Your Dog Could Be So Much Better Behaved If You Tried Any Of These 25 Tricks

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.

Originally Published: 

As much as we love our dogs, it’s tricky to get them to behave all the time. Perhaps your pooch barks at the smallest noise, or has a habit of chewing up your favorite sneakers. Luckily, we got a team of trusted dog experts to give us some insightful tricks and genius pet product recommendations that will make managing your pup way easier.

If your dog tends to get anxious around loud noises, unfamiliar visitors, or foreign surroundings, there are plenty of ways you can relax them. Linda Simon, MRCVS and Consulting Veterinarian at Five Barks, recommends wrapping your dog in a ThunderShirt — a weighted vest that applies soothing pressure to your pet’s body. Or, you can keep them occupied by covering this textured silicone mat in wet food — the repeated motion of licking will can help lull your pup into a calmer state.

Providing your dog with enough daily mental stimulation can curb unwanted behavior such as barking and chewing. This fan-favorite puzzle toy can be filled with peanut butter, yogurt, or wet food, encouraging your pup to get busy cleaning it out. For aggressive chewers, this indestructible chew toy provides a never-ending challenge. Plus, the toy comes in mouth-watering flavors like chicken and bacon to keep your dog interested.

Below, you’ll learn tons of new ways to keep your pup’s habits in check. From stress-busting toys to clever training tools, here are some easy ways to make dogs behave better.


Give Them This Toy To Keep Them From Chewing On Shoes & Furniture

The classic KONG toy is a favorite among pet owners, as its unique shape and durable rubber construction keeps dogs occupied for hours on end. “Not only does your dog’s urge to chew and mouth things get met, they enjoy the regular dispensing of treats and are rewarded for continuing to play with these chews,” says Linda Simon, MRCVS and Consulting Veterinarian at Five Barks. Simon specifically recommends the KONG toy for pets who like to chew on furniture and shoes.


Soothe A Stressed Pup With This Licking Mat

If your dog is acting particularly stressed, a slow-feeding treat mat can calm them down. Made out of soft silicone, the mat features a textured surface that traps soft food for your dog to lick off. “The constant licking can soothe an anxious dog and many will go straight to sleep after finishing their tasty treat,” says Simon. She recommends smearing the mat with cottage cheese, peanut butter, mashed sweet potato, or wet dog food for best results.

  • Available colors: 3


Stick This Treat-Dispensing Toy To Your Floor For Solo Puppy Play

Dogs who enjoy tugging and chewing will love a suction cup ball toy. One end affixes to your wood, tile, or marble floor (or a glass surface), while the other features a treat-dispensing ball with a textured lining. This is also a great option for busy dog owners who don’t have tons of time to play with their pup during the day. “These tend to work best for puppies who are not yet strong enough to break the seal of the suction cup,” adds Simon.


Use This Soft Head Collar That Prevents Pulling On The Leash

Be honest — are you walking your dog, or is your dog walking you? “If your dog is forever pulling on the lead, invest in a Halti now,” says Simon. The nylon collar looks similar to one a horse would wear, restricting pulling behavior while still allowing your dog to pant and yawn. Neoprene padding around the nose keeps these collars from being too stiff. “They do not cause pain and are very comfortable to wear,” Simon adds.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors: Red, Black


Prevent Future Accidents By Using An Enzymatic Cleaner

Repeated doggie accidents indoors might be due to residual smells left on your carpets and furniture. “One of the most important things you can do to try and prevent re-soiling, is to thoroughly clean the mess in the first place,” explains Simon. Since dogs have a strong sense of smell, they might take to marking in the same spot if their scent remains. That’s why Simon recommends using an enzymatic cleaner to fully break down the odor. This one is a fan favorite, boasting 57,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.


Spray This Bitter Formula On Items Your Dog Likes To Chew

Chewing is a common behavior in puppies and young dogs, as they are often trying to ease the discomfort of their teething pain, Simon says. “As well as redirecting your dog’s attention by giving them something more interesting to do, use a bitter spray on the furniture to make it unappealing,” she adds. This Bitter Apple anti-chew spray can help keep your pup away from your couches, chairs, and more.


Wrap Your Dog In This Weighted Vest To Relieve Stress & Fear

Dogs and loud noises — such as fireworks or thunderstorms — aren’t always a good mix. Simon says that dogs with a fear of booming sounds “may react to their high stress levels by soiling themselves, barking loudly, or digging in the yard.” That’s why she recommends investing in the ThunderShirt, a weighted vest that soothes anxious dogs without any medication. “The firm pressure exerted by these jackets helps dogs feel calmer in an instant,” Simon explains.

