dog training products professional trainers swear by | Pupford

7 Best Dog Training Products Professional Trainers Swear By

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I’m gonna lay out 7 of the best dog training products that professional trainers swear by. But first, I’ve got a quick story for you.

When my wife and I decided to remodel a 100-year-old house (yes, literally 100 years old), we were excited (and nervous), eager, and thought we knew exactly what we needed to do.

I mean, all you really need is a drill, hammer, and some nails, right?

Plus, we watched Fixer Upper all the time. How hard could it be?

Within a few hours of planning out each project, we painfully realized we were in WAY over our heads. I didn’t know how to lay floors, build a fence, or reinstall new baseboards. I had never done anything like it.

Add to the mix that I was quickly realizing my hammer and drill were only going to get me so far…

Spoiler alert.

We made it work.

BUT, it would not have been possible without the help of some knowledgeable (and handy) family members, and through purchasing the right tools for each job. Who knew baseboard remover tools were a thing?

The right people and the right tools made all the difference.

You’re not here for home improvement tips though. So let’s talk about dog training. You may be surprised, but home improvement has some striking similarities to training a new (or old) pup.

You’ve probably felt the same way about training your pup as I did remodeling our home. Excited (and nervous), eager, and probably feeling like you knew what you needed to do in order to train the perfect dog.

You’d watched some training videos online, bought a leash and collar and felt like you were ready to conquer dog training.

Then… reality hit. Your dog won’t stop barking, just peed on your brand new rug for the 3rd time, and your hands and arms have more bite marks than you thought physically possible.

It’s okay! There is hope in this endeavor. Similar to remodeling a home, you just need the right people around you and the right tools to properly train a dog.

The Right People in Dog Training

Pupford dog and owner

Let me be blunt. If a dog trainer, friend, or family member wants to use punishment, force, or physical pain to get your dog to learn, don’t listen to them.

Punishment, pain, force and other similar methods of dog training have been 100% debunked and proven to be harmful to your dog. Simply put, they cause more issues than they help fix. You can read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s position statement here for more information.

Here at Pupford, we’ve partnered with Positive-Reinforcement Dog Trainers to help you create a stronger bond with your pup and help train him or her!

Our free online class, 30 Day Perfect Pup, is a great resource for starting to train your pup. It is led by YouTube’s #1 dog trainer, Zak George. You can sign up for free (yes, 100% free) here.

In addition the free class, we also offer personalized private 1-on-1 video training sessions. These sessions are conducted online via video conferencing and are a simple, affordable, and powerful way to get the help of a professional dog trainer. We offer a variety of sessions and packages, you can sign up here.

The 7 Best Dog Training Products

1. Long Lead Leash

30 foot long lead leash for dog training and recall| | Pupford

Teaching your dog to come when called is vital for your pup’s safety, especially outside around distractions.

When you start teaching your pup outside, you can run into a dilemma. How do you practice come when called from a distance without letting your pup roam free?! (ps- you shouldn’t let them roam off leash when teaching recall, because they don’t always come back!)

Your average leash is only about 6-10 feet, which can be a great place to start! But realistically, the moments you most need your pup to come back to you promptly is when they are more than 10 feet away…

Well, that’s where a long lead comes into play.

A standard 30-foot long lead is essential for teaching your pup to come when called. If your pup doesn’t come right away or runs the other direction, you’re still in control even from a distance.

Long leads are also perfect for teaching distance stays while outside.

Get a long lead here as part of our Training Starter Pack here.

2. Harness

dog harness for training | Pupford
A harness is a great tool for leash behavior training and so much more! When first teaching a pup to walk nicely on a leash, it’s usually anything but nice!

They are reactive, want to pull every direction, sniff everywhere, and so on! Relying solely on a flat neck collar can cause some potential pain for your pup as they are pulling around.

A harness helps to avoid any choking or neck problems in the early stages of leash behavior training. You can even snag harnesses with front clip options which can help deter your pup from pulling.

To be clear, a harness is not a solution for leash pulling. Rather, it’s a tool to help you more effectively train proper leash behavior!

Get a harness here.

3. Chew Toy

kong chew toy for training | Pupford
Just because it says toy, doesn’t mean it can’t be a training tool!

Chew toys are a great tool for redirecting your pup when problem behaviors like biting or unwanted chewing occur. Not only that, but chew toys are a powerful way to help mentally stimulate your pup.

You’ll want to get a variety of chew toys. Try out different materials, textures, and noisemaker types.

Get some chew toys here.

4. Crate

metal crate for new puppy checklist | Pupford
Training your pup to love their crate will be vital for so many behaviors! It helps with potty training, avoiding problem behaviors, and so much more!

If you need extra help with teaching your pup to love their crate, be sure to check out our free 30 Day Perfect Pup online class here.

