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10 Best Treats for German Shepherds in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

10 Best Treats for German Shepherds in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks Featured Image

german shepherd looking at his treat

We all love treats and dogs are no exception! Treats for your German Shepherd (GSD) can provide a variety of benefits, everything from cleaning their teeth to training. Dog biscuits were a happy accident that occurred in England in the 1800s by a butcher. He was working on a new recipe for biscuits that were not really fit for human consumption, so he gave them to his dog. It was a hit and the rest is history!

If you’re looking for a new treat for your German Shepherd but don’t have time to sort through everything that’s out there, we’ve written reviews of the 10 best dog treats for GSDs to make your life and your dog’s a little easier.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
SmartBones SmartSticks Dog Treats SmartBones SmartSticks Dog Treats
  • Made with chicken
  • vegetables
  • and peanut butter
  • Contains no rawhide
  • 2% digestible
  • Best Value
    Second place
    American Journey Grain-Free Biscuit Dog Treats American Journey Grain-Free Biscuit Dog Treats
  • Grain-free and no fillers or meat by-products
  • Peas and chickpeas are used instead of grains
  • Oven baked with real peanuts for peanut butter flavor and crispy texture
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Himalayan Pet Supply Dog Treats Himalayan Pet Supply Dog Treats
  • Grain and gluten-free
  • Made with pure yak and cow’s milk
  • lime
  • and salt
  • No artificial flavors
  • colors
  • or preservatives
  • Best for Puppies
    Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Wellness Soft Puppy Bites
  • Good for puppies under 1 year for training
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • with no corn
  • wheat
  • dairy
  • or meat by-products
  • Greenies Pill Pockets Dog Treats Greenies Pill Pockets Dog Treats
  • Designed to hide pills inside
  • Treat texture makes less mess than traditional methods
  • Real chicken flavor and scented to disguise pill taste
  • The 10 Best Treats for German Shepherds – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. SmartBones SmartSticks Dog Treats – Best Overall

    SmartBones SmartSticks Dog Treats

    Flavor: Peanut butter
    Size or number of treats: 5 or 10 sticks
    Texture: Hard chewy sticks

    The best overall dog treats for German Shepherds are the SmartBones SmartSticks. These treats are made with chicken, vegetables, and peanut butter. They are rawhide-free and are 99.2% digestible. They are a firm and chewy texture that will not splinter and won’t present as a choking hazard. Each stick is about 5 inches long, so they are the perfect size for your GSD.

    However, many dog owners might find that these sticks don’t last long, particularly for a GSD, so if you’re looking for a long-lasting chew, you might need to find something else.

    Pros
    • Good price and comes with either five or 10 sticks
    • Made with chicken, vegetables, and peanut butter
    • Contains no rawhide
    • 2% digestible
    • Safe chewy texture with no danger of choking and splintering
    Cons
    • Don’t last that long as a chew

    2. American Journey Grain-Free Biscuit Dog Treats – Best Value

    American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats

    Flavor: Peanut butter
    Size or number of treats: 8- or 16-oz. bag
    Texture: Crunchy biscuits

    The best dog treat for the money is the American Journey Grain-Free Dog Treats. These treats are grain-free and don’t contain fillers such as soy, wheat, corn, or meat by-products. Real peanuts are in the biscuits for a peanut butter flavor and are oven-baked for a healthy and crunchy snack. American Journey has used chickpeas and peas in place of grains, and the biscuits are small enough to fit in your pocket so you can give your German Shepherd treats on the go.

    On the downside, some dogs may not like the texture of these treats because they are quite hard and crunchy. These treats probably won’t work well for any senior dogs or dogs with teeth issues.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Grain-free and no fillers or meat by-products
    • Oven baked with real peanuts for peanut butter flavor and crispy texture
    • Peas and chickpeas are used instead of grains
    • Small pocket-sized treats easy to carry
    Cons
    • Some dogs may not like the texture: Hard and crunchy

    3. Himalayan Pet Supply Dog Treats – Premium Choice

    Himalayan Pet Supply Mixed Dog Treats

    Flavor: Cheese
    Size or number of treats: 3 sticks
    Texture: Hard and chewy sticks

    The best premium dog treats for German Shepherds are the Himalayan Pet Supply Dog Treats. While expensive, they are grain and gluten-free and made with 100% pure cow and yak’s milk, lime juice, and salt. They don’t contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. They will take up many hours of chewing for your German Shepherd.

    Unfortunately, they tend to leave a mess while your German Shepherd is chewing and can be smelly. These treats also seem to have changed within the past year, as the texture is less chewy and more crumbly.