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: Fuchsia, Platinum


Offer Them A Flavored Chew Toy That’s Indestructible

With mouth-watering chicken, bacon, and peanut butter flavor options, this wishbone-shaped chew toy will keep your dog engaged over time — which is a good thing, since it’s indestructible. Erica Salinas, founder and dog trainer at Salinas K9 Training and contributor for Dog Spotted, believes this toy can curb destructive chewing habits as well. “Every time your dog starts chewing something they should not be chewing, replace it by putting a Benebone in their mouth EVERY time,” says Salinas. “Eventually they will seek out the appropriate chew toys.”

  • Available flavors: Chicken, Bacon, Peanut Butter
  • Available sizes: Small — Giant


Attach This Front-Clip Harness To Teach Your Dog Not To Pull

If your dog insists on dragging you around the neighborhood on your daily walk, Salinas suggests trying out this harness that attaches to your leash in the front. “It applies pressure to the front of the body and again, when the dog stops pulling, releases the pressure, teaching the dog not to pull,” she explains. Made out of lightweight nylon, the harness is comfortable for your pet and won’t restrict their movement while walking.

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 8


Swap Your Barking Collar For This One That Sprays Citronella

For pups who bark at the slightest noise, Michelle Burch, DVM at Paramount Pet Health, recommends a citronella bark collar. It’s designed with a canister that automatically releases natural, non-toxic citronella spray under the chin every time it detects a bark, so your dog associates the behavior with the unpleasant smell. “The collar interacts with multiple senses of your dog to stop barking, including sight, smell, and sound,” Burch adds.

  • Available colors: 4


Incorporate These Clickers Into Your Training Routine

Treats aren’t the only way to get your dog’s attention during training. “Clicker training uses auditory stimulation with reward to encourage dogs to perform necessary tasks or behaviors,” explains Burch. These budget-friendly clickers are equipped with wrist straps, so they don’t slip out of your hand. Burch recommends beginning clicker training as soon as the puppy or rescue enters the home to create good habits from the get-go.


Encourage Your Dog’s Foraging Instinct With This Snuffle Mat

According to Burch, mental stimulation prevents stress in dogs, which in turn can reduce destructive behaviors. The AWOOF Pet Snuffle Mat is designed with layers of fleece flaps that can hide treats, encouraging your dog to forage. Says Burch: “The snuffle mat duals as a playtime treat or a mealtime scavenger hunt with your dog. Dogs will be mentally stimulated while searching for their next kibble or treat.” A drawstring at the top allows you to raise the sides into a bowl shape for slow feeding.


Train Your Dog To Relax On This Memory Foam Bed

Training your dog to go sit on their bed is super helpful when you have guests over. Anna Mynchenberg, resident training expert at BARK, recommends BARK’s own dog bed to get started. “BARK’s Memory Foam Platform Bed is perfect for teaching a ‘place’ command — a command that teaches dogs to settle down in any given situation, because it is an easy flat surface while also being comfortable and easy for travel,” she explains. Designed with a thick, cooling memory foam cushion and a soft, water-resistant cover, this bed comes in options for dogs of all sizes.

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 10


Let Your Dog Chew On This Durable Antler-Shaped Toy

Constructed from tough, textured nylon, this chew toy from BarkBox mimics the look and feel of a real deer antler — complete with a tantalizing smoke scent. Mynchenberg suggests giving this toy to your dog to deter them from gnawing on your belongings. “When they chew on valuable items, it is best to redirect them to chew on toys and praise them, so they understand what is preferred,” she says. “The toys are enticing without overstimulating your pup with scent.”

  • Available sizes: Small — Large
  • Available styles: 6


Stimulate Your Dog’s Senses With This Peanut Butter-Flavored Bone Toy

Mynchenberg also recommends this peanut butter-scented bone toy. The textured nylon body features a unique wobble base that engages your dog’s senses as they play. Designed for tough chewers, the bone won’t come apart no matter how much your pup chews on it. There are small and large options available for different dog breeds.


House-Train Your Puppy With These Absorbent Pads

Each one of these absorbent, activated charcoal pads can hold up to 3 cups of liquid, effectively soaking up any accidents during the house-training process. Gel technology thickens the liquid on contact to prevent leakage, while the addition of activated charcoal helps neutralize unwanted odors.


Keep Them Occupied With A Chew Toy That’s Easy To Hold

Here’s another highly durable chew toy that comes recommended by Julie Burgess, trainer and certified veterinary technician. “The Bullibone Nylon Dog Chew also offers excellent opportunities to chew, and it has built-in paw pads to make it easy for your dog to hold it and chew for hours,” she says. Not to mention, there are three delicious flavors — bacon, peanut butter, and beef — that are guaranteed to be a hit with dogs. You can purchase a single chew, or invest in a two- or three-pack.

