30 Smart Things Trainers Use To Help Dogs Behave Better

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

by Nikol Slatinska

Dogs are the best. (Sorry, cat people.) Setting aside that they’re cute, loyal, and protective of their owners, the fact of the matter is that they make every day better just by being around. Naturally, you want the best for them in turn, whether that means feeding them only organic food, bathing them with shampoo that’s more expensive than yours, or sacrificing an hour of your time each day to go for a walk.

Sometimes, though, your pup might exhibit some unseemly behaviors. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to help your pooch behave better, and you just need a few inexpensive tools to get started. Read on to see expert-recommended toys, snacks, and accessories from Amazon designed to turn your good dog into the best dog.


This Training Whistle That’ll Help Teach Behavioral Commands

If you find that your dog isn’t really responding to voice commands, try a training whistle, like this one by SportDOG. Dr. Amanda Takiguchi, a veterinarian, dog trainer, and founder of the blog Trending Breeds, swears by one. “The only ‘tools’ I ever need to train my dogs are a collar, a lead, a whistle, and me!” she says. “I train my dogs to working trials standard. Tracking, searching, obedience, and agility.”

Although this whistle is high-pitched (hence why your dog is more likely to respond to it), it doesn’t have a little ball inside, so it won’t make that annoying trill sound. Also, you can adjust your volume to be quieter when your pup is close to you.


A Set Of Clickers To Help Your Dog Listen & Learn

When your dog learns how to sit and stay, ideally the moment won’t be filled with shouting. Keep things under control with one of these training clickers, which comes in a pack of two. “The clicker can be used to mark the moment when the dog has performed an action, or it can be used as a reward for good behavior,” explains Jen Jones, a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist. Thus, this gadget both teaches your puppy new behaviors and reinforces already practiced good behaviors.

“I recommend using a clicker for teaching and then using a verbal marker to remind the dog of what he did,” Jones, the founder of Your Dog Advisor, adds. Through this type of operant conditioning, your dog will become so well-mannered, Cesar Millan would be impressed.


This Long Leash That Allows For Exploration

When you’re in public places with your furry friend, you want to keep them relatively close for their own safety. But Andy Ramshaw, the owner of Venture Dog Training, suggests getting a longer leash for when it’s just the two of you. “I recommend one 30 feet long that you can put onto your dog in a safe environment, like the woods or a beach,” he says. “They give your dog the opportunity to sniff and explore while the owner still has control.”

This woven leash is a great option, as it comes in multiple lengths, including 30 and 50 feet. It has a double-layered handle to help you maintain a strong grip, and it’s made of a rope-like material that doesn’t tangle no matter how far your dog strays.


A Toy That Provides Stimulation & Helps Your Dog Expend Energy

If your pup doesn’t have a KONG yet, you’re both missing out. This rubber toy, which comes in six sizes, holds food and treats, providing both dinner and entertainment. “Feeding this way gives the dog an opportunity to chew (fulfilling a natural calming function) whilst also rewarding the dog for lying down, chewing, not barking, and being calm,” Ramshaw says.

He explains that placing the toy in your dog’s crate is also a great way to help them get used to spending time alone. In essence, the KONG is useful for multiple things, including teething, alleviating separation anxiety, and avoiding boredom.


This Set Of Rubber Mats That Soothe Nerves & Make Eating More Enjoyable

Feeding time will be exciting for your dog regardless of what you serve their food in. These textured mats, however, offer a challenge and generate more excitement than the standard doggy bowl. “Lickimats [...] are dimpled rubber mats that can be used to spread soft foods onto for the dog to lick,” Ramshaw says. You can get two for just $15, and they’re reusable.

“Licking is repetitive and is calming for dogs,” Ramshaw adds. If you have an anxious pup, this product will take their mind off of troubling thoughts and provide a distracting task during meal time.


These Treats That Take Longer To Consume Than Traditional Biscuits

Letting your dog discover different types of treats is exciting. Do they prefer soft chews? Jerky? Freeze-dried meat? Ramshaw recommends keeping some bully sticks in your rotation, in addition to other “perishable chews that the dog can safely consume.”

These sticks contain only one ingredient, so they’re free of preservatives and artificial flavors. Bully sticks will also keep your pooch occupied for a good while. “Supervision is always advised when dogs are chewing anything,” Ramshaw adds.