    Pros
    • Grain and gluten-free
    • Made with pure yak and cow’s milk, lime, and salt
    • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    • Hard and chewy and will take up many hours of chewing
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Can leave a mess while GSD is chewing and is smelly
    • Texture has changed in the past year

    4. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites – Best for Puppies

    Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats

    Flavor: Lamb and salmon
    Size or number of treats: 3- and 8-oz. bags
    Texture: Small, soft chews

    The best treats for puppies are the Wellness Soft Puppy Bites, which are in a lamb and salmon flavor. These treats are designed for puppies 1 year and under and are great for training purposes. These puppy treats are all-natural and do not contain typical fillers, such as wheat, dairy, soy, and meat by-products, nor artificial colors or flavors. These small bite-sized treats are soft and chewy and contain omega-3 and DHA.

    Unfortunately, these treats aren’t always enjoyed by every puppy. While they are technically bite-sized, if your GSD puppy is quite young, they might be a bit large, particularly for training. They also contain cane molasses and garlic powder, which is something to keep in mind.

    Pros
    • Good for puppies under 1 year for training
    • Contains all-natural ingredients, with no corn, wheat, dairy, or meat by-products
    • No artificial colors or flavors
    • Small and chewy and contains DHA and Omega 3
    Cons
    • Some puppies might not enjoy the flavor
    • Contains cane molasses and garlic powder
    • Treats a bit large for training

    5. Greenies Pill Pockets Dog Treats

    Greenies Pill Pockets Canine Chicken Flavor Dog Treats

    Flavor: Chicken
    Size or number of treats: 30 or 60, tablet or capsule size
    Texture: Small, soft, bite-sized

    Greenies Pill Pockets are dog treats with a purpose! They are specially designed to hide your dog’s medication inside, so your GSD will be none the wiser. They come in either 30 or 60 treat bags and in two different sizes that can hold smaller tablets or larger capsules. It comes in chicken flavor, which helps disguise the medication’s taste and smell. It also has the advantage of offering a soft texture for hiding pills inside that is much less messy compared to more traditional methods (such as peanut butter).

    On the downside, these treats don’t always hold their shape and might crumble when you’re trying to put a pill inside. Additionally, these pill pockets won’t necessarily fit all pills, particularly if you have huge pills for your GSD.

    Pros
    • Designed to hide pills inside
    • Real chicken flavor and scented to disguise pill taste
    • Treat texture makes less mess than traditional methods
    • Bags of 30 or 60 treats and in tablet or capsule size
    Cons
    • Treat might crumble when putting pill inside
    • Treat won’t necessarily fit larger pills

    6. Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats

    Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Beef & Filet Mignon Recipe Dog Treats

    Flavor: Beef
    Size or number of treats: 6-oz. box or 25-oz. tub
    Texture: Soft and chewy bite-sized biscuits

    If your German Shepherd loves a good beef-flavored treat, then they might just love Milk-Bone Dog Treats. These bone-shaped treats are a beef and filet mignon flavor and are soft and chewy. They are infused with an all-natural smoke flavor, and the texture is suitable for senior dogs or any dog with mouth issues. They also contain 12 different vitamins and minerals.

    These treats list chicken as the second ingredient and sugar as the fourth. It also contains preservatives and dyes, so it’s not the best choice for any GSD owners looking for a natural product.

    Pros
    • Soft and chewy bite-sized beef and filet mignon flavor
    • Soft enough for dogs with mouth issues and senior dogs
    • Contains 12 different minerals and vitamins
    • All-natural smoke flavor
    Cons
    • Chicken and sugar in the first four ingredients
    • Contains preservatives and dyes

    7. Triumph Grain-Free Dog Treats

    Triumph Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Jerky Dog Treats

    Flavor: Salmon and sweet potato
    Size or number of treats: 24-oz. pouch
    Texture: Jerky, hard and chewy

    Triumph Dog Treats are essentially a salmon and sweet potato jerky, making for a chewy treat for German Shepherds. These treats do not contain any fillers, artificial preservatives, or additives and are grain-free and 100% natural. They also do not have any wheat, corn, or animal by-products but include blueberries, apples, carrots, vitamins, and minerals. These treats should be safe for most dogs that have food sensitivities or allergies.

    Unfortunately, some treat bags seemed to have mold growing on the product. It also contains chicken, so be sure to read the ingredient list of anything that you buy for your GSD if they have a food allergy. The packaging also doesn’t protect the jerky well enough, and it might arrive broken into pieces.

    Pros
    • No fillers, artificial additives, or preservatives
    • Grain-free
    • 100% all-natural, with no animal by-products, wheat, or corn
    • Good for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities
    Cons
    • Some treat bags might contain mold
    • Chicken listed in the first five ingredients
    • Packaging doesn’t protect treats, which might arrive broken and crumbled

    8. Blue Buffalo Health Bars Dog Treats

    Blue Buffalo Health Bars Baked with Bacon, Egg & Cheese Dog Treats

    Flavor: Bacon, egg, and cheese
    Size or number of treats: 16 oz. and 3.5 lb.
    Texture: Palm-sized crunchy biscuits

    Blue Buffalo Health Bars Dog Treats are the perfect treat for your GSD’s breakfast — they’re bacon, egg, and cheese flavor! They don’t contain wheat, soy, corn, animal by-products, or any artificial flavors or preservatives. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids and are oven-baked, so they are full of crunchy goodness.

