your German Shepherd
Aside from plainly tossing treats to your dog, there are other ways you can make it more fun. Here are some of the treating tips you should try:
- Make your dog work for its treats. A simple sit command in exchange for a treato is a good way to enforce positive reinforcement. Also, making your German Shepherd wait before handling the treat reinforces its previous training. By making your dog work for its treats, your pet will realize that food is earned and not simply given.
- Feed it by hand. One way to bond with your German Shepherd is by giving the treat by hand. This will teach your dog two things: staying gentle to prevent hurting you and that you are his provider. Over time, your dog will recognize you as the alpha.
- Be mindful of dental chews. Dental chews like GREENIES should only be given once a day. It’s not intended to be a training or regular treat for your German Shepherd. Also, dental chews are often stiff and full of fat.
- Watch out for the serving. It’s easy to overindulge your dog with treats if you don’t monitor the amount. It’s best to set a specific number of treats you’ll dispense per day. This way, your German Shepherd won’t stand the risk of being obese. While dog treats are small in size, they can add up to your pet’s weight easily.
- Time your treats. It’s crucial to mind the timing of your treating. This way, you won’t inadvertently reward negative behavior. Make sure that your German Shepherd is calm and behaved when you give the treat.
- Don’t give table scraps as treats. Giving your dog table scraps is a mortal sin. Human food is often packed with salts and preservatives, which aren’t healthy for canines. Also, tossing scraps straight from the table will lead to begging behavior.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do German Shepherds like to eat the most?
A: As large and active canines, German Shepherds thrive on a high-protein diet. And just like any dog food, it must be flavorful and smelly to appeal to their taste buds. But watch out because there are picky GSDs, too. The key here is trying a few products to see what your dog will like.
Q: What are the healthiest dog treats?
A: There are many dog treat options in the market that offer additional nutrition for your dog. However, you can also give natural treats to your dog, like banana slices, boiled carrots, steamed broccoli, and applies without the seeds. As always, you should watch out for the serving to avoid overindulging your pet.
Q: Can German Shepherds eat peanut butter?
A: Unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter is a nice choice for German Shepherds. Also, peanut butter is a good source of protein, which will help maintain your dog’s physique. You can stuff peanut butter in one of your dog’s chew toys to double as a treat and a mind game.
Q: How much treats can I give my dog?
A: It’s important to check the serving directions on the label of the dog treat. This will let you know how many pieces must be given per day. It’s often based on the weight of your canine. Aside from that, you should also check the calorie content of the treats so that you can adjust your GSD’s full meals accordingly.
Q: Are bully sticks safe for German Shepherds?
A: Bully sticks treats are healthy treats, but they must be given with close supervision. Bully sticks can cause choking, especially if not sized well to the dog. Also, you should know that bully sticks should only be given a few times a week as a high-value reward.
The best dog treats for German Shepherd offer both a tasty snack and an added source of nutrition. Pet owners can also use it to reinforce training and command recall. Some treats will also help reduce plaque buildup on your GSD’s teeth. Whatever your choice is, make sure that it’s healthy, safe, and suitable for your budget.
Which of these treats did your German Shepherd like? Share it with us!