Equipment, Toys, & Calming Aids


Dr. Ward may recommend equipment or products as part of your dog’s behavior management, training, and modification plan. Please click on the appropriate links below for more information and to order online through Amazon*.


Categories:

Head Collars for Help with Pulling and Control

Body Harnesses for Help with Pulling and Control

Flirt Pole for Exercise, Fun, and Impulse Control

Cuz Squeaky Balls

Food Puzzle Toys

  • Food Stuffing Toys (Kong, West Paw Toppl Toy and Tux)
  • Slow Feeders
  • Wooly Snuffle Mat
  • Lick Mats
  • Starmark Everlasting Treat Toys

Chews

Dog Training Treats

Treat Pouches

Calming Products

  • Pheromones
  • Thundershirt

Basket Muzzles

Spray Shield (Deterrent)

Chew Deterrents

  • Bitter Apple 
  • Boundary
  • Keep Off

Gates

Indoor Elimination and Urine Marking

  • Male Belly Bands
  • Diapers
  • Clean Up Products

Head collars provide the extra control needed when walking large, strong dogs and/or when working with a dog who may be reactive to sights, sounds, etc. If your dog is reacting to people or other dogs on walks, a behavioral consultation appointment is recommended.

GENTLE LEADER SIZE SMALL
GENTLE LEADER SIZE MEDIUM
GENTLE LEADER SIZE LARGE

HALTI HEAD COLLAR

Black Dog Training Halter (from Australia)

This is Dr. Ward’s overall preferred “head collar”.  It’s soft and relatively easy to fit.  It wears very well.  However, it’s important to fit the head collar to the dog rather than the other way around.  Some dogs do better with a Gentle Leader or a Halti (see above).  

Black Dog Training Halter with a Connector Strap

Body Harnesses for Help with Pulling and Control

A properly fitted no-pull harness, such as the FREEDOM NO-PULL HARNESS or the BALANCE HARNESS, can be a helpful tool when teaching a dog to walk without pulling on a leash. The no-pull harness may offer less overall control than the head collars (above), but dogs tend to accept the body harness more readily than the head collars. Both the no-pull harness and head collars are tools to help you to be a better teacher to your dog.

DEAN AND TYLER has a UNIVERSAL NO-PULL HARNESS that can be used with patches on the harness that tell bystanders “PLEASE GIVE ME SPACE”, “DO NOT PET”.  For dogs that need extra space around people, a Dean and Tyler harness may be the way to go.  Please don’t use patches reserved for working service dogs.  They also sell muzzles, leashes, and other quality dog equipment.   


Flirt Pole

The FLIRT POLE is very similar to a cat teaser wand where the dog has to chase after the toy at the end of the wand as you help it bounce and skip across the backyard or play indoors in a larger, enclosed space.  It’s also a great way to teach your dog impulse control, similar to tug play.  For example, your dog can “sit” to start the game.   You can tell her “get it” and let her chase after the toy at the end.  Let her get it sometimes.  It’s no fun if you are playing but never can win.  May sure that your dog as a good release/drop it on cue.  You can cue a “drop it” and then get the toy and resume the game.  If your dog is a little hesitant to release, you can try trading her for a high-value goodie.  

If you have a larger, indoor space, the Flirt Pole can be a great way to help physically tire out your dog.  However, make sure that you don’t overdo it.  Always quit leaving your dog wanting more.  THE SQUISHY FACE brand is one of Dr. Ward’s favorites.  

If your dog has shown aggression over toys, don’t play this game.  Your dog may be a good candidate for a behavioral appointment.  


Cuz Squeaky Ball

Squeaking a ball, such as a CUZ or OTHER SQUEAKY BALL, can be a great attention getter when you need your dog to turn and look at you quickly (especially if they are not responding to their name when you call).  This can be useful on a walk, when your dog may be staring at another dog and getting ready to bark.  Squeak the ball to “break the star” and get your dog to look back at you.  Some leash reactive dogs do better if they are given something to carry in their mouths when walked too.  


Food Puzzle Toys

Works Best with Moist Food or a Mix of Wet and Dry

Great for separation anxiety dogs, and dogs who need a job to do (essentially all dogs!). These toys can be stuffed with wet, canned food, or a mixture (depending on the toy).  We use a lot of the WEST PAW FOOD TOYS and KONG TOYS at our house.  Please always supervise your dog when using these food-dispensing toys.

Works Best with Dry Food 

My dogs eat at least 5 of their meals (dry kibble) a week out of their Orbee “SNOOP” TOY.  Each of my 3 dogs has their own.  Note:  Keep multiple dogs separated to avoid fighting over resources as needed.  My dogs have separate areas where their work on their food toys.  

Other Food Puzzle Toys 

There are a variety of FOOD PUZZLE TOYS available for dogs.  Try different ones to see what your dog enjoys best.  SLOW FEEDERS that encourage dogs to work for their food are also good options.    

Wooly Snuffle Mat

Have your dog search for her meals and treats.  A WOOLY SNUFFLE MAT can be used when you have visitors to the house to distract your dog from jumping up as they come through the door.  It can also be used to keep your dog busy and entertained using her mind and her sense of smell “hunting”.  This can keep a dog busy behind a gate, for example, as your visitor moves around the room (especially useful when working with a dog who may be uncomfortable with people).  