When picking a crate, choose one that will be big enough for your pup once they are full grown. I also recommend getting a crate with a divider so you can segment out the crate when your pup isn’t yet full grown. Also, two doored crates are the easiest to train your pup to love!

Get a crate here.

5. Leash

leash for new puppy checklist | Pupford
This one is probably a no-brainer! You’ll want a 4-6 foot leash for general training and of course for walks.

Whenever working with a young puppy, you should have them leashed and attached to you inside the home. Puppies typically get into trouble when they have too much free reign on your home and are out of your sight. If they are clipped to you at all times (at least in the early stages), you’ll be able to cut down on those accidents and problem behaviors!

Get my favorite leash here.

6. Treats

freeze dried beef liver training treats | Pupford
Positive-reinforcement based training requires the use of treats consistently in the beginning stages. You can expect to use treats throughout your dog’s entire life! You’ll end up using treats more sparsely as your dog ages and matures in their trained skill and behaviors.

It’s important to use a treat that is both highly desirable for your pup and healthy! As you work on lengthy training sessions, your pup ends up taking in lots of treats. If you’re giving them an unhealthy treat over and over, your pup will probably put on some extra weight.

Also, keep in mind that when giving treats, it’s not about quantity, rather quality. You don’t need a big giant biscuit to reward your dog! About the size of a grain of rice or pea is completely adequate, so long as the flavor is enticing enough for your pup.

At Pupford, we carry the best training treats available. Get a bag as part of our Training Starter Pack here.

7. Tug Toys & Fetch Toys

tug toys for dog training and play | Pupford

Again, toys can be very effective training tools! For tug and fetch, they can be a great way to redirect your pup from bad behaviors.

Teaching your dog a structured game of fetch and tug is a great way to reward your pup for positive behaviors as well. It allows you to mix up rewards between play and treats!

Not only that, but tug and fetch are fantastic ways to help your pup get rid of their energy. Be sure to test out different types of fetch and tug toys to see what your pup enjoys most.

Get my favorite tug toy as part of our Training Starter Pack here.

Best Dog Training Products Recap

using a long lead to help a dog listen in new environments | Pupford

No matter your pup’s age or behavior level, there is always room for growth with training new skills and behaviors. Just like with remodeling a home, the right tools make all the difference.

Be sure to check out our Training Starter Pack to get started on your pup’s path to perfect behavior!

training starter pack | Pupford

Written by Devin Stagg

Since being deprived of dogs during his childhood, he and his wife decided to make up for it by having three dogs, two Lab puppies, and one grandpa Puggle. Meaning you won’t see him not covered in dog hair. When he’s not busy training his dogs and/or picking up their poop, you can find him cheering on Tottenham Hotspur and all Cleveland sports (yes, even the Browns).

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165 Comments on “7 Best Dog Training Products Professional Trainers Swear By

  1. Great article for beginners… sending this to my friend who is a first time puppy mom to-be. I agree with the essentials… some end up being more valuable than others; my VIP is crate. My baby collie needs to decompress when she gets over-tired and an antler in the crate with the shades drawn is a major must.

  2. Treats! Definitely the most useful tool in training. Of course, you need all the others, but having high value treats is really important. I know it sounds like bribery, but it works! And dogs are food motivated. Especially for a great treat. I slacked off on treats too soon and I noticed a big difference. My puppy slacked off, too. I thought, oh he’s learning so much…he doesn’t need the treats as much. It also happened to coincide with the teenage phase! Not a good combo. I reintroduced treats and he’s still in his teenage phase. We’re working through it!☺

  3. I think of these our favorite would be the crate! Our pup was extremely curious as many are and it was so reassuring to be able to leave the house and know that she was safe and comfortable. Because my boyfriend and I also had several work and event-related trips we had to attend this first year, it was also a great comfort and relief to be able to know that she would be safely contained in her crate overnight when we left her with family and friends to watch, and that they would have a tool to rely on when watching a little puppy in their homes (unfamiliar environments for our pup in the middle of being housetrained). There are so many reasons that this was a practical choice for us, but I’ll leave it at that for now! 🙂

  4. Definitely the treats, my 3 months old german shepherd loves pupford’s treats although I have to order them from amazon cause I live in Puerto Rico and they don’t ship here 😭
    Although a little bit more expensive buying them from amazon I do it for my pup, he gets super excited and eager to train 😂

  5. The long leash lead has been most useful when training and play outside and learning fetch outside. I should get a longer one to start working on increasing distance. I often clip to the collar but don’t hold onto the leash now bit can still step on it or grab it if needed during outdoor taining and play. Jedi came to live with is 6 weeks ago and he is nearly 10 months old. He has made a lot of progress in listening while outside and the long lead leash has helped tremendously in keeping him safe while working outside.