A Mat That Hides Kibble, Forcing Your Dog To Fish It Out

Another way to keep your dog entertained is to hide their food or treats in one of these snuffle mats. Ribbon tendrils conceal the bits, so your pet has to actively sniff them out and look for them. “This replicates the natural behavior of sniffing and scavenging for dogs and can be an excellent way to exercise their brain,” Ramshaw says. “Mental exercise is twice as tiring as physical exercise for dogs.”

The cool thing about this mat is that you can expand it to any size you want. Keep it smaller for puppies, or increase its circumference for larger dogs. In any case, your canine is going to have a waggin’ good time with this product.


This Harness That Will Help Your Hound Breathe Easier On Walks

A common mistake is to attach your dog’s leash to their collar before going for a walk. Instead, you should get this padded harness for maximum comfort. “A harness is preferable to a collar because if the dog has a tendency to pull, the pressure caused will be distributed across the dog's chest and back, which are strong,” Ramshaw clarifies. “Rather than its neck, (which) contains softer organs.”

This harness is available in 14 cute colors and four sizes, plus it has two buckles that make it easy to slip on and off. Most importantly, though, it’ll prevent your dog from choking or becoming short of breath during strolls.


This Training Platform That Helps Discourage Unwanted Behaviors

Certified dog trainer Erin Askeland swears by using a dog training platform such as this one to dissuade begging, jumping, and other problem behaviors. “Platforms make for a great training tool because it helps put a dog in the right position and makes it super obvious where they should be,” says Askeland, an animal health and behavior expert at Camp Bow Wow. “It creates a visual aid that is clear and precise to help a dog focus during a training session.”

The Klimb platform has a secure base and rubbery surface to keep your pet safely situated on top. Although it can hold up to 500 pounds, the platform itself is lightweight and easily transportable. After all, there’s never a wrong place or time to instill some manners.


A Microfiber Mat That Does More Than Just Prevent Muddy Floors

This absorbent mat would make a great addition to the front entryway so your pups can wipe their muddy paws before stepping onto the floors. Its microfiber surface and non-slip backing make for long-lasting durability.

But Askeland says there’s more than one possible use with this product. “A mat is a portable version of a platform that you can use when going out to train in public or different locations,” she explains. “One with a good, nonskid back is helpful to stay in place while in use.” This product checks all the necessary boxes.


This Target Stick That Makes Training Sessions Less Tiring For You

Tap into your headmaster persona with this expandable target stick. The device helps outline a dedicated training area for your dog, Askeland says. This particular one can fit in your pocket when not in use, making it easily portable.

“A target stick can help train things like leash-walking or tricks that require a certain body position or movement,” Askeland shares. “While you can also use your hand, a target stick ... is often easier to move around than having to manipulate your own hand and arm.”


This Toy That Makes Crate Training Less Of A Hassle

It’s important for your pet to be able to stay in a crate when you’re not around to supervise. Unfortunately, teaching them to do so can create feelings of stress and anxiety. That’s where the Groov toy comes in.

“This toy really helps a dog to like being in their crate by providing them with an activity to do while spending time in confinement,” says Alexandra Bassett, CPDT-KA, and lead trainer and behavior specialist at Dog Savvy Los Angeles. All you have to do is smear the toy with something creamy, such as peanut butter, attach it to the side of the crate, and let your dog go to town while learning to stay there without feeling nervous.


A Playpen That Helps Your Dogs Frolic Outside Safely

Those without a fenced-in backyard will appreciate this metal playpen, whose bendable panels allow you to create multiple configurations. With this barrier, you can leave your dogs to play in the yard with minimal supervision. “It can both keep a dog out of trouble and prevent potty accidents in the wrong spot,” Bassett notes.

The pen’s frame is covered in a rust-proof coating. That, coupled with its sturdy foundation, will allow you to use this product for years to come. It also comes in six different sizes, so no worries if your yard is on the smaller side.


These Reusable Pee Pads For Uncomplicated Potty Training

You might’ve used pee pads inside the house before your puppy learned to relieve themselves outside. But this set of washable fabric pads is useful for potty training both indoors and outdoors. Unlike disposable pads, this eco-friendly alternative can be reused and will save you money in the long run.

“Outdoors, it can be used to designate a specific spot in the backyard where a pet parent would like their dog to go to the toilet or as a play area on someone's patio or balcony,” Bassett tells Bustle.


