10 Dog Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

puppy supplies

Dog Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

If you have a dog...if you do not they might still make your life easier

Here is a quick, easy run down of some of my favorite go-to dog products.  I have found these to make life with your darling (or maybe not so darling) doggo a little bit easier.

1. Doggy playpen

I cannot sing enough praise for the doggy playpen.  It is a sanity saver.  If you want a place to stash your pup for a while when you have to shower or vacuum or do any number of other tasks where you cannot watch your untrustworthy puppy implicitly, the playpen saves the day.  I do have a couple words of warning though- IF YOUR DOG IS A CLIMBER, I would refrain from getting a playpen or do some whiz bang doctoring of the hinges and holes so he or she cannot get a leg stuck.  I have seen dogs almost break their legs attempting to prison break from these playpens.  However, if your dog is not a Houdini climber, then take a look at a doggy playpen.  Also NO CHILD PLAYPENS.  Those pop up fabric ones might be good for a picnic out but they will not last and your pup will chew through it faster than a New York minute at exactly the most inopportune time.  Check out these heavy duty steel playpens:

They come in various heights, are quick to put up and break down, and you can choose the number of panels you use to customize the size.

2. Sound Corrections or a Squirt Gun

Anyone who trains with me knows I love to use sound corrections for undesirable behaviors.  This is not the forum for venting your frustrations on training methods.  But I guess feel free in the comments section if it is therapeutic.  Now that we have that out of the way, two of my go-to humane corrections for undesirable behaviors are compressed air, such as Pet Corrector or Quit-It, and a good old fashion squirt gun.  If you're cheap, you can try bike pumps or computer dusters- just be careful not to spray the cloudy stuff that sometimes comes out ON your dog.  For more dangerous undesirable behaviors, you can upgrade to a boat horn.  It will annoy your neighbors...but it will also nip some bad behaviors in the butt.  It also works to protect single women at bars from unwanted flirts.  Trust me.  It's a proven method.

3. A Good Leash

Ditch the retractable leash.  Opt for the standard 6 foot lead.  Trainers can be snobs about a quality, leather leash.  I admit it- I have a nice tooled, braided one for my dog.  But here's a dirty secret:  I kinda like the reflective rope-type ones too.  It is nice for night walks...especially when you have a giant, black scary looking dog that emerges from the darkness and causes bicycle accidents....

4. SSScat device

Mostly I will tell you, you have to be present to correct a bad behavior...that is mostly true.  I love the SSScat device for catching those sneaking counter surfers.  If your pooch has a propensity to nick off with forbidden treasures from the counter, check out this motion-activated spraying device.  It was originally developed to keep cats off counters, but it works for dogs as well.

5. Treat Pouch

When I first became a dog trainer, I was adamant I would not be one of those fanny-pack toting trainers that smelled perpetually like cheese.  Then, after watching hundreds of people bumble around, searching pockets and reaching far away stashes all the while dropping leashes and cursing, I became a convert.  Opt for ones that are made for dog training and have an open-close mechanism.  It will make the training that much easier.

6. This Training Collar

Again, this is probably not the forum to vent all your animal rights' rage about the use of prong or training collars, but again, comments section below if you cannot control the urge.  I like prong collars.  They are generally safe (no brachycephalic aka smoosh-face dogs) and very effective.  They can be a pain to get on and off if they are sized correctly (high and snug under the mandible) and I never recommend the quick release mechanisms because they fail too often for my comfort.  When recently working with a client with arthritic hands, I found this gem.  I ordered one for my dog too.  The small size, adding extra links as necessary to fit your dog, should be adequate for most dogs.

7.  Or This Head Halter

I also like head halters for difficult walkers.  As long as they are not going to take flying leaps and snap their necks down precariously, this is a good option for reining in that difficult walker, or if you do not want to use a prong collar.  However, many of the versions I see in the store are super flimsy.  Search for a nice, sturdy, thick one like this:

8. Dog Appeasing Pheromone 

Adaptil is the brand name for the dog appeasing pheromone.  It comes in a collar, room spray, and diffuser form and is not detectable with the human nose.  However it goes a long way in calming an excited or nervous pooch.  It is not a solution in and of itself, but its clinical trials showed good results.  Do not waste your money on thunder-shirts.  They do not work.

9.  Marrow Bones and a Kong

These are my two go-to chewies for dogs.  Marrow bones, sometimes called shin bones, are the cylindrical cow bones you see at pet and grocery stores.  Sometimes they are smoked with all those tasty skin morsels still attached and sometimes they are white-clean with a cool filling like cheese or peanut butter.  I also am a huge fan of Kong toys.  Make sure to get the right size for your doggo to not inhale.  Try freezing it with plain yogurt or peanut butter for an activity that will keep your pupper occupied for a while.

10. Electronic Collar

If you want to spew the haterade, again...comments section.  However, when I train, I do as much as possible to avoid using the shock settings, being in favor of good old fashioned, repetitive work.  Most collars now come with a vibrate and beep mode, which I like more.  This is one way you can reach out and touch your dog from far away, and it makes situations like getting your dog to come back at the dog park, for instance, soooo much easier.  However, I recommend using it with the guidance of a professional trainer so you do not accidentally give you dog a complex.  I like this brand because their customer service is fantastic, the collars are waterproof (my dog swims with his all the time) and you have to actually mean to depress the buttons (no accidentally pocket-zapping Fido). You can also add multiple collars to one transmitter i.e. one remote to three dogs.

As always, I remind everyone that your dog is just that- your dog.  You can choose to use whatever equipment, tools, toys, etc. that you want with your own dog.  These are just some of the ones I might suggest.

Sammy the Dog Trainer


  1. Let me tell you one thing. I have always been a dog lover, but I never got a chance to bring one at my home when I used to live with my parents. But now I was thinking of bringing one since I no longer live with my parents. Your article has really helped me in figuring out what I need to have in order for my dog to be comfortable with me.


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