These are a Few of my Favorite Things:
- Chuckit! Products - high-quality, long-lasting retrieval toys. My personal favorites are the launchers and Frisbees.
- Kong Products - they have a huge variety of fantastic high quality and durable toys. They also have products for very strong chewers. Some of my favorite toys include the squeaky toys that can be turned on and off, the Wobbler puzzle toy, and of course the classic Kong toy.
- Buster Cubes - my favorite durable puzzle toy! It is great for working your dog's brain and helping him or her exhaust that "foraging" instinct. It is also a great toy to help keep your dog entertained, especially when you are away from home.
- Kong Wobblers - another super fun puzzle toy. This one is a great option for dogs that are newer to using puzzle toys or who may find the Buster Cube a little too challenging.
- Holee Rollers - perfect for the dog who loves to destroy, shred, or gut toys. Simply shove an old rag, t-shirt, etc. inside and let your dog go nuts trying to pull it out. Rather than constantly destroying toys, your dog can "destroy" the same toy over and over.
- GoughNuts - they specialize in making nearly indestructible toys for the very strongest chewers. The GoughNuts rings and sticks even have a warranty - if your dog destroys it, they will replace it!
- Trixie Mad Scientist - This is one of my dogs' favorite puzzle toys. It is more of an advanced one so this is a good toy for those dogs that tend to be "too smart for their own good."
- Nylabones - great general chew toys with a variety of options suitable for any dog. These can be soaked in broth for 15-20 minutes to add a new fun flavor.
Treats, Food & Supplements
- Ford's Locker in Provo - a Game Processing shop that sells jerky and meat for people as well as super cheap ribs, raw dog food, and tasty treats for dogs! Offering a natural chew at least once a week is, in my opinion, the number one most effective way to keep your dog's teeth clean.
- Dog Food Advisor - not sure if the brand you're looking at is good quality or not? Dog Food Advisor breaks down and discusses each brand and flavor by ingredient and gives a rating of 1-5 stars. I try to stick with dog foods that are 4 stars or above, but will occasionally do a 3.5 star if necessary.
- NaturVet Supplements - all of their products are high quality and very effective. My personal favorites are the probiotic, digestive enzyme supplement, and cranberry relief (fantastic supplemental support for dogs with urinary tract or bladder infections).
- Puzzle feeders can be a great way to turn meal time into a mentally stimulating activity. Here are a few of my favorite:
Training & Exercise
- River Dog Gear - she sells high quality hand-made dog products that rival store-bought products, including leashes, collars, treat pouches, custom made service dog vests, and more. My personal favorites are her hands-free leashes.
- Ruffwear - top quality performance gear for active and working dogs. Their equipment is super durable and will often last or exceed the the life of your dog. They are definitely worth the investment.
- Hound Haberdashery - high quality, gorgeous hand-made martingale collars. This is my all-time favorite place to purchase collars and I am constantly getting compliments on my dogs' collars. She also has fantastic customer service!
- Thundershirt - one of my favorite go-to solutions to doggie anxiety, this is a great way to calm a dog in stressful situations and help set them up for success! Just remember that this should be used along side a training program, not as a "fix" in and of itself.
- Holt Head Collar - my favorite anti-pulling tool, the Holt is a basically a halter for dogs. This is one of the only head collars designed to prevent neck injuries to the dog. It also has a soft pad across the nose to make it more comfortable, and a safety clip that attaches to the collar.
- The Freedom Harness - this tool helps prevent leash pulling on walks. This particular brand is my favorite, but any front-clip harness will generally do the trick.
- Hands Free Leashes - I swear by these! I love the ability to keep my dog connected to me and still have the full use of both hands and arms. They are fantastic for teaching loose-leash walking because you are less tempted to pull on the leash - which creates more tension and makes the problem worse. My favorite place to get hands-free leashes is River Dog Gear.
- Treat Pouches - a vital tool for training, I recommend pouches made by River Dog Gear. I also like the Petsafe treat pouches.
- WalkyDog or Bike Tow Leash - devices that safely connect your dog to your bike, for a fun way to exercise together without the fear of being pulled over. If you choose to use one of these, you should always use a harness - never connect your dog to your bike by the neck.
Grooming & Care
- Groom Ninja - hands down the best de-shedding tool there is! This tool is magic and works wonders for both my Great Dane and my Border Collie mix. You can check out me using it on my dog Suki here.
- Nylabone Dental Spray - this is a good easy way to help keep your dog's teeth clean and breath fresher. I use this, combined with natural chews from Ford's Locker (see Treats, Food & Supplements above), to care for my dogs' teeth. My veterinarian is always complimenting me on how beautiful their teeth look!