  6. My favorite tool has been the tug toy. It’s so rewarding for my pup (and me!) to play with this and is helping us bond. Oh and high value treats have been incredibly useful in keeping his attention and interest in training!

    1. Games of tug really do help improve the relationship with your pup 🙂 Thanks for your comment about your favorite training product!

  7. High value treats are gold! They keep my pup focused and interested in training every day. It’s been so much fun watching him learn and grow. Also, a great tug toy is a huge motivator for him! It gets out his playful energy and builds our bond at the same time. We have a blast playing tug, toss, repeat! 🙂

  8. For us, we really rely on our long lead to teach recall. We also believe in crate training so our dogs stay out of trouble when we are out.

  9. absolutely the crate! my husband and I have never used one and weren’t really sure how it would help. but we can’t imagine how we, or our puppy, could have made the strides we’ve had with training our puppy without it.

  10. I would say all of these items are a must! For me and my pup, our favorites have been a tug/fetch toy and treats! The toy gets out his energy, is fun to play with for both of us, and helps us bond (sure does make me smile to see him happily playing with me!). The high value treats motivate him and keep him interested in whatever we are doing. Typical lab that is highly food motivated, haha! It’s a blast watching our Calvin learn and grow each day. These two items also help me show my little kids how to have positive interactions with our puppy. Puppies can be overwhelming for kids (the biting, jumping, etc) but a tug toy and treats really help put those behaviors to a minimum. So the entire family can bond with him!

  11. Using a harness has been a saving grace with my 16 month German Shepherd Heeler mix. He is still 60 lbs of puppy I swear! He pulls all the time and gets so excited when people or dogs are around I think he would have pulled my arm off with out one !

  12. Definitely treats! I try and save the best treats for the hardest things – recall. The nastiest stingiest treats work the best when teaching a dog to come when called. I use their daily kibble allotment for “regular” training – sit, look at me, down, etc. That way I can easily keep track of calories and make sure to keep them at a healthy weight!

  13. It’s hard to pick one of these training products as the most useful because you NEED all of them! But the products that get the most attention from my dog are treats and toys. I can use either one as a high-value currency during our training sessions. We have a Golden Retriever named Petey. Petey was the runt of his litter. We brought him home with us when he was only 6 weeks old and 6 pounds. He is now 2 years old and 100 pounds. I have used Zak’s training methods since the day we brought Petey home and he is amazing! Many people on our walking routes even comment on how well behaved he is. I used….and still use….all of the training products in this list. There isn’t anything in this list that I could do without. I also use a treat pouch that I take with me on walks and for training outside because you never know when a “training moment” will happen. Thank you for helping people learn how to train their dogs with positive reinforcement!

  14. Great blog post. We jusy picked up our Goldendoodle Jax less then a week ago. Ive quickly learned that he likes the high value treats more then a milkbone. Haha smart puppy. We just signed up for the 30 day program and Im already in love. I LOVE all the positive reinforcement. I cant wait to get started.

  15. Treats are the foremost tool for teaching and reinforcing. But chew toys and tug toys are a close second at my house. My dogs are very food motivated and will randomly practice “focus” when I haven’t asked for it LOL. Sometimes they get the treat , sometimes praise, other times we play for a minute. Chew toys and tug are excellent in redirecting my nine month old away from things he shouldn’t be chewing on as we practice leave it in real life.

  16. I have to agree, training treats are my most used training tools but I couldn’t do without stuffable chew toys like Kongs for happy crate time. My pup happily runs into his crate, anticipating his food stuffed Kong, and after he is done with it, he settles down for a nap.

  17. The chew toy has been the most beneficial training tool for me and my pup! Finnegan is very Kong motivated. Not only is it wonderful for redirecting him (whether is chewing things he’s not allowed too, barking, or jumping on visitors), but he will do his tricks for it as well! We use it as a reward now and we are trying to move away treats.

  18. I’m going to say the only thing that isn’t essential for us is a crate. But that is because I have a rescue dog that has separation anxiety and a fear/ hatred for crates, he actual bent the crate door off hinges enough to get out of crate.
    Harness has been great for more control when outside training and walking. I love having a long lead, it really has helped not only to get better exercise so we can have a successful training session but to know that he’ll listen from further away. And treats are always the best motivator.

  19. Oh boy! Chew toys, most specifically Kongs, have been the most important part of having my two huskies. When I got my first one, I was devastated leaving him at home every day to head out for a 12 hour nursing shift. Even though I knew he had a walker coming and everything, it just broke my heart. Enter Kong: with just some peanut butter and the Kong, Loki now is basically like “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” when I head to work. Now that I have his new little sister, the Kong with peanut butter has been the best tool in crate training her and getting her to like being in there. Also, when I need to spend time training her or taking her out for frequent potty breaks, Loki is totally content to have his Kong while we do out thing. Essential!

