Trainers say you can get your dog to act a hell of a lot better with any of these genius tricks

Tools and tips for better-behaved best friends.

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Seasoned and novice pet owners alike can benefit from the training tools and tips provided on this list by some top professionals in the industry. The products recommended on this list are tools to help you encourage the best behavior from your fur buddy.

When you take the time to implement correct training techniques with the assistance of varied training tools, you are ultimately setting your dog up for success. And a well-behaved dog makes for a happy owner.


Giving a chew toy that helps your dog’s dental hygiene

Burgess reminds new and seasoned pet owners to “[give] your dog plenty of chew toys ... They get bored with the same toys and will play with them more often if you change them.” Pet owners should keep various toys in mind when stockpiling chews.

For instance, this chew toy from Arm & Hammer is a Burgess-recommended option to add to the routine. Aside from being a durable chew toy, it helps reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth. And this one is flavored like peanut butter to be extra enticing, and “[it’s] infused with baking soda and is made for heavy chewers,” Burgess adds.


Redirecting inappropriate chewing with an ultra long-lasting toy

A dog chewing inappropriate things around the house is a common undesirable behavior. Michelle Lehr, AKC instructor, Certified Canine Massage Therapist, and head writer at Good Dog Swag, says, “It’s important to remember that the goal is not to punish your dog but to redirect their behavior. If your dog is barking excessively, for example, redirect their attention to something else, such as a chew toy or a game of fetch.”

This maplestick chew toy is a great tool to redirect unwanted behaviors from your pooch. It’s far more durable than a stick you would find outside and can withstand weeks of use, even from the toughest chewers. The toy is made from real wood to help entice your dog, as they find it flavorful.

Lehr adds, “When it comes to curbing ‘undesirable’ behaviors in dogs, the key is consistency,” says “Training should begin as soon as possible and should be reinforced throughout the dog’s life. Consistency in commands, reactions, and reinforcement will help your dog understand what is expected of them.”


Implementing clickers to help with precision & consistency in training

“Positive reinforcement strategies such as clicker training, where dogs are rewarded for correct behavior and ignored for incorrect, can help owners to communicate more effectively with their pets,” says Lehr.

This 2-pack of training clickers is just what you need to create that line of communication between you and your pooch. They’re ideal for helping your pup learn basic obedience commands, like sit, stay, and heel. It can also redirect unwanted behaviors to something more positive. The large button is easy to push and makes a loud clicking sound that’s easy for you and your dog to hear.

Lehr says praising your dog is another important piece of the puzzle, as “rewarding desired behaviors with treats, toys, and attention can help to create the association that desired behavior brings desirable rewards.”


Employing a nearly indestructible treat toy from Kong

Planning ahead in your day is a smart way to prepare for potentially triggering situations for your dog. “One final management technique that I love is to preemptively give a dog a stuffed Kong, bully stick, or other food puzzle to keep them busy and quiet when you need,” Fontana-Dreszer recommends.

Even the toughest chewers will have difficulty destroying this treat toy from Kong. The highly durable rubber can withstand not just hours, but months and years of chewing. Its ability to hold your fur friend’s favorite treat makes it a perfect tool to mentally stimulate or redirect them from engaging in unwanted behaviors.

“It's a great way to curb demand barking, whining, pacing, counter surfing, and other pestering, attention and food seeking behavior,” shares Fontana-Dreszer.


Stuffing a treat-dispensing toy for hours of fun

If your dog is exhibiting behaviors you consider naughty, it could be from a plethora of underlying causes. According to CPDT-KA and training expert at, Julie Burgess, those underlying causes are usually as simple as being bored, anxious, or getting overexcited.

This interactive toy will hold your dog’s focus for extended periods. The big secret to keeping that focus? It dispenses treats out of a tiny hole as your pup knocks the toy around the floor. The bottom has an anti-slip quality and is weighted to keep playtime in a localized area.

Burgess adds, “Interactive toys like the Bob-a-Lot are excellent for your dog, especially if they like to use their paws.”


Providing a variety of chew toys that will entertain your dog for days

Not all dogs enjoy chewing on the same types of toys, and just like humans, they can get tired of even their favorite playthings after a while. Lehr advises, “For unruly chewing habits, providing a variety of chewing toys and regularly rotating them can prevent boredom.”

Having a grab bag of chew toys at your disposal is a surefire way to keep your fur friend occupied for hours at a time. There are a variety of toys that will spark your dog's interest, like ropes, plush squeaky toys, treat balls, and more. Setting a boundary for a proper chewing outlet can help you help your dog successfully behave in the manner you wish.


