BY LINDSE Y GE TZ
Dog training and behavior products often are designed to meet very specific needs
and solve explicit problems.
Those who have the most success in this category will be retailers who are attentive to their
customers’ needs and prepared
to answer important questions.
Consumers usually are seeking products that are gentle yet
effective and easy to use. The
No. 1 problem dog owners have
in training is walking their pet on
a leash, retailers reported.
“By far, the single most re-
quested training tool in our
stores are those that help dogs
walk more calmly on a leash,”
said Laura Clark, co-owner of
Wylie Wagg, which has locations
in Virginia and Washington,
D.C. “We have seen a significant
increase in [sales of] the Freedom
No-Pull Harness [from 2 Hounds
Design], which does a fantastic
job of addressing the problem.”
Products that are simple to use
are popular, said Steve Fante, own-
er of C.B. Paws in Aspen, Colo.
“Ease of use, such as putting
on and adjusting a harness, is
important,” Fante said. “[Cus-
tomers] also want to be sure it’s
comfortable for the pet.”
Howard Bearz, owner of The
Cheshire Cat & Dog, Too! in
Cheshire, Conn., agreed.
“People are looking for train-
ing aids that are easy to use,” he
said. “If something like a harness
is hard to put on, people will
pass it by and look for others.
With collars, owners seek out
soft materials like hemp that are
gentle on their dog.”
Dave Colella, founder of Earth-
dog in Brentwood, Tenn., said the
company’s hemp products work
well for dogs with short hair and
sensitive skin, whereas nylon
might rub the skin raw.
“When you compare hemp to
pretty much anything else, hemp
is going to be the softer and more
comfortable material,” Colella
said. “If it’s a product like a har-
ness that goes under [the dog’s]
armpit and across its chest—
sensitive areas, particularly in
short-haired dogs—owners are
going to want it to be as gentle
Products that are gentle are
sought out, agreed Debra Lars-
en, CEO of Larz Dog Products in
“The trend definitely is finding training products that don’t
harm the dog in any way,” she
said. “Owners want to be able to
No Pain, All Gain
Effective and easy-to-use training and behavior products
that are gentle on dogs sell best in this category.
MCCANN PET GROUP presents Chomper
Tippin’ Treats. The toy engages pets while
they actively pursue the perfect tilt to dis-
pense treats out of the toy. The toy’s shape
creates constant motion as the dog continues
the quest to solve the playtime puzzle. It twists
open for easy access to fill with treats or kibble.
It’s great for slowing down speedy eaters. The
product is designed for dogs over 25 lb.
No Pain, All Gain,
page 36 C A R R
NEW TO THE CATEGORY
Several new products have emerged in the behavior and training category. EzyDog in
Sandpoint, Idaho, has introduced the SnakPak Treat Bag, which has a magnetic closure,
an easy-to-clean pull-up liner and an accessory pouch with a waterproof zipper, said
Katie Wood, sales and marketing coordinator. Trainers can attach the bag to their waist
using an adjustable strap or twin belt hooks.
Exclusively Pet in Milwaukee has released Chewy Training Treats in Savory Chicken,
Cheese and Bacon Apple flavors, which have a strong but pleasant aroma that trainers
like, as it helps entice the dog, said Bridget Richlen, director of sales and marketing.
Larz Dog Products in San Diego, which makes products designed for injury-free
and pain-free training and control, recently introduced a line of collars, harnesses
and leashes called the Larz Super line. The products are an upgrade to the company’s
existing product line, and they are now safer than ever, said Debra Larsen, Larz Dog
The Perfect Pace Halter Leash from Bold Lead Designs LLC in Aurora, Colo., is also
new and offers another option to stop pulling. Owner and designer Katrina Boldry said
she designed the product so that it might work with dogs that are not responding to
other types of training tools.
“It’s always good for retailers to offer a lot of options,” Boldry said. “We worked
hard to make this product easier on both the dog and the owner. The leash comes
from behind the head, which eliminates that annoyance factor for the dog of the leash
hanging in front.”
MOUNTAINSMITH offers its K- 9 Back-bowl. The 1L collapsible food/water bowl
packs down light and unfolds for easy
cleaning. The product lays flat for packing, cleaning and drying, has a nylon base
for durability, is machine washable and
has a PVC-free interior liner for holding
food or water.
WORLDWISE presents Kathy Ireland Loved Ones Tonal Metallic Dog Bowls. The sturdy and stylish ceramic
bowls come in either green or brown and feature a gold metallic accent band
around the top edge. For larger dogs there is a 9-in. diameter bowl, while
smaller dogs can use the 7-in. size. The bowls are dishwasher safe.
PETMATE presents its JW Hol-ee Bone. Pet owners can stash small treats inside of
the bone-shaped toy to give their dog hours of entertainment. The toy is great for
fetch, toss and tugging, chewing and teething. It can be used as a training toyand is
available in red, blue and green.