When it comes to dog training, there are several philosophies that can be followed. One of the most popular styles involves positive reinforcement. And when it comes to rewarding a dog for following a command, nothing says “well done” quite like a treat.
Dr. Dalton’s Premium Treats were originally created by Dr. Sue Dalton as a training treat to be used at her dog training school, California School for Dogs, Inc., in Santa Barbara, California.
“I was looking for something that I could easily break into different-sized pieces and that wasn’t greasy so that I could keep them in my pocket,” she recalled. “I couldn’t find anything, so I started making my own and using them at the school. Then people started asking where they could buy them as a general treat, and I started manufacturing on a larger scale and supplying them exclusively to pet specialty stores.”
According to Wendy Guyer, owner of the Pet House in Santa Barbara, California, the first pet store to stock the treat line, there is always high demand for pure meat, non-greasy treats.
“Treats are such an important training tool, and I find myself often putting together training packages for new dog owners that include a harness, treats and other essentials,” she said.
The Caru Pet Food Company has introduced two new protein treats to its baked Soft ‘n Tasty Treat line.
“We were inspired to create them in response to rising public demand for more novel, exotic proteins, so we have added USDA inspected pheasant and tuna,” said Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder of the company. “These tender treats are perfect for dogs with common food allergies or digestive sensitivities and great for training because they can be easily broken into smaller pieces without creating crumbs and they are not greasy to the touch.”
Leads and Harnesses
PetSafe, manufacturers of the popular Easy Walk Harness, has introduced some fun new patterns featuring bones, donuts and poppies in bright fashion colors in the new Chic Easy Walk line. The easily adjustable harness comes with a matching four-foot leash and is available in four sizes.
“We have had a lot of success with this style because it stops leash pulling quickly and comfortably, and the front chest leash attachment, a unique Martingale loop, redirects the dog’s forward motion,” explained Nicole Backus, product manager for the toys and behavior product categories. “So we decided to give it a fashionable look. We did the same with our Gentle Leader product, too.”
In addition, the company has introduced the PetSafe 3 in 1 Harness, which, as the name suggests, offers three harnesses in one. The design includes a front leash attachment for no-pull walks, a back leash attachment for more comfortable runs and a car safety restraint for safer trips as you can slot a seatbelt through it to prevent a dog from interfering with the driver. The 3 in 1 Harness comes in black, plum and teal and is available in four sizes.
“The idea is for the dog owner to get long-term benefits out of the product that goes well beyond the training phase,” Backus said.
Celebrity behaviorist and dog trainer Dr. Roger Mugford has added more training products under the Halti label that falls under the umbrella of The Company of Animals, including the Halti All-In-One Lead, which has a reflective strip for nighttime visibility and a bungee section to absorb any pulling on either end of the leash. It has a soft neoprene handle and the multi-functional design can be used hand held, serve as a tie-out tether or be used belt-style around the waist for hands-free control while running.
Dr. Roger Mugford’s Clix training products replicate what he uses at his own Training and Behaviour Centre, and the comprehensive training range includes everything from two-tone whistles to target sticks and clickers, enabling owners and trainers to teach a dog anything from a simple sit through advanced tricks. The Clix Puppy Line is specially designed for house training a puppy.
Dog trainer Jennifer Arnold, the creator of the Bond-Based Approach Choice Teaching method, which focuses on dog owners building strong relationships with their dogs through bond-building exercises rather than through more traditional dog training methods, has designed and brought to market a new leash design called We Leash that has two handles—one handle for the dog owner to hold, and the other handle on the opposite end of the leash for the dog to carry in its mouth. And, on the dog’s end, there is also a special connector to attach a toy, the doggie equivalent of a comforting baby blankie.
“Taking a dog for a walk should be an interactive exercise,” Arnold said. “By holding something, a dog feels more secure and is less likely to feel restrained and to react inappropriately on a leash. It’s about the dog feeling he is in charge, too. It’s as if he is taking his human for a stroll.”
Arnold officially debuted her innovative leash at SuperZoo in July, and she noted that she is focused on working with pet specialty retailers who can best explain the premise of this unique design.
Manufacturers of high-end leather leashes are also focusing on training products. Angel Pet Supplies has introduced a high-grain braided leather leash with two handles and solid brass hardware. The second handle is situated just above the collar snap hook and designed for ultimate short leash control of the dog during training and also for general use in high traffic urban areas. The leash is available in different lengths and widths and in both brown and black.
And there is no doubt that there are a fair amount of accidents in the home as a part of the dog training experience.
“In addition to using the Stain & Odor Remover for cleaning up everyday to severe messes, our Urine Destroyer is also great when potty training a new puppy or newly adopted dog,” said Jenny Gilcrest, director of marketing for Skout’s Honor. “Both can be added to the dog trainer arsenal because they simply make the life of the pet parent easier through the process as they completely remove urine stains and odors—helping to prevent dogs from going pee in the same spots/marking. They can be used on carpeting, upholstery, crates, rugs—pretty much any surface where accidents happen.”
The Patio Cleaner & Deodorizer spray is for dogs being trained to go on imitation grass surfaces outside or on a balcony and also works on concrete, stone and other outdoor surfaces where dogs go to the bathroom.
“Having such products on hand can help solve ‘problems’ more quickly and completely,” Gilcrest said. “[It] minimizes frustration of the pet parent, allowing you to be more focused and effective through the training process.”