  • Available flavors: Bacon, Peanut Butter, Beef
  • Available sizes: Small, Large, X-Large


Put On These Doggie Diapers To Help Your Pup With Potty Training

Whether you have an untrained puppy, an incontinent senior dog, or a female dog in heat, these washable diapers surprisingly come in handy. “You may think diapers are just for kids, but they're not,” says Burgess. “PetParents washable dog diapers offer a quick and convenient way to keep accidents contained.” Available in a wide range of sizes, these diapers strap around your dog’s body for a secure, comfortable fit. A waterproof outer layer prevents any leakage onto your furniture or carpet.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large
  • Available multipacks: Black, Natural


Provide Your Dog With This Portable Pet Potty

Even if you don’t have a yard or a doggie door, you can still give your dog a place to relieve itself when you’re away. “If you live in an apartment or work long hours and can't get home to let your dog go to the bathroom regularly, try the PetSafe Pet Loo,” says Burgess. The synthetic grass patch comes equipped with a waste container, a disposable Pee-Pod for easy cleanup, and PetSafe’s patented Wee sponge powder that turns liquid into gel for a spill-free experience.

  • Available sizes: Small — Large


Set Up This Foldable Playpen For Supervised Outdoor Time

Playpens aren’t just for toddlers, and Burgess encourages dog owners to utilize one during the house-training stage. “Midwest's Foldable Dog Exercise Pen is fantastic for limiting your dog's access, especially during potty training,” says Burgess. The wire pen is foldable, allowing for compact storage and easy portability. Set it up indoors or outdoors to create an “instant bedroom for your dog.”

  • Available sizes: 24 inches, 30 inches, 36 inches, 42 inches, 48 inches
  • Available colors and styles: 5


Invest In This Treat-Dispensing Camera With 2-Way Audio

This mini camera makes leaving your furry friend home alone a whole lot easier, especially if you work long hours at the office. “Watch your dog any time, day or night, with the Furbo Dog Camera. It dispenses treats and has two-way audio, so you can talk to your dog whenever you want,” says Burgess. The camera has a built-in sensor that detects your dog’s barking, sending you a notification so you can check in on your pet.


Leave Your Dog Home Alone With This Compact, Budget-Friendly Camera

If the Furbo Dog Camera is a bit out of your price range, you can still check in on Fido with this compact camera from Blink. Equipped with motion-detection technology and two-way audio, the camera allows you to see and hear your pet from wherever you are. It may not have any treat-dispensing capabilities, but the camera’s more affordable price point makes it a fantastic alternative for pet owners who are on the go.


Control Your Dog While Walking With This Dual-Handled Leash

The dual handles on this nylon leash give you greater control when walking your canine companion, especially if they’re prone to pulling. Sherry Morgan, founder of Petsolino, says, it’s “great for making handlers feel more at ease and in control when their dogs bark and lunge at stuff.” It comes in several high-visibility color options for being seen in low light, and the second handle is padded with neoprene to absorb impact on the hand.

  • Available colors: 15


Reward Your Dog With A High-Value Treat Made Of Real Meat

Nicole Ellis, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Pet Lifestyle Expert with Rover, recommends these freeze-dried treats from Ziwi as a high-value reward. “For training, I stick with treats that smell strongly, are easy to break up, and are slightly moist so that they don’t create crumbs, a.k.a distractions, during training,” she explains. Since the treats consist of 96% meat, they’re nutrient-rich and easily digestible.

  • Available flavors: Beef, Lamb, Venison


Pamper Your Dog’s Paws & Snout With This Hydrating Balm

Believe it or not, a secret to keeping your dog calm is making sure their skin, paws, and snout are moisturized. “Honest Paws Relief Paw Balm makes your dog behave better,” informs Jamie Freyer, DVM at The formula is made from hydrating ingredients, including coconut oil and cocoa butter. Freyer says the balm will “help relieve skin irritations, rashes, minor cuts, and dry itchy skin,” which keeps your dog from licking or chewing on themselves.


Feed Your Dog These Probiotic Supplements To Promote A Calm Mood

A well-behaved dog needs a balanced diet. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD and Animal Behavior Scientist at Purina states that this probiotic supplement may help to address anxious behaviors like jumping and barking. Add one of these packets to your dog’s food at mealtime to promote a relaxed mood. This supplement is particularly helpful for soothing your pet in a new location or around unfamiliar visitors.

This article was originally published on