Using a giant snuffle mat to turn feeding time into training time

Some dogs have an incredibly strong, innate desire to dig in all sorts of places. Sometimes that’s going to be areas you don’t want them to dig in. Lehr tells pet owners, “Offering digging outlets, such as sandboxes, pits, and toys can help curb digging in the wrong places.”

On days your dog needs some extra mental stimulation, break out this interactive snuffle mat and have them put their nose and paws to work. Hide small pieces of your pup’s favorite treats all over the mat and then let them have at it.

As one reviewer noted, “I am a nurse so long hours at home means finding long lasting entertainment for [my yorkie]. He loves playing with the mat and it keeps him guessing and digging for treats!”


Walking the pup even at night with a rechargeable LED collar

“A free way to get your dog more physical exercise is to take it for walks more often. Most dogs should have close to 2 hours a day of exercise, and when they don't, they find their own fun,” notes Burgess. She often tells pet owners three of the easiest ways to curb bad behaviors are through exercise, giving them a job to do, and properly training them.

No matter how early or how late it is in the day, there is always an opportunity to take your dog for a walk. This rechargeable LED collar adds a safety feature for both of you when it’s dark out. It provides visibility up to 1,000 feet and is available in several eye-catching colors, too.


Incorporating puzzle toys for mental stimulation

There are plenty of products out there that are geared toward brain stimulation for dogs. That is especially important to remember as your dog starts to get older. “Brain-exercising toys can entertain senior dogs who can't participate in intense physical activities,” Burgess explains. “This interactive puzzle game toy from Outward Hound is an excellent option to keep your dog busy and entertained.”

Doggos of all ages will be kept mentally stimulated and engaged with the likes of this treat-dispensing puzzle toy. It is a simple solution that will help older dogs stay sharp mentally, too. They are encouraged to use their paws and snouts to nudge the toy around and knock treats loose.


Using high-value rewards like this peanut butter made for dogs

Leash training can be one of the more difficult areas to correct when training your pet. Burgess advises clients to “[try] using Xylitol-free peanut butter on the end of a wooden spoon while you teach your dog to walk on a leash properly.” To do this, “start to walk, lower the spoon and let your dog have a quick lick of the spoon, then pull the spoon back up.”

This dog peanut butter from Buddy Budder is a superb option for pet owners. It’s free from xylitol, an additive that the FDA declares poisonous to dogs. This peanut butter comes in lots of different flavors and is made for your dog to safely consume. Pop it in the fridge to get it extra thick before dishing it into your pup's favorite treat-dispensing toys.


Having tasty freeze-dried beef liver treats on hand for training

If you’re going to be using treats during training times, finding premium quality and healthy options are probably high on your list. “These freeze-dried liver treats are my go-to in training my dogs because they love them!” Burgess exclaims about these tasty treats.

Feel confident feeding your dog these freeze-dried beef liver treats that are made from one single ingredient — beef livers. Each treat is packed with protein and they’re so tasty your dog will be enticed to listen and learn.

She goes on to say “Because they're freeze-dried, you can take them anywhere, and even when it's hot outside, these are the perfect treat. If your dog knows there's an excellent incentive to stay with you, it will likely do so.”


Using a gate to keep your pets where you want them

A common mistake dog owners make is putting their pets in a situation where they are bound to fail. Lindsey Fontana-Dreszer, a CTC trainer and founder of Dogby subscription boxes, states, “The most important thing that you can do when curbing an unwanted dog behavior is to avoid putting them in situations that trigger the behavior. In the training world, this is called management.”

Limiting free roaming of the house is an easy way to implement management with your pet. A simple way to go about accomplishing that is setting up a walk-through pet gate to keep your dog where you want it without hindering your ability to get from one room to the other. This easily adjusts to fit securely in door frames or against the walls.

Fontana-Dreszer gives the management example of incorporating a gate “to keep a jumpy dog away from the front door.” This is a failproof way to prevent the dog from “[jumping] on guests, and you can even use the separation as a way to practice and reward a preferable behavior like sitting or just keeping all four paws on the floor.”


Placing a frosted window film to obscure the view outside

“Another great situation to use management is with dogs who bark out the window,” adds Fontana-Dreszer. Outside distractions are often the reason dogs start barking uncontrollably. Adding this frosted window film to your windows will give you privacy without affecting the amount of light that comes in. And if you ever decide you don’t need it covering your windows anymore, easily peel it off with no damage left behind.

