There’s no question that dogs that understand and react positively to commands have better social lives, as well as an enhanced bond with their favorite people.
And this ties directly to the plethora of training aids on the market to train dogs of all ages, sizes and individual breed traits. The good news for retailers is they can capitalize on this category year-round.
Dr. Roger Mugford, pet psychologist and founder of the humane training and lifestyle brand The Company of Animals, has trained presidential pooches as well as Queen Elizabeth II of England’s Corgis. Recently, the company celebrated the 3 million-sale mark of Mugford’s Pet Corrector product, an auditory training tool that replicates the sound of a hissing snake with a burst of compressed air that brings dogs in line quickly and efficiently.
“It’s a handy portable tool and helps trainers and pet owners safely capture their animal’s attention when they need it most,” Mugford said. “Whether it’s when they’re barking or scratching inappropriately, chasing cars, people or other pets, stealing food or jumping, this behavior correction is done positively.”
ThunderWorks, manufacturers of the ThunderShirt, modeled its ThunderLeash on a training technique called the Dutch half hitch.
It looks like an ordinary leash but it’s designed to loop around the flank or belly of the dog. Then by tightening the leash, it works to distract and help settle an overactive or leash-aggressive dog that may pull hard, or become very agitated at the sight of other animals or strangers.
PetSafe’s new AutoTrainer is a reward-based tool to stop barking problems. The product was designed in collaboration with animal behaviorists Ian Dunbar and John Watson. The patented device is the first of its kind on the market. The automatic training system features a sequence of tones that teach dogs to remain calm and quiet.
Also new to the market is the Wireless Mapping Fence, which requires no digging to bury wires and covers up to a half-acre, allowing owners to optimize their entire backyard when training their dog. The rechargeable receiver roller has five levels of correction, a tone-only mode for training, and also offers anti-linger and run-through tones.
When barking becomes an issue, First Alert Bark Genie products from Jarden Corporation can be an option.
Working with a range of up to 50 feet, the ultrasonic, weatherproof device emits a high-pitched sound, not audible to the human ear, which effectively curbs the barking. The sound sensitivity is adjustable based on the distance between the dog and the gadget.
“The hand-held version has a button to initiate the sound and is ideal to stop dogs from running to a front door when the doorbell rings, as well as for on-the-go training wherever you are,” Scott Eller, vice president and general manager for First Alert products, said.
Motorola, which recently crossed over into the pet space, offers a wireless fence system with a training collar that allows pet owners to communicate with their dogs up to a distance of 300 yards.
Apart from using a training tone, static or vibrations to correct behavior, the owner can also issue voice commands via the built-in walkie-talkie in the collar. The company’s bark collar allows the dog five seconds of “free bark time” before going into bark corrector mode.
Rewarding Good Behavior
Nothing says “good job” to a dog like a treat. But experts often prefer using treats that are smaller in size that can be eaten quickly. Having a selection of treats specifically for training can create a new revenue source for retailers.
Merrick’s Power Bites, a selection of soft and chewy all-natural treats made with real deboned meat as the first ingredient, are one example. These small star-shaped treats are perfect for training and rewarding dogs. In addition to being grain free and gluten free these treats contain no sorbic acid. They are available in six flavors.
Zuke’s Mini Naturals are a moist training treat that contain 3.5 calories per treat. With the introduction of new flavors, they are now available in peanut, salmon, rabbit and chicken.
Moreover, Old Mill Pet Products’ new Nature’s Bits, are also an option. The line of oven-baked treats comes in six flavors, including: duck, bison, chicken, beef, peanut butter and salmon, and are available in both soft and crunchy recipes. The latter is ideal to be broken up into very tiny bite sizes to make tasty training rewards for the tiniest dog to the biggest of breeds.
Training a dog to do their business where you want it, whether it is on pads in the house or outside, can be difficult.
Nature’s Miracle Quick Results Training Pads are multilayer training pads with super-absorbent polymers that soak up and lock-in wetness on contact. They are specially treated with On-Spot attractant scents that encourage a dog to use the pad, as well as a “fresh grass scent” that helps train them to associate with eliminating outside.
If smell is a concern, the pads also feature Nature’s Miracle Odor Control System with Ammonia Guard, which works to eliminate tough odors and prevents them from spreading through a home.
Another product, PoochieBells housetraining dog doorbells, provides a solution to ending dog accidents in the home. With easy-to-follow instructions, the dog is trained to “ring” the bells when they need to “go,” alerting the owner to let pooch out.
PoochieBells contains lead-free USA-made custom bells, and are available in over 50 designs.