A Nosework Kit That Harnesses Your Canine’s Hunter Instincts

This nosework scent kit allows dogs to act on their instincts in a non-destructive way by helping your pup develop their smell detection ability. “This is physically and mentally challenging, and of course, dogs that can fulfill their natural tendencies are always happier!” says dog trainer Alix Mitchell. What’s more, she explains that this activity will strengthen the bond between you and your pet.


An Easy-To-Follow Book That’ll Help You Understand Why Your Dogs Act The Way They Do

Expectant parents read books to prepare themselves for raising a family. You, too, can get the lowdown on what to expect from your new pup by thumbing through Decoding Your Dog. “This is regarded as one of the most comprehensive, easy-to-understand books on behavior,” Mitchell asserts.

In addition to giving you better insight into the reasons behind your dog’s actions, “it also provides veterinarian-approved positive-reinforcement based methods and techniques on how to change undesirable behavior.” Oftentimes, pets are blamed for being unruly and difficult to manage. By putting forth the effort to read this enlightening manual, you’re one step closer to understanding your dog better.


This Obstacle Course Kit That Helps Alleviate The Zoomies

You don’t have to plan on entering your dog into an agility competition in order to use this obstacle course kit. Quite simply, it can be a lot of fun to train pets how to weave in and out of the stakes, run through the tunnel, and jump through the hurdles. And this activity is a great exercise alternative to the typical walk.

“Just like with people, dogs have exercise requirements and are generally much happier when those are met,” Mitchell says. If you don’t have a large enough field near your house, this set is lightweight and collapsible, so you can easily pack it into the car and take it to the park.


This Flirt Pole Toy That Encourages Exercise

“This is another great activity and requires less physical effort on the human, so it's much easier and more accessible,” Mitchell says, in regards to flirt pole toys. It’s essentially a stainless steel wand with a nylon cord and fleece tether attached to one end. You’ve likely seen such a toy among cat owners, but canines can enjoy it too.

“As the owner moves the flirt pole around, the toy will move, which encourages the dog to chase it, pounce on it... just as they would with prey,” Mitchell adds. Not only that, but this type of play can provide lots of terrific cardio exercise for your energetic pup.


A Spray That Deters Your Dog From Urinating In Unwanted Places

The tough thing about potty training is that once your puppy has peed in a particular area, they’re likely to pee there again. This corrector spray won’t let your carpet become a toilet; simply spray the soiled spot with this product after cleaning it, and it will prevent the little scamp from peeing there again, without the use of harsh chemicals.

“Not only can training repellent sprays be used on floors to discourage marking, but they can also be used on things like door jams to prevent dogs from chewing,” Mitchell notes. You can also spray this outside, and it won’t hurt the natural environment.


This Childproof Gate To Keep Your Fur Babies From Wandering

Owning a brand new puppy can be difficult if you live alone or if you and your roommates are out of the house at the same time. Ensure peace of mind with this auto-close baby gate. “Baby gates and crates are absolutely essential for containing dogs when owners are too busy to watch them ...” Mitchell explains.

This metal gate comes in a 30.5” tall and 36” tall version, so even larger dogs will be protected from venturing out of the enclosed area. It can purportedly withstand up to 150 lbs of impact, so you can depend on it.


This Durable Ball That Makes For A Fun Game Of Fetch

There are so many innovative toys and interactive game kits on the market, but sometimes, nothing beats a good game of fetch. This ChuckIt! rubber ball is more durable than a tennis ball, and its bright colors prevent it from getting lost amid the greenery.

“Exercise is important for your fur baby,” emphasizes Aaron Rice, an expert dog trainer and the co-owner of Stayyy. This ball also floats, so don’t fret if it falls into the pool. It also comes in five different sizes, and it’s cheap! For only $6, you can make your best friend immensely happy.


A Nylon Collar That Assists With Leash Training

This nylon collar is unique in that it has no buckle. Instead, it slips over your dog’s head and can be manually adjusted by pulling. Professional dog trainer and behavior consultant Lindsey Kooistra says this feature is important for leash training, as it prevents your pet from wiggling out and running away. Although harnesses allow for easier breathing during walks, initially they “teach your dog that the only way forward is through resistance,” which increases leash pulling.

Kooistra insists on using martingale collars such as this one when training “to master proper behavior, quickly.” These collars are also relatively inexpensive, come in multiple sizes, and can be personalized in a cute color.