Dog Lick Mat

Keep your dog busy in the tub, when trimming nails, and more.  You can even stick a LICK MAT to the back of a crate (smeared with some delectable goodies to entice your dog inside) to encourage your dog to go inside of his crate and learn that it’s a fun place to hang out.  This can help with crate training or even teaching your dog to hang out in a specific room (useful with independence training for some dogs). 

If you are having specific issues with your dog that aren’t resolving, feel free to contact Dr. Ward to set up a behavior appointment for your dog.

Starmark Everlasting Treat Toys

STARMARK EVERLASTING TREAT TOYS can help to keep dogs occupied and busy working to get at the treats.  Great toy for when you have visitors and also as an aid for working with separation anxiety dogs.  Note:  No toy is completely safe for every dog.  Please watch your dog when you first give them a toy.  You don’t want them them destroying and eating the toy itself.n help with crate training or even teaching your dog to hang out in a specific room (useful with independence training for some dogs).  

If you are having specific issues with your dog that aren’t resolving, feel free to contact Dr. Ward to set up a behavior appointment for your dog.


Chews

For environmental enrichment and as part of a behavioral modification plan as needed. Choose a size chew appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing strength. Not all toys or chews are appropriate for all dogs. Supervise your dog when they are using chews. Always check with your dog’s vet to make sure chews are appropriate for your dog. EARTH ANIMAL NO-HIDE CHEWS are a favorite for many dogs.


Dog Training Treats

I like DOG TRAINING TREATS with natural ingredients and that are soft enough to be broken into small, individual pieces.  Always read the ingredients.  


Treat Pouches

TREAT POUCHES are a must-have for working with your dog.  I sometimes laugh that I may leave the house without lipstick on, but if I’m going anywhere with one or more of my dogs, I always have a treat pouch (and poop bags!). 


Calming Products

Calming products such as pheromones, wraps, and Calming Caps can help some dogs to feel less anxious and/or fearful.  Some of Dr. Ward’s favorite include:

ADAPTIL/THUNDEREASE:  Dr. Ward likes the diffuser in rooms ~ 600 sq feet or smaller.  The spray is great for travel, fireworks, thunder and for visits to the veterinarian’s office.  

THUNDERSHIRT: Please be sure to have your dog wear the Thundershirt in non-stressful scenarios too so that she doesn’t associate the appearance of the shirt with something “scary”.  

CALMING CAP/THUNDERCAP:  This style cap is similar to what falconers use over a bird’s head to help her relax.  Calming caps can be used on walks, car rides, visits to the veterinarian’s office, and most scenarios where visual stimuli make your dog anxious, fearful, and/or reactive.  


Basket Muzzles

Basket muzzles allow dogs to take treats, pant, and drink water are preferable to cloth muzzles, especially if worn for more than 20 minutes.  Dr. Ward likes and uses the BASKERVILLE ULTRA MUZZLEDEAN AND TYLER makes wire basket muzzles.  Wire basket muzzles may be heavier, but they may also be more secure.  Make sure that you measure for the correct size.  

Flat-Faced or “brachycephalic breeds (e.g., bulldogs) may need a slightly wider, specialty muzzle.  See a variety MUZZLES FOR FLAT-FACED BREEDS.


Spray Shield or Direct Stop

SPRAY SHIELD/DIRECT STOP is useful if you need to break up a dog fight, although keep in mind that there is no “safe way” to break up a dog fight and no method is 100% effective.  You can also use Spray Shield as a deterrent to stop or deter a dog from charging at you when out walking.  


Chew Deterrents

Chew deterrents can discourage inappropriate chewing of skin, furniture and other items.  BITTER APPLE needs to be applied frequently and at the time the dog is doing the chewing.  It can be used on clothes, shoes, etc.  The dog puts her mouth on the item and realizes it doesn’t taste good.  

Products like BOUNDARY or GET OFF aren’t meant to be sprayed on clothing or on a person.  They are sprayed on objects that you don’t want the dog to chew.  The smell can be a deterrent for some dogs.  

With any of these products, please make sure that you never spray your dog.  


Dog Gates

DOG GATES are useful indoors when you need to section off space to keep dogs away from one another, when you have a new baby and you want to keep the dog out of the baby’s room.  Gates are wonderful for keeping dogs away from the front door when you have a visitor at the door.  You can also use them to keep senior dogs from going up or down stairs unsupervised if they could hurt themselves.  

Dr. Ward recommends either permanent gates or semi-permanent gates (spring-loaded) that stay in place rather than gates that you put up and take down every time you need to use them.  These types of gates can fall over and scare the dog, and they are often not readily available when you need to use them in an emergency situation.  


Indoor Elimination and Urine Marking

Indoor elimination can be a result of incomplete house training, anxiety, and/or a medical cause.  It’s important to rule out any medical contributions to the behavior, especially if a previously house trained dog starts to eliminate indoors and/or urine mark on vertical surfaces. 

A MALE BELLY BAND or male wrap can help prevent the dog from marking items indoors while you work on retraining and behavioral modification.  If the dog marks in the band, it’s important to clean him thoroughly to avoid any irritation to the skin from the ammonia in the urine.  

DOG DIAPERS can be used to help prevent a dog from eliminating indiscriminately indoors while you work to train your dog to eliminate in a desired location.

Indoor Clean Up Products

It’s important to use good products for clean up to eliminate all organic matter which can bring the dog back to the same place.  You want something that actually breaks down and dissolves the waste, not something that just masks the smell.  My favorite go-to over the years has been NATURE’S MIRACLE and SIMPLE SOLUTION.