- Kong Zoom Groom - one of the best grooming tool for single-coated and short-coated dogs. It is fabulous!
- A Caring Vet - I LOVE Dr. Hansen! He is so personable and willing to take the time to talk to you about your dog's needs. He has been absolutely amazing with my dogs, especially my little fearful Suki! He pays attention to each dog and works to build a relationship and make the dog comfortable rather than just jumping into the examination.
Trainers and Boarding
- Kat's Training Tails - I recommend Kat to anyone looking for group training classes, agility, and I especially love her free socialization classes!
- Wasatch Canine Camp - I recommend WCC to anyone looking for board-and-train programs or e-collar training.
- Sonja's Dog Training - Sonja was the first UKC Nosework Judge and AKC Scent Work Judge in the state of Utah. I recommend her to anyone interested in doing any kind of scent training or search and rescue work.
- From Beaks to Barks - Emily Strong is an amazing behavioral consultant. I recommend her to anyone looking for help with aggression and rehabilitation cases.
- Pets Decoded - Lynne Gilbert-Norton is the only Canine Behaviorist (has a PHD in the behavioral sciences) in the state of Utah. I recommend her for any extreme behavioral cases.
- Skye's Dog Training - I recommend Skye for anyone needing help with service dog training in the Salt Lake Valley area or northward.
- Side By Side Dog Training - I recommend Laurie for anyone needing help with Diabetic Alert service dog training.
- Barley's - I recommend Barley's for anyone needing boarding or daycare services.
- Utah Dog Park - I recommend Barley's for anyone needing boarding or daycare services.
- Companion Golden Retriever Rescue - I mentored under Steve, who runs CGRR. He works very closely with each of the dogs who comes through his rescue and gets to know them personally. As such, he is very good at matching families to the right dog.
- Best Friends Animal Society - they are the largest no-kill animal shelter in North America! They have so many incredible programs, including low-cost spay and neuter and vaccine clinics, helping shelters become no-kill facilities, and their annual Strut-Your-Mutt event to support the goal of no more homeless pets. They work hard to bring about sweeping social change that will improve the lives of pets and pet owners alike. Their influence has made a huge difference all across America.
- Ruff Patch Rescue - they do most, if not all, of their adoptions using foster families. This means the dogs don't get stuck living in a kennel; instead, they have a temporary home while they wait to find their forever families. In addition, the fosters become very intimately familiar with the dogs in their care, allowing the rescue to match the right families to the right dogs.
- Rescue Rovers - like Ruff Patch, Rescue Rovers also uses foster families, making them an excellent choice if you're looking to be matched with the perfect dog for you.
- On Talking Terms With Dogs Calming Signals - This book by Turid Rugass is by far one of the best ways to learn about canine communication. If you want to learn to understand and communicate with your dog better this is the book for you!
- What is My Dog Thinking? - This book by Gwen Bailey is a great introduction to dog body language for beginners. It's full of great photos and is simple enough that children around 11 or 12 years old could probably understand it. If you're interested in learning more about canine communication and dog body language this is a great place to start!
- Don't Shoot the Dog! - This book by Karen Pryor is filled with wonderful information about teaching and training for any species! It's one of my favorites and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to develop better teaching skills.
- 50 Games to Play with Your Do - This book by Suellen Dainty is filled with fun ideas for tricks and games to play with your dog.
- Aggression in Dogs - This book by Brenda Aloff is the most complete guide to dog aggression I have found. She covers pretty much every kind of dog aggression there is and discusses training plans and how to work dogs through them. I learned so much from this book!
- Before You Get Your Puppy - This free e-book by Ian Dunbar has lots of great information to prepare anyone who is getting ready to bring a puppy home.
- After You Get Your Puppy - This is another one by Ian Dunbar. You can get this book as a free e-book if you create an account with Dog Star Daily. It is a great read to help set you on the right track with your new puppy. It can be a little extreme in that it makes it sound like if you make one single mistake your puppy is doomed for life. NOT TRUE! Everyone is going to make mistakes. What is important is that you recognize it, learn from it, and move on. Don't let yourself feel like a failure for every little mistake you make. I still love this little e-book, though. It is filled with lots of great information to help you with your new puppy!
- Animal Madness - This book by Laurel Braitman is absolutely fascinating! This book discusses a lot about how we've come to understand not just the animal mind, but the human mind as well. It discusses how our relationships and the way we care for animals has changed and evolved over time as well. While she does have some standpoints that I disagree with, the overall book is amazing and I highly recommend it!
- Control Unleashed - This book by Leslie McDevitt has so much great information on training, confidence building, getting more focus and reliability out of your dog, and more! It has lots of great information to help you build off leash reliability with your dog.