  20. We just adopted our 6 month old rescue pup a week ago so we don’t have a ton of experience with her yet. She is the shy type and I would have to say treats have been the most helpful to entice her to come out of her shell, start learning, and bonding with us. A close second would be her crate. She came to us already crate trained, and her crate serves as a wonderful safe and familiar spot for her. She loves it! It is also such an excellent tool for when we leave the house or can’t keep a close eye on her.

  21. Treats and a long line for me! I use the extra special high value treats for my dogs when teaching recall. And I treat every single time they come when I call them. I use their kibble for training the “regular” stuff – sit, down, stand, etc so that they will not get too many calories in a day. I like using a long line when training outside as it is much safer! I also like to see if my dog even wants to train with me; he’s free to sniff as much as he wants!

  22. Fetch toys! Fetch toys or tug of war toys are amazing for excerising, bonding, and training your pup. The Importance of bonding with your pup trumps treats or leashes in my opinion. Yes all the others tools are important too but if you have not built a bond with your pup everything else is going to be difficult. My pup Mira is a black Labrador retriever and unsurprisingly she loves to run and play fetch. 30minutes of fetch before a training session does wonders not only to our bond but also to her concentration level. Its her favorite form of exercise and it’s my favorite training tool, it’s a win-win!

  23. Love the treats as well as the toys! My dog is more motivated by toys sometimes than the treats. Love the long lead as well when training!

  24. I got all of the items recommended and they are pretty good. Although for a puppy the red leash and the harness might be too heavy. Still on the search for more chew toys!

  25. nice blog and I can vouch for the importance of having a crate for one’s dog! My dog appreciates having her safe place where she knows exactly what to do: nothing! And she can decompress and doesn’t have to be “on-guard” or worry about a thing.

  26. Crate (and exercise pen) were a great tool for potty training and helping my Aussie calm down when he just wants to keep going hard but needs a break.

  27. The most useful treat must be treats for training our 2 year old lab mix! Without treats, we would not have made any progress in training! Her main issue is on a leash- whether it’s pulling or barking at dogs walking by, I MUST have treats on hand to stop the issue before it starts- that means getting farther from the dog, distract her from the squirrels (and reward her with a tiny bit of that tasty chicken when she “leaves it”), and reward any time loose leash happens on a walk! Thank goodness my puppers likes yummy treats! And thanks Zak & Team.

  28. Chew toys have been a great training tool for Sasha, my American Staffordshire Terrier. It started out as just something used for play and general gnawing (puppy teeth). With the help of Zak George’s training videos on YouTube, learned all the different ways her favorite toys can help with training. When treats don’t get her attention, a Kong puppy toy will (especially with a dollop of peanut butter in it). The skill that has benefited the most from using a chew toy is “leave it”. She had already learned to leave a treat if asked, but I believe that using the bundle of sticks Kong chew toy (among others as well) has really strengthened her responsiveness to a command such as leave it. I can’t wait to start using this a training tool when we’re outside too (puppies and sticks, leaves, squirrels, etc… are all very distracting to any dog). Thanks to the many techniques taught by Zak, Sasha is on her way to becoming a perfectly behaved pup inside and outside of the house.

  29. This was a helpful article. So far the harness has been great while getting our dog used to walking on a leash. But by far the chew toys have been our best tool. We have a smart and sweet puppy but when she’s ready to chew it seems like my arm is her go to favorite. Redirecting her with a chew toy has been very helpful!

  30. Stanley (our 1 year old rescue) has benefitted from the positive reinforcement with treats of course but the tug toys have really helped curb behaviors such as biting and even jumping. He has made the correlation between his “rope” and not mouthing us when he’s excited. When he wakes up in the morning he greets us with a kiss and then grabs his tug toy to go downstairs for a little play before potty. When we first got him he was jumping all over us and mouthing. The tug toys also helped sooo much through the frozen polar vortex here in Chicago. Stan could not get his usual walks and wanted to play outback in the snow so bad so lots of pulling and training happened and we really got his fetch game down. It helped too because its a nice “non-treat” reward. Stan came to us as a stray found at a kill shelter. He’s so willing to learn and train. the harness leash also has been huge for our leash training issues. He gets better and better everyday coupled with high value treats for walking nicely. Everyday he is a little bit better and everyday it is enjoyable to walk him. I love the positive reinforcement method but needed to train myself with these tools as well because everyone kept trying to get me to get a pinch collar or use a smack. Once I could retrain my own brain with these tools and realize how Stanley’s brain was working its been so enjoyable and we are only 2 months in to having him in our lives. There is so much more I want and need to teach him (especially to come reliably) I thought I’d never get another dog after our family dog died five years ago but I saw Stanley’s picture and fell in love. He has been a great addition to our family. He is still a Work In Progress but we love him and love having so much fun training him even on his most trying days because the reward we get is the love he has for us and the “smiles” he gives.