A Chewy Bone That Makes Your Canine Work For The Treat Inside

“Here’s a secret insight into your dog’s mind: They actually love to work for their food,” Kooistra says. “It’s in their DNA!” Work is definitely required in order to get the yummy filling out of these chewable shin bones. If your dog happens to get all of it out, you can refill the center of the bone with more peanut butter or some other treat that they enjoy.

Kooistra explains that challenging pets to work for their food can help prevent naughty behaviors because their energy is focused elsewhere. She even suggests storing these bones in the freezer, so your dog has to work even harder to reach the filling inside.


This Fitness Tracker That Conveniently Attaches To Your Dog’s Collar

If you have an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, you’ve probably been counting your steps for years. With the FitBark, you can now also monitor your dog’s activity, including their sleep, calorie intake, and overall health status. “It is a great way to motivate you and your pets to be active and stay active,” says Travis Brorsen, a celebrity dog trainer and host for Animal Planet.

The FitBark is basically a small monitor that attaches to your dog’s collar. It has its own app that connects to your smartphone or watch and allows you to see your pet’s activity levels and set fitness goals. This device takes the idea of a running buddy to the next level.


This Food Dispensing Toy That Busts Boredom & Restless Energy

Much like the KONG, you can fill this Bob-a-Lot toy with your dog’s favorite treat and let them play as they snack. The large size can fit up to three cups of kibble, making it viable for meal time, or you can opt for the small version and place just a few granules inside. Either way, the toy provides an exciting challenge.

“Food [dispensers] are a great way [to] add mental stimulation and enrichment to your pup’s routine,” Brorsen says. “It also helps with impulse control, burning energy, and feeds their inner instinct to work for their food.” All work and no play? Not the case here.


A Portable Treat Pouch That Allows You To Train Anywhere

Unless your pup is purely an inside dog, you should be training them to act properly not just in the house, but in public places, too. This mini treat tote makes that easier, letting you take snacks along on walks or to the park. The pouch can hold up to a cup of food and has a drawstring opening so nothing spills out.

Dr. Laura Robinson, a veterinarian and consultant for Canidae Pet Food, says training sessions shouldn’t be limited to just once per day. “Keep training to only five or so minutes multiple (three to six times) times a day,” she instructs. “If you try to go too long, your dog will be distracted or lose interest.”


A Baby Monitor, But For Your Puppy

You naturally think about your pet throughout the day, but if you find yourself constantly worrying about how they’re faring without you, it might be time to get a eufy pet camera. This device not only lets you keep an eye on your dog at any time with its wide-angle lens, but it also dispenses treats. The camera also swivels all the way around, so you never lose sight of your pup.

Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert with Rover, says using this camera is “a great way to check up on your dog and reward quiet moments when training a dog with separation anxiety.” No need to call a sitter.


This Plush Mat That Also Serves As A Training Station

When trying to teach your dog what not to do, you also want to show them the correct alternative to their behavior. Rachel Salant, an animal behavior specialist at, says to make them “go to a special spot of your choosing when the doorbell rings, when dinner is being served, etc.” This soft dog bed can be that special spot. It has a non-slip bottom and ultra-soft fleece surface, so your pet will have no qualms about lying on top.

“For example, instead of jumping at the door when the doorbell rings, what you might like them to do is lie down and patiently wait on their bed ... away from the door while you answer it,” Salant explains. With lots of repetition and positive reinforcement, you’ll have the most well-mannered dog in the neighborhood.


This Expert-Approved Manual For Dog Trainers With Any Level Of Experience

Temper your hound’s hostile or reckless behavior by understanding the motives behind it and teaching them what to do instead. Karen Pryor’s revered guide, Don’t Shoot the Dog!, will be your go-to resource every step of the way. Salant recommends this book “for beginners and advanced behavior practitioners alike.”

This read will enlighten you on the basics of training through reinforcement, how to get your dog to obey commands without having to yell, and other important information. “It remains a standard in the dog training world as well as the exotic animal (zoo and aquarium) community, but it's written in a way that is super accessible to anyone,” Salant adds.


A Pack Of Squeaky Dog Toys To Prevent Damaged Furniture

As the founder and CEO of PetSmitten, a pet information blog, Erika Barnes says she constantly hears complaints about dogs chewing up all the furniture in their homes. As a solution, she relies on soft chew toys such as these crinkly stuffed animals to “redirect their chewing energy into something else.”

In addition to their plush exterior and paper interiors, these toys all have squeakers inside, which will help attract and maintain your dog’s attention. Plus, you can get a set of five for under $25. A sweet deal, indeed.