“When I worked in the training department at a shelter, we did this on the kennels of dogs who had a hard time being in the busy shelter environment and it always made a big difference in lowering their stress and reducing their barking,” elaborates Fontana-Dreszer.


Using a harness with a gentle no-pull design

If leash training is a focus for you and your dog, Fontana-Dreszer has some words of wisdom to guide you: “Another of my favorite management techniques is to use a front-clip harness to reduce the force when dogs pull on the leash.”

This no-pull harness is a useful training tool for a wide range of dogs, especially ones with respiratory issues. The bungee clip absorbs the force exerted by dogs that want to pull. There is a chest strap and a more traditional shoulder strap to help you control what your dog is doing while on the leash.

Fontana-Dreszer additionally notes, “A harness that has a clip on the dog's chest instead of their neck or back removes their leverage and reduces the amount of force they can use to pull.”


Trying a variety of puzzles to work your dog’s brain

Fontana-Dreszer goes further to explain that management can also be useful to deal with unwanted behavior like “attention and food seeking behavior.” She’s also a big proponent of products like puzzle toys to help curb these behaviors.

This interactive treat puzzle gives your dog a lot of enrichment opportunities to keep their minds sharp. This version has pieces that slide, spin, and hide their favorite snacks and keep them working to find every last bit.


Giving a self-dispensing treat toy that will mentally engage your pup

Finding ways to entertain your dog and prevent them from misbehaving can seem like a never-ending journey for dog owners. Letting them play with things like this treat-dispensing toy will occupy their minds and noses in order to get the reward they want.

Another favorite of Fontana-Dreszer’s, something like this can come in handy when “you need them out of your hair like during important work calls, while a worker is at your house, or when you are busy trying to make dinner.”


Offering jumbo-sized bully sticks for extended chewing time

If you have a puppy, they can engage in self-rewarding behavior, which typically manifests in the form of bad behaviors such as “digging, barking, and pulling on the leash,” says Ivan Petersel, CPDT-KA trainer and founder of Dog Wizardry. “It's our job to make these behaviors not rewarding and to show them appropriate outlets for their energy.”

For food-motivated dogs, a tasty treat like these jumbo bully sticks can quickly and easily redirect negative behavior. He adds, “When puppies chew on something inappropriate, we can ‘correct, redirect & reward.’” Bully sticks are one of Petersel’s preferred redirecting treats — just ensure they’re an extra-thick version. “The thin ones can be a choking hazard,” he explains.


Treating with a yummy pack of hand-wrapped cod skins

Another product Petersel recommends are these Icelandic+ plus cod skins. They’re packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are known to improve your dog's skin and give more sheen to their coat. These one-ingredient fish treats lack the strong odor other similar products have.


Playing with a durable rope toy for chewing and tug games

If you need to find a durable chew toy that doubles as a mutual plaything, consider this knotted, cotton rope toy for your dog. This is another recommended product from Petersel. You can spend quality playtime with your pup playing tug, and if your dog is more of a chewer, it is also ideal for solo play. Petersel advises that “rope toys that are soaked in beef broth and frozen” will provide long-term entertainment.


Incorporating a tasty broth formulated especially for dogs

For dog owners that want to put Petersel’s idea into action with the broth-soaked frozen ropes, one tasty option for the job is Brutus bone broth. It’s made for dogs and is formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints. This would also be great to use with finicky eaters as a food topper.


Using raw, freeze-dried dog treats for training

Keep in mind that when training your dog, it will be important to use a combination of low and high-value treats. However, as Petersel explains, “Only the dog can decide what is lower vs higher value.” He continues, “Higher value treats are handy in distracting environments. Boring treats are like $5 bills while high value treats are like $100 bills.”

One of his favorite training treats to offer dogs is these freeze-dried minnows. They are packed with protein and are bite-sized, so it’s easy for you to control how much you allow your dog to eat at once


Experimenting with treat options to find your dog’s favorite

Petersel shares, “I always offer dogs a wide variety of regular and unconventional treats and I let them decide what their favorite is.”

Not all treats are created equal, as is proven with these unique and hypoallergenic cricket treats, another Petersel favorite. They’re perfect for dogs with food allergies and are high-protein, made with cricket, sweet potato, and pea. They are another novel treat to have in the rotation and are great for practicing basic obedience commands.


Keeping rewards on hand with a wearable treat pouch

Training at home isn’t the only place you should be working on good behavior with your furry friend. Taking them outdoors and putting them in a variety of situations is also important (and often necessary). “This is the treat pouch that I recommend to my clients,” Petersel says of this training pouch by Treat Trader.