  31. Great article, Devin! For our training, the fetch/tug toys have been the most influential – it helps my pup relieve her stress and energy, gives her something to focus on and look forward to, and I feel like it helps us bond when she knows if I win, she can still get the toy (its not gone forever), and that if she wins, that’s OK too!

    I feel like there is so much misinformation out there (especially in the training community) that playing a simple game of tug is a huge negative – ESPECIALLY if they “win.” I’ve always, always seen it as a positive and feel it has helped me become closer to my pups and has helped INCREASE their obedience… not ever decrease! Tug is a great reward for them and they know after a great day of learning, when the tug toys comes out, they can unwind and play!

  32. Of all of these tools, I have found that a shorter leash is amazingly helpful, especially for indoors. The biggest help this gives me is the ability to watch and see when our puppy Mochi is sniffing around for a place to go potty. As little mochi is only 9 weeks old, potty training has become a big priority! Not only that, but the more we have her on leash inside, the better she follows while off leash as well. It is great at teaching boundaries! One more thing, I found it great to monitor how Mochi and our cat Mango interact with each other so that we can make sure they are playing safely. Call me a prude, but I think I would lose my mind if I didn’t have her on leash most of the time!

  33. We are new puppy parents. We find the best training advice in the article is the leash- the harness- the treats- really everything combined has really helped us tremendously. Because if articles like this and the YouTube videos it has made bringing a puppy into our family seem like a piece of cake. Just like the article said if you have all the right tools you set yourself up for success! Thanks you!

  34. TOYS!! I thought my puppy was food motivated when training but boy was I wrong when it was time for real life scenarios. He just wouldn’t listen and sit…forget about it. Now I bring his favorite toy and he will listen even if there’s another dog a foot away which is a feat in itself.

  35. To start off I have a puppy (springer spaniel) who is 12 weeks old. So far we have used most of these training tools and this is how I would rank them in order of helpfulness.

    1. Crate/treats

    These two I would tie for 1st. Both are helpful in different but equally important ways. Our crate was helpful almost instantly. Our pup clearly saw it as a safe place from day one. She went in her crate willingly the first couple days as she was overwhelmed by all the newness. It also helped so much with potty training and just having a place I knew she would be safe and I could also get a break. Treats have been very important as well. If I have a treat her attention is almost instantly on me and she is egar to learn!

    2. Tug toy
    Our tug toy has been so helpful for times that our pup gets riled up. It’s been soo cold out since we’ve had her so having a game to play with her inside has been so helpful. I was nervous to play tug because I’ve heard some say it makes a dog more aggressive but I have found the opposite. It has helped her start to learn how to drop it, it’s helped her burn off energy by playing fetch and it has also given her something good to chew on.

    3. Chew to
    This in a similar way as the tug toy had been helpful to give our pup a calm way to keep her busy. Usually she’ll lay in her bed with a chew toy for a little while.

    4. Harness/Leash/Long lead
    I’m also pairing these all together. So far leashes or anything connected to our dogs collar or harness have proved to be a test of patience for us. She has a really hard time not biting her leash or lead and we’ve been working on that with her. I know these tools will be helpful as it warms up and we have time/patience to continue working with her in walking and come. I have noticed that she does do bettter if she has a leash connected to her harness verse collar so I’m hopefully she will catch in as we continuing working with her!

    1. Thanks for the very thorough comment, great to hear real-life feedback like this! Sounds like you are working really hard to give your pup the best life 🙂

  36. Good article, I need more advice on breaking bad habits. My 12 month old corgi was very mouthy as a puppy and we weren’t properly distracting him. Now he is a little shark and bites my arms, hands, clothes

  37. I have to saw all mentioned items have been a great help. The long lead leash has been especially helpful because I don’t have a fence. But more importantly to work on recall while outside. A harness is also great because my puppy always pulls when he sees people or other dogs. She would have injured her neck without it. And of course treats are the best. My puppy’s best motivation for all things.

  38. My favorite item on the list is a tie between the crate and the fetch toys. The crate (which our dog now loves) has been essential for preventing accidents while I’m putting our toddler to bed and our puppy is jealous! The fetch toys have helped both to get our pup moving indoors and to bond him with our kids, who both love him dearly.

  39. I think a crate is very important! When we got a family dog I had no idea what a crate was so we never used it. Fast forward to me having my own dog and I had to crate train my puppy. It really helps when I need to do chores around the house, run errands or leave the house. It’s very important for them to know that it’s their safe space and not to use it for punishment! Which alot of people forget.

  40. Treats are definitely super important in training our new puppy. She loves them all. I really like using her kibble when it works & save the good stuff for harder things.

