My New Dog Doesn’t Like Treats: What Do I Do?

Written by: Savannah Lyons

March 7, 2019

The new pup is finally home, it’s time to break out the treats and celebrate! It’s the first day together and ….the little one’s turning their nose up at the treats. There’s absolutely no interest at all. What a fail! You have a whole bag of treats left and your pooch won’t touch a single one.

It doesn’t happen often, but some dogs simply aren’t interested in what you’re offering. Pups are allowed to be as picky as human (after all, they have taste buds too). That being the case, you’re going to have to pull out all of the stops for your new canine companion. Owners have to find a way to rewards dogs in order to train them.

Treats and training go hand-in-hand. Dogs learn from action and consequences, and treats give your pal positive reinforcements. The little tasty morsels help to motivate you pup to recall acceptable behavior until it’s fully established in their minds with repetition. So, how can you get your pup to like treats? Find something better.

It may be easier said than done, but we’re here to help to get that tail wagging!

You Want Me To Eat That?

Humans don’t eat things that are unappealing to them, so why should a dog? If your pal doesn’t like the treats you’re offering, it could simply be because they don’t find them appealing. There’s a huge selection in pet stores and online. The various combinations of flavors, textures, sizes, and proteins may seem a little overwhelming. The best method of finding the right treats for your picky pal is trial and error. Switch up the snacks simply by trying the different types of treats.

  • Biscuit Treats: Hard cookie-like treats  – not always easy to break.
  • Soft Baked Treats: Soft cookie-like treats – easy to break.
  • Jerky Treats: Meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried – easy to break.
  • Freeze Dried Treats: Rapidly frozen treats and placed in a vacuum chamber to remove water from ingredients – usually crunchy and light, easy to break.
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Dogs enjoy fruits and veggies, too!

If you notice your pup is turning away from biscuit rewards, try giving them jerky treats like the NYC Roasted Duck Jerky Bites for something meatier than a cookie. Try exchanging Soft Baked Treats for something more savory like a Freeze Dried option such as Stink, Steak, Stunk. For something sweeter, reach for bananas or berries for treats with all-natural sugars. Carrots are an easy pick for those dogs who like to chew!

Dog In Distress

Cuddling with Black Puppy

Moving to a new place isn’t always easy, even for dogs. There’s a lot going on and your little one can be easily distracted by the new environment. Canines experience distress (a negative stress) and eustress (a positive stress), both can create overwhelming feelings and mental blocks. Refusing to eat can signal to owners the current emotional state of their new pup.

More often than not, the dog is focused on exploring the new home and isn’t even thinking about a positive reinforcement. Give your new friend time to acclimate to their surroundings and become comfortable in a new home. Once settled, your pup will be at ease and be more likely to eat!

Trick Or Treat?

Dachshund Wiener Dog With BarkBox Puzzle Toy Tornado

Your four-legged friend may be smarter than you think. Does your pal turn away, yawn, or side-eye you when you’re offering a treat? They know you’re up to something. Owners using treats to entice dogs to do something they don’t want to do, like take a bath or other grooming activities, teach the pups not to trust a high-valued reward. The dog has decided treats aren’t worth the stress.

You’ve done the damage, and now it’s time to fix it. When it comes to treats, pup parents are going to have to work hard to regain the dog’s trust with food. You have to find a way to remind your pal that treats don’t equal a frightening experience. Refrain from reaching for treats during bath time. Work on associating edible rewards with things you pal enjoys, like rolling over or solving a Dog Puzzle. The road to recovery may not be easy, but investing time and effort into your relationship with your dog is always worth it!

Born That Way

Little Black Pit Bull Puppy

It may seem strange, but certain breeds just aren’t that interested in treats. All dogs are unique. Some like to eat more than play, others like to play instead of hunt. Perhaps your pup falls is from a breed that simply isn’t food-motivated.

Bulldogs, Pitts, and Labs are canine foodies. You can get them to do just about anything with a promise of a treats. Breeds known mostly for herding, rodent control, and guardian types tend to have other priorities. Pup parents will have to find other ways to reward for training and good behavior. If your pal favors toys over everything else, use fetch or tug-of-war as praise. Of course, there’s also the never-fail belly rub. Our four-legged pals go crazy over a good belly rub!

Where To Find New Treats?

Terrier with BarkBox

Reward your pup every month! Whether your dog likes biscuits, soft baked treats, jerky bites, or even freeze dried snacks, consider getting them a BarkBox subscription! Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. (<– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!) If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the friend Happy Team on or email [email protected].

Looking For More Articles Like This?

How Do I Train My Dog To Come To Me?
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My New Dog Is Marking In the House: What Do I Do?
How Do I Find A Trainer For My Dog?

Written by: Savannah Lyons

March 7, 2019

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.