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5 Brilliant Dog Training Tools Parents Can’t Live Without

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

Noisy kiddos, crazy schedules, chaos everywhere, AND a puppy in the middle of it all. Seriously, you need all the help you can get. We’ve put together some of our absolute favorite dog training tools to help you curb the kid-dog chaos in your life.

For those times when you can’t give 100% of your attention to supervising your kids and dog, or when things are getting just a little too crazy, a baby gate is your bestie! They’re also great for when a baby is having tummy time or learning to crawl. Your dog can still have freedom and be with the family, but everyone stays safe and you get a little break! To get your dog comfortable being on the other side of the gate, give him something yummy to chew on like a Kong or Nylabone. It’s also super fun for the kids (or you!) to toss the dog pieces of his kibble across the gate. This helps the dog learn that good things happen on the other side of the gate, AND keeps the kids occupied. Two for one!

“In my humble opinion, stuffed hollow toys are a much more important invention than automobiles or airplanes.” - Patricia McConnell, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist

I couldn’t agree more! Kong is probably the most popular of the stuffable toys and for good reason. It’s durable, comes in a variety of sizes, is easy to stuff with your dog’s favorite goodies (peanut butter, squeeze cheese, leftover sweet potatoes, etc.) and it’s dishwasher safe, making cleanup a snap. They tap into a dog’s natural instinct to work for his food, they exercise his brain, and they give an outlet for that uncontrollable urge to chew. As a result, you get to see the blissfully happy, content, non-misbehaving version of your dog. These are my go-to chew to give my dog when I really need some peace and quiet, or when my dog is behind a gate or in his crate. They’re like the #1 survival tool for exhausted dog owners.

In addition to a baby gate, crating is your other option for when you need to separate your kids and dog for a while. A crate is like an exclusive resort where your dog gets to chill and do all his favorite things. And you get a well-deserved break! To teach your dog to be happy in the crate, associate it with all things yummy like meals and his favorite chews. Put up a Do Not Disturb sign because dogs feel trapped when kids poke their hands in the crate. If your dog is housetrained, you can put soft bedding in the crate to make it super comfy. Start with only short intervals in the crate, and slowly build the amount of time. But always leave your dog with something to chew on.

Your kids are playing a rowdy game in the next room, and your dog keeps wanting to go join them. You know if he does, he’ll get worked up and start jumping on the kids, leaving you with yet another mess on your hands. Time to get out the hands-free leash! This is super handy because all you have to do is attach it around your waist or over your shoulder, and your dog is kept close to you. No worries about where he is or if he’s playing too rough with the kids (or vice versa). It’s also a great tool to use with a front-clip harness on walks.

A long line is basically an extra-long leash. They come in a variety of lengths from 15-50 feet, but the 30-foot length will work for your needs. There are SO many uses for these guys. You can use them to give your dog more freedom to exercise, help teach your dog to come when called, or use them when playing games with your dog in an unfenced area. If you have a child who wants to walk the dog (and a dog who already walks politely on leash), attach both the long line and a standard leash to the dog’s harness. The child walks with the dog in front holding the shorter leash, while you walk behind with the long line. Your child gets to feel like she’s actually walking the dog, but you’re still there as backup in case the dog tries to chase a squirrel and your child can’t hang on to the leash.

Give yourself a break! Put some of these tools to work for you. Who know, you might even sneak a few minutes of peace and quiet over a cup of coffee.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Need more help transforming your unruly dog? Get access to our FREE mini course, the Family Dog Makeover here!


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