  41. While we appreciate many of these items, the crate greatly assisted in potty training. It also provides a safe place for our pup when we are gone as he isn’t quite ready to be free in the house yet (he is just 6months).

  42. The crate is the best training tool for our little lady (80 lb, 8 month old lab). After all her training and work she needs to rest, that’s her comfort zone. She knows that’s her space and that’s the only place she will sleep. She loves having her Kong or antler in there switch out every few days.

  43. My favorite training product is treats! They have been the most effective with my 3 year old golden retriever, Noah. He is very playful and sometimes has difficulty focusing on the task at hand, but treats captivate him and I enjoy being able to praise him and give him that reward when he completes a command.

  44. My puppy is a miniature Australian Shepherd. He is so smart! I have been having lots of fun working with him. My most helpful training tool so far are the treats. My dog will do anything for them!!

  45. I’ve enjoyed watching your videos and using them to help train our beagle puppy. I do have a question. Since you don’t recommend punishment, what do you think about invisible fence?

    1. Hey Jeff! Great question 🙂 Similarly to our thoughts on prong collars, e-collars, etc. we believe that these types of tools (invisible fences included) can often cause more problems in the long run like fear, unwanted aggression, anxiety and more. We believe that the least invasive method should be used first when training dogs. That includes positive reinforcement of correct behaviors. We believe most situations and behaviors can be taught and thoroughly understood by dogs without the use of pain and punishment. Of course, we don’t know your exact situation but would love to chat about specifics if you would like 🙂 You can always email us at training @ pupford dot com! Thanks Jeff.

  46. It’s hard to choose which product has been the most helpful. The combination of his crate and chew toy has made crate training easy. We fill his Kong toy with treats and he is so busy getting the treats out that he doesn’t cry. Of course we’ve tired him out before putting him in, but he settles right down.

  47. My husband and I are new to the puppy world. We’ve grown up with family dogs but never had to train a puppy of our own. We are having a tough time with unwanted biting and chewing of my clothes (not my husband…just me). Chew toys have definitely been a big help for us and will continue to use them. But it only distracts him for so long before he’s back at my clothes. We are excited to try the 30 day puppy training with him.

    1. Excited for you and your husband to get into the puppy world, it’s the best 😉 Keep up the good work and stick with the 30 Day Perfect Pup class! If you have specific questions, you can email training @ pupford dot com 🙂

  48. I love the love the leash crate! I have never crate train before and I love it! My problem is she pees on the couch. While I put that one the wash she will pee on the other couch cover! Then eventually on any blankets that may be out! Please HELP! She’s a 8 month old German Shepherd mix that we’ve had about 3 months. She was also a stray found on the side a busy highway. She Has also recently bee try to chase cars. I am so worn out. I have MS,fibromialgia and I have 2 new knees!. I personally thinks she looks more like a Belgian Malinois. She’s extremely smart just always into something!!

  49. I think dog treats are one of the best things in the world. My personal dog loves food and will do anything for it. It helps keep her focused.

  50. First time pet mom here, we have a 5 month old mini Australian labradoodle naked Loki. The best training tools have been the high valued treats and the crate. Of course, toys and a leash and harness are a must too. We have had him for 3 months now, and the only tool on this list that I haven’t purchased yet is a long lead. My husband and I took him on a nice long walk today and my husband was letting him walk without the leash. He did stay by his side, but I don’t trust he will do that as he gets older. I was just thinking today how a long lead would be perfect for allowing him to explore while still being confident he won’t run off while we are training him. I have watched so many of Zak George’s videos and they have all been so helpful.

  51. The 20ft lead has been a life saver! Maisel is a digger. We bought her a sandbox to help with the digging desire. Having a fenced in yard we did not think about leashing her, but the lead has allowed us to correct and redirect the digging! Thank you so much!!

  52. The long leash has definitely been the most impactful for training recall. I have a breed that will always be unreliable off leash (Fox Terrier) but being able to train recall from a variety of distances and scenarios has had the biggest impact on keeping my pup safe and me happy!

  53. Hello…I have actually found the tug toy to b quite special as I am able to get Koas attention with it…apply many of your training techniques at the same time such as leave it…look at me…sit…reinforce appropriate behavior with yes and inappropriate behavior with no…and at the same time playing🤗so thank u for sharing your awesome free 30 day training program🙏☺️

  54. The long lead has been the most useful tool for training…which I have never previously used. It allows me to maintain control while allowing my dog to feel that they have freedom to do as they want. So the recall command, etc. becomes much more of them truly choosing to come back to me. But if they don’t, I am still in control!

  55. I Iove the tug toy. My pit puppy is so hyper so using this toy is a great way to get rid of all that energy prior to beginning any training lessons. Also, it’s not only fun for the pup, but fun for me too. It’s a great workout for both of us. It’s even more fun when my toddler joins in. He absolutely adores playing with Kratos, or who he calls KohKoh.