“It uses a magnet so it's super easy to open and close. It's also ergonomic,” he notes. This pouch lets you keep one hand free to control your dog while the other grabs the treats from the bag.


Or going for a budget-friendlier treat pouch option

For a budget-friendly option, this clip-on treat pouch is an excellent alternative. It attaches to your waistband with a clip or has a loop for carabiners, and has a side pocket designed for poop-bag rolls. There’s a zippered pocket for phone and wallet, and a drawstring top for easy access to treats.


Trying a unique hands-free clicker for teaching commands

Using training methods with a healthy dose of positive reinforcement is a tried-and-true method of getting your dog to do what you want. Petersel notes that “[not] all clickers are created equal and hands free clickers are the best!”

This particular hands-free clicker is on a wrist lanyard so it hangs at your fingertips, rather than requiring you to grip it. Pressing the button signals an “event marker” as a way to communicate with your dog. Petersel shares, “I instruct clients to click and say ‘YES’ at the same time. After a few months, we phase out the clicker and only use the word ‘YES’.”


Using a portable playpen to set boundaries for your dog at home & away

Tori Acres, CPCFT and owner at Canine Body Balance, discusses the importance of teaching your dog boundaries, especially when they’re puppies. She says “A controlled, enriched and stimulating environment helps puppies learn to be successful and aids in the development of their self-esteem.”

Having a tool like this portable playpen is handy and convenient for this type of training technique. There is no assembly required and you can fold it up or unfold it in seconds. It also means you can move it around the house or take it with you on pet-friendly trips.

Acres is a big fan of using playpens as a way of “[preventing] unwanted choices from being made, without the need to reprimand or punish the dog.” The goal is to help your dog be successful in making correct behavioral choices and avoiding potentially triggering situations.


Choosing an extra-durable plushy to safely occupy your pup when alone

There will be times you can’t keep your dog 100% supervised to ensure they aren’t misbehaving or doing anything they shouldn’t be doing. When your dog is going to be flying solo, it’s a good idea to give them a toy or two that will be a safe source of entertainment if they get bored.

Acres recommends toys like this knots bear made by Kong for solo playtime. The soft, plush outside is an enticing prospect to lots of dogs. Inside are several knotted ropes that will make it difficult for your pooch to annihilate the toy, and there’s no stuffing to make a mess. It’s especially handy if you kennel or use a playpen to control where your dog can go.


Playing tug games with your pup for interactive fun

Acres wants dog owners to be aware that “[we] can help puppies learn to better regulate their emotions and level of arousal through fun interactive games.” Whether you have an active puppy or an aggressive chewer, incorporating something like this tough tug toy into playtime adds a level of mental stimulation.

She notes, “Taking the puppy through different states of arousal, and ensuring you balance out excitement with calmness, helps puppies learn there is value in both states, excitement and relaxation.” And as always, a tired puppy is more often a well-behaved puppy.


Incorporating a “drag leash” for indoor training

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of training your dog or working on getting rid of unwanted behaviors they have developed over time, using this management concept is one of the simplest ways to accomplish your goals. Leigh Siegfried, APDT, IAABC, IACP trainer and CEO and founder of Opportunity Barks, explains management “simply means not allowing the dog to rehearse the behavior that they've ... gotten good at rehearsing.”

One technique Siegfried advises owners to use is what she refers to as a “drag leash.” With this method she explains, “[They] have some ability to be moving naturally or freely but there's also a part of it where a person could step on a leash or grab a leash and guide the dog's movement” when intervention or redirection is necessary.

Having a tool like this simple, 6-foot dog leash at your disposal will make this a viable training technique to implement at home. It’s long enough you don’t have to worry about your dog being right next to you to still be in control. And the wrist loop is padded for the times you’re outside taking your dog for a walk.


Training with a slip lead that doubles as leash & collar in one

It’s helpful for dog owners to be cognizant of the fact that pieces of equipment, toys, and treats are merely tools to aid in proper training. Siegfried espouses educating your dog as opposed to throwing a piece of equipment on, which will eventually “go bankrupt” as per its effectiveness, once the novelty has worn off.

Siegfried recommends training using this slip leash, which, she explains is “a leash and collar all in one.” If a dog pulls, the loop serving as the collar will tighten and cause the dog to stop the pulling behavior, as opposed to a no-pull harness that physically stops the behavior. Just ensure you’re using this tool safely and properly, as per the brand’s instructions.