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*.
- Food Stuffing Toys (Kong, West Paw Toppl Toy and Tux)
- Slow Feeders
- Wooly Snuffle Mat
- Lick Mats
- Starmark Everlasting Treat Toys
- Bitter Apple
- Male Belly Bands
- Clean Up Products
Head Collars for Advanced Control
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.
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).
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” or No Petting Please”. 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.
Freedom No-Pull Harness
The Freedom No-Pull Harness by 2 Hounds Design provides control with pulling by using two points of contact with a double clip leash. One end of the leash clips to a hook on the back and the other end of the leash clips to a hook at the breastbone. Dr. Ward recommends purchasing the harness and leash system rather than simply the harness alone. For those who like a slightly longer double connecting leash, there is also a Euro Pet Leash.
The Blue-9 Balance Harness is another variety of no-pull harness. It also has a front clip option, it tends to fit higher up in front above the shoulder girdle, if fitted correctly, and this variety has a buckle option at the neck. This can be especially useful for dogs who may be less comfortable about having the harness placed over their head.
Dean and Tyler
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.
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 Planet Dog “Snoop” toys below. 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 force your dog to work for their food are good options for many dogs.
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.
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 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!).
These products may help some dogs with mild to moderate anxiety. Use as directed by your behavioral clinician.
A chemical means of communication that is species specific and has been shown to have calming effects, especially when used in conjunction with other calming products.
Functions much like a pressure wrap used with autistic children and can have a calming effect. Please note that the Thundershirt should also be worn when the dog is relaxing (so that he/she doesn’t come to associate the shirt with a stressful event.
Basket muzzles can be a useful teaching tool for dogs, especially when introduced slowly and paired with food. Introduce a muzzle slowly and pair the introduction with food (fed through the muzzle). Ideally, you’ll want to condition the dog to accept a muzzle in advance of needing to use it.
A basket muzzle should be used for a short period of time when a mildly stressful event is unavoidable or you are working on behavioral modification with your dog and are using the muzzle as an extra layer of precaution.
Please never put a muzzle on your dog and then put her in a stressful situation that would normally cause her to bite if she wasn’t muzzled. This is not how to use a muzzle correctly. If you are in need of help and have an aggressive or reactive dog, contact Dr. Ward to schedule a behavior consult.
Spray Shield (citronella spray deterrent)
Spray Shield is a deterrent that can be used to deter an menacing, approaching dog (I carry a canister with me when walking my dog), and it can also be used to break up a dog fight. Safe and effective without hurting the dog.
Bitter Apple is something that I’ve often used with young dogs and puppies who chew clothes, mouth hands, bite on the leash, etc. With Bitter Apple, I will sometimes apply it directly to my hands, clothes, the leash, etc. just as the dog is chewing. Just before I spray, I say in a neutral voice “no bite”, and if the dog continues mouthing, I spray my hands or other object. Never spray the dog! For some dogs, they mouth the hand, realize it doesn’t taste great, and they stop. This is when you lavish on the praise and redirect the dog to an appropriate chew toy.
For chewing furniture, cupboards, edges of the couch, etc. I use something like Boundary or Keep Off and may treat the item prior to having the puppy in the room. With products like Boundary or Keep Off, the dog doesn’t need to put the object in his/her mouth. It’s the smell that can be a deterrent. Use these products sparingly and always follow manufacturer directions. Don’t spray Boundary or Keep Off on skin.
It’s always best if you can use positive, reward-based methods to redirect the puppy and minimize chewing opportunities whenever possible, but in some cases, you may need to use a deterrent as described above.
For good behavioral management, such as when having visitors to the house (if you dog is at all uncomfortable about visitors), before answering the front door and signing for a package, when needing to keep distance between a baby or child and dog and more. I like a spring-loaded gate that stays in place and has a swinging door that you can open and close as needed rather than a gate that you put up and take down with each use.
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.
Male Belly Band
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.