  56. As a dog trainer I 100% agree!!! I tell people that these all are my tools in my tool box. How do you just pick one? I dont think I can! They are all so important for different reasons.. I suppose treats are an important part though! Haha!

  57. My puppy comes home in three days! I have been watching and listening to all the videos and tips. A long lead training leash was not on our preparation list. We ordered one that should arrive today. Thank you for all of your advice. We will be using it for months to come.

  58. Training treats have done wonders for my 4-month-old puppy. She’s a very hyper dog and she loves attention but she can sometimes get easily distracted, which is why having treats while training her is the most important thing to me because when training her with treats, they keep her engaged with learning new things. She knows how to sit and at the moment, I’ve been teaching her the phrase “gentle” that way when I do give her a treat she doesn’t chomp my hand off lol. Over the time of having my puppy, I’ve learned that she’s a pretty smart dog although as I said before she gets easily distracted but luckily I have training treats to help us get through it all. Lola is my very first puppy and I’m trying so hard to do a good job with her, I’m hoping that with all the videos and or blogs that I will be able to have not only a stronger bond with my puppy but also some pretty cool tricks, she can show her to her puppy pals.

  59. Mosr definitely I would say that one of the best things that I have loved to use with training is a harness. My boy is a pitbull who loves the outdoors and is always excited to go outside (he literally knows what outside means). When I first got him he was smaller than what he is now and he wasn’t as strong as me. AS he grew he became much more energetic and always had the urge to pull, with a regular collar trying to prevent him to pull and teach him to walk on a loose leash would hurt him. It wasn’t until we switched to a harness that I realized how much easier it is to walk him and teach him without having to hurt him. He is 11 months and will be officially one year on sunday (02/17/19) and he loves his harness as well as I do.

  60. Having a crate that we’ve been able to teach our puppy to love has been the biggest game changer for his happiness and our sanity! Teaching our puppy to be happy in his crate has not only helped us potty train quicker, but it gives him a safe space to get away from any chaos in our house.

  61. Oh my gosh this article couldn’t be any more perfect than it already is!! I love using my longer training lead to work on recall with my 4 year old pit/boxer… and thankfully, she’s SUPER food motivated so she picked up quick! Although her favorite treats I’ve found are… well, ok maybe she doesn’t have a favorite… she loves them all! And one of her favorite things to play with is her KONG… we’ll either play fetch with it in the backyard, OR I’ll stuff some natural PB in there with some small treats or kibble and let her go to town! She always ends up exhausted by the end. 😛 Her other favorite toys are ropes… she loves tugging with either myself, my husband, or our other dog. In fact, one of the first things she does after a nap is search the house for her rope and bring it to us! And she knows the phrases “Where’s your rope?! Find your rope!” and will respond by frantically searching the house for one of them until she finds it and brings it over! So many great suggestions here!! Great job! 🙂

  62. A crate was essential for our training! We purchased a large one with a divider that our pup is quickly growing in to! Using the crate helped us establish a routine, a potty schedule, and his own safe place when he needs it. We use an exercise pen mostly during the day now that he’s older, but acclimating him to his crate helped when he needed to stay overnight somewhere else, enforces the naps that he desperately needs but certainly won’t take on his own (silly Border Collies!), and ensures he’s not causing trouble at night. Last night, my husband fell asleep without putting the puppy in his crate and woke up later to find that our puppy had gone in for bed on his own! Win-win for everyone!

  63. This guide was really helpful! Currently in the process of acquiring all the items suggested in order to make sure our pup gets the best results from training!! Also, those freeze dried liver treats are AMAZING!! Blue goes absolutely crazy for them!

  64. We got our first dog from a shelter when he was about five years old. When we first brought him home he was so scared he wouldn’t come out of his crate or eat. Our crate helped give him a place he felt safe as he gradually warmed up. He was already toilet trained but the crate gave us peace of mind when we were out to know he wasn’t going have an accident on the floor. Eventually we were able to give our dog more freedom and let him have access to more area while we were out but the crate was a great help in the beginning for us and for our dog.

  65. How do you possibly pick 1 favorite?! They are all needed but in different ways!
    As hard as it is to choose, the crate has to be my favorite. It keeps my puppy safe, keeps me without worry, and is a super helpful tool in house training because of the “no pee where I sleep” rule!!
    I’m so thankful my little guy likes his crate and will go right to sleep at night! No whining or keeping me awake during bedtime!
    Crate training is a must! If not for the dog, at least for your own sanity!

  66. I have to say the crate has been our most useful tool. It lets our pup stay out of trouble when we can’t kepp a close eye on her. It also gives me peace of mind knowing that she is safe and isn’t getting into anything that could harm her.