    However, the first five ingredients do not include whole meat (the ingredients listed are oatmeal, barley, and rye, etc.). While these treats are quite large and should be the right size for your GSD, they are rather hard and dry. Many bags of these treats seem to arrive crushed as well.

    Pros
    • Doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn or any animal by-products
    • No artificial flavors or preservatives
    • Contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids
    • Oven-baked for extra crunch
    Cons
    • First five ingredients do not include whole meat
    • Large, hard, and dry biscuits
    • Bags of treats might arrive crushed

    9. Pedigree Dentastix Large Original Dog Treats

    Pedigree Dentastix Large Original Dog Treats

    Flavor: Chicken
    Size or number of treats: 7, 18, 32, or 40 sticks
    Texture: X-shaped, hard, chewy sticks

    This treat is specifically designed for your German Shepherd’s teeth. The Pedigree Dentastix Large Original Dog Treats are specifically for large dogs and are designed to help reduce tartar and plaque buildup, and they additionally freshen breath. The X-shape is designed to clean the teeth down to the gum line for better oral health while your dog enjoys a tasty treat.

    These treats contain wheat and rice flour as the first two ingredients, and the seventh ingredient is chicken flavor rather than the real thing. If your GSD tends to chomp through rather than chew through treats, these dental sticks might not do the work they’re supposed to on your dog’s teeth.

    Pros
    • Helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup
    • X-shape cleans teeth down to the gum line
    • Freshens your dog’s breath
    Cons
    • Contains wheat and rice flour
    • Chicken flavor rather than whole chicken
    • Treats might get broken down by your dog and not do the dental work

    10. Good ‘n’ Fun Triple Flavor Dog Chews

    Good 'n' Fun Triple Flavor Kabobs Chicken, Duck & Chicken Liver Dog Chews

    Flavor: Chicken, duck, chicken liver
    Size or number of treats: 18 sticks
    Texture: Tough and chewy sticks

    Good ‘n’ Fun Triple Flavor Kabobs are treats made with rawhide that come in three different flavors. They are made with beef and pork hides that are wrapped in chicken, duck, and chicken liver. These chews are tough, and your GSD should spend a long time chewing on these. Most dogs will enjoy the flavor.

    Unfortunately, these treats contain dyes, wheat, and garlic powder, although the garlic is in a small amount and probably won’t hurt your dog. Having said that, some dogs might have an upset stomach after chewing on these, but that might be from a food sensitivity to wheat. These chews can also be tough for most dogs to chew, so again, if you have a senior dog, you should avoid these.

    Pros
    • Long=lasting chews
    • Made with whole meat
    Cons
    • Contains wheat and dyes
    • Some dogs might have an upset stomach after chewing on these
    • Hard and not good for senior dogs or dogs with teeth/gum issues

    Buyer’s Guide

    Before you buy your German Shepherd any new dog treats, let’s look at a few important considerations that you should make before deciding on what kind of treats are best for your dog.

    Flavors

    We all know how picky our dogs can be, but you know your GSD best, so choosing the right flavor shouldn’t be too difficult. If your pup loves peanut butter, try a peanut butter treat. However, keep in mind that some treats might advertise how good their peanut butter flavor is, and your dog might turn up their nose, anyway.

    Size

    The size of the treat should be in relation to the size of the dog. If you give your German Shepherd a tiny chew, it will probably get gobbled up in a matter of minutes. Also, it depends on what you want the treats for. If it’s for training, you’ll want to opt for tiny and tasty treats, whereas the chews are meant to keep your dog occupied for hours (hopefully days). Always supervise your GSD puppy while they are chewing on a treat.

    Allergies

    If your GSD has any food allergies or sensitivities, always read the nutrition label very carefully. A treat can be advertised as beef flavor but might still contain chicken or wheat. Always double-check those labels!

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    Conclusion

    The best overall is the SmartBones SmartSticks because they are healthy and a great chew for your GSD. The best value is the American Journey Grain-Free Dog Treats for their use of real peanuts and chickpeas instead of wheat. Our premium choice goes to the Himalayan Pet Supply Dog Treats for their lack of artificial ingredients. Finally, the best treats for puppies are the Wellness Soft Puppy Bites, thanks to their healthy ingredients.

    We hope that our reviews have helped you (and your German Shepherd) navigate through the large variety of delicious dog treats. We’re sure your pup will thank you.

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    Featured Image Credit: Nicky Rhodes, Shutterstock

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