While I have had several adult dogs in my life, the experience of being a mom to a 6-month old rescue dog during quarantine was quite different. I knew what behaviors I wanted to teach my dog early on so that they wouldn’t be an issue later. For example, guarding food and treats. Due to the pandemic, I had limited options for training my dog in person. My puppy was so young that I had never seen one before. She needed to learn basic obedience and potty training fast. My god, I’m only one person. She ate so much the first week.
I know that I am not the only person with a dog. As noted by trusted paper writer service, pet ownership and adoption have increased dramatically during the pandemic. I wanted to share what I found useful in helping my dog to be a “good family member”. I also tried to get some “premium” products to review. These items look less like dog toys. For those of us who live in small spaces, even minimal clutter can feel overwhelming if you don’t leave the house often. This is something that I tried to remember as I searched for “dog tech” products.
The online McCann Dog Trainers training program was without doubt the best thing I ever spent on anything for my dog. It cost me about $400. That’s a lot considering all the food and supplies I needed. It’s worth every penny, I can’t stress it enough. Because of covid-19 precautions, all the places within walking distance were either full or on waitlists. I found out about the McCann method through the group’s YouTube channel. Positive reinforcement is key to the McCann Method. It gives your dog the tools to make smart decisions and encourages them to do so. Although many of their videos can be found online, I decided to purchase the paid program in order to help me prioritize Raven’s training. There was so much that she hadn’t learned.
This program’s best feature is its online access. It also gives you access to Zoom classes weekly, structured courses and private members. You can also email trainers with any questions within 24 hours. This was an important selling point as I had so many questions. I originally signed up for the Puppy Essentials program, but after speaking to one of the trainers via email, was referred to the Life Skills program. They were extremely kind and helpful. You can read more.
You can move at your own speed, but Raven was fully leash and potty trained in less than a week. Raven is becoming more comfortable around other dogs and people. She was able to understand commands like “with me” and “wait,” as well as “crate,” stay,” “sit,” and “get in.” (alternatively: heel and wait), “up,” lay down, and “leave,” along with other tricks that I have taught her, such shaking and how to stand. She’s doing great on recall and bed stay commands to ensure off-leash safety.
Training accessories and leashes
Yes, I admit that I am now Leash Lady. I can use a leash for every occasion. Raven is about 25 pounds and can stand to my knee so she isn’t very large. Raven is hard to see at night without street lights. I have an illuminated leash I use for longer night walks. It cost me just $23 on Amazon and is very useful for signaling to other bikes that she’s safe.
My daytime leashes are also important. You will need two 6-foot leashes, two 20 foot cotton web leads, a flat buckle collar, and a bait pouch to train your McCann dog. The methods I used in my training program meant that I didn’t immediately purchase the bait pouch. I returned one of the bait pouches that did not work and ordered another. I decided to stick with Cosmos ($10), a treat bag that I can carry over my shoulder or crossbody. It makes it easy to grab on my way out the front door. This bag has been one the best investments in Raven’s training. It allows me to reward good behavior quickly without digging around in my pockets.
Finally, I was able call Fable Pets to order the Magic Link leash ($65). While it isn’t my favorite leash, especially at this stage in our training, it’s an excellent hands-free solution for running and hiking (which I intend to do more of once my dog is older). It can be used in a variety of ways, including a lasso-style, fixed collar and leash or slip-on for training. However, it can also be worn around your waist or across the chest with enough slack to allow your dog to walk along side you. It is made from a brushed cord with aluminum hardware and is extremely easy to clean. Although it’s quite expensive, functionally identical styles are available for less than half the price.
Best Tug and Chew Toys
This list would be incomplete without Kong toys. They come in many shapes and sizes depending on the chewing habits of your dog. Two Kong Classics ($7) were purchased by me. I use them to give my dog special treats when I’m away from home or entertain her when she isn’t paying my full attention. My dog has a very specific eating routine and I use the Kong only for training. However, I know that some dog owners are successful in feeding their dogs this way.
Although I don’t know much about plush toys, I have had two dogs who treasure their Fab Dog plushies more than any other possessions. My dog’s last one had it for three years. We would sometimes stitch it up if it was damaged, but it survived a lot of abuse and has held up very well. The same goes for Raven’s Floppy Koala ($14). She’s currently going through a chewing phase so there is no way to save her. RIP. Faball’s squeaky toys, which are also a favorite of mine and a great motivator to teach fetch, are fantastic. My dog loves pulling and tugging with a rope toy that I bought at Target ($2).
Interactive Toys: The Best
Depending on how Kong is used, it fits into this category. There are a few other interactive toys I have found that aren’t too distracting and allow for quiet play, since most of us work from home. The Odin by Up Dog Toys ($23) is the one that my dog loves most. This modular rubber toy can be filled with treats, then it slowly dispenses them as your dog moves it. It also works well on hard surfaces such as hardwood. It is not a chew-toy. Another Fable Pets product, The Game ($55), also dispenses treats when your dog knocks it around. There are multiple difficulty levels for the Game. It’s silicone with a weight at its bottom that helps to keep noise down. This is a great solution for dogs who tend to inhale their food. It can also hold more than a cup of kibble.
Although I regret not buying it, I still highly recommend the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball (17). This toy is great for dogs with high energy. It can even be used in a separate room. My dog didn’t seem to be interested in the sound it makes, which I meant “giggles” but she did. I wouldn’t have been able to stop her from playing with this toy until her heart was content. Because I believe that the sounds it makes may be what you hear before your death, I will be donating mine.
Best Dog Bed
My apartment is small and has very limited furniture space. When I was searching for a dog bed, the one I chose looked right at home in my small living room. The PupRug Faux fur Orthopedic Dog bed from Paw ($139), which is a perennially discounted price from the “normal” price (349) seems to me to be a great choice. My pup also loves it. However, the memory foam cover is not machine washable. This could pose a problem for dogs that are prone to accidents or marking. I can confirm that the foam pad’s inner shell is not waterproof, as the company claims.
I also liked the large throw made by the company. This is because my couch has a very light grey color. This throw can be thrown over my ottoman so my dog can sleep next to me without me worrying about it getting dirty. This product is regularly discounted to $119 from $298. Both the blanket and the bed can withstand regular washing and still look brand new after multiple cycles in the washer.
Let us know if you’ve spent an absurd amount on your dog during the pandemic.