  67. Spot on! All very necessary things with a new pup! Crate training has helped with potty training. Tasty treats help teach and reinforce good behavior. Chew toys keep them busy when I can’t and toys help us bond! I love walks with our harness the front clip really does help with distractions and pulling. I’m excited to try recall on a long lead, our pup hasn’t quite mastered it at home but we are getting there! We are about half way through the 30 day perfect pup class and I’m amazed how smart my girl is! Great article

  68. Tugs & fetch toys are my saving grace. I have a chocolate lab who chews everything, at a very young age I redirected that behavior to his toys so my furniture is stil intact woohoo. And he LOVES his toys.

  69. We love our tug and fetch toys for our 9 week old labradoodle named Dan! While he is still learning his commands of “leave it” and where to do his business, fetch and tug are things he can do on any day and any mood! Sometimes he plays so much he falls asleep on his walk back from fetch, hard life for this pup!

  70. For my puppy… The crate. He is a fun puppy. When my female was a puppy treats. She was super easy barely needed a leash. Just wanted to stay with me.

  71. Great article. I have had dogs all my life but haven’t had a puppy in over 15 years. I’m getting a pup this summer and have noticed many things in dog training theory have changed-and for the better! Building a great relationship with my dog should be a no brainer. Play-training is an awesome concept and one I plan to use. Looking forward to getting my puppy and using the training concepts I’m learning from Zak!

  72. Having a variety of chew toys, especially the fillable Kong toy, is a furniture saver! Our sweet 17 week Tibetan spaniel puppy gets into a devilish mood when his gums are sore, and rightfully so, thankfully we are able to proactively provide relief with rope, stuffed kong, & rubbery toys, & a frozen chilly bone. We make mush of his dry food with boiled chicken breast water & he loves making a mess licking it out of the toy.

  73. I love the idea of the crate but my puppy is slowly getting used to to the white crate she prefers her carrier/travel crate. All items have proven to be very useful but Treats is my #1 she is soo food driven and will automatically calms down and sits once she sees us grabbing her treats.

  74. Since adopting our 12 week old puppy I think the most helpful tool we have used is the treats!! He is very food motivated and I dont think it would be at all possible to have gotten as far as we have without treats!

  75. Oh where to start… this list is perfect! All first, second, third time puppy owners should look at and review this list.
    Firstly, being introduced to Zak George is invaluable. I was drawn to his videos immediately and they are so easy to follow!
    If you get anything from this list, make sure it’s a crate. It’s great to leave the house and not worry about your pup destroying everything while you’re gone.
    Next would be the toys. Make sure you get hard toys, soft toys, tug toys, fetch toys. We avoided stuffed animals because our kids have a ton of them and we didn’t want to confuse our puppy. I never realized how many different toys puppies needed. My pup is always playing with a different toy and it’s great that it keeps her busy.
    Something I never really put a lot of thought into was the long lead. I wanted to smack my forehead when I saw it on the list. Of course it makes sense! I always tried it the hard way… Now I can’t wait for the snow to go away to give it a try!
    I love having access to awesome training and tools all in one place! It has saved me so much time and headaches.
    Thank you Pupford and Zak George!!!

  76. My absolute favorite training product has to be, hands down, our tug toys!!! We still haven’t gotten out of our biting stage, who am I kidding we just started biting stage! But our tug toys helps build a loving bond and allows my pup hood teething habits as well.

    Using the tug toys eliminates the damges of a teething puppy but builds a great relationship and teach Truff so many great habits!

  77. this article is a great list… my favorite of the 7 is a good treat. my 10 week old puppy is doing so well with training because of the treats. he sits & leaves it & responds so well. the crate is another favorite as its a safe place for him when he sleeps, while we’re out & sometimes he goes in it just to nap. finding this site & zak george the week we got our puppy was a God send…I feel like we’re getting Shiner off on a great start! thanks!

  78. I definitely think that the rewards are the best things! All are necessary, but the rewards are what make it all worth it! I did get the harness recommended here too and I love that as well.
    Thanks for the great article!

  79. These are all sooooooo useful – but treats are an absolute life saver! As soon as I found a treat my dog loved – training went soooo much faster – and he knew what I wanted him to do! I felt like he loved me more as well 😛

  80. My 10 week old Goldendoodle is very smart and has learned so much already! The best thing for her is highly motivating treats because she is very food motivated. They keep her attention and she is able to learn so much when she knows I am rewarding her!

  81. My favorite thing is the fetch toys because they have helped my puppy not bite me as much and they also help me entertain her whenever she gets bored so she does not get into trouble but the treats have also helped because she really enjoys getting the treats when we are training and so she keeps behaving and doing what I say when we are training because she really wants to get the treats

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