Having the right equipment can be important to make training your dog go smoothly.

It doesn’t take much, but you certainly need to get the equipment that is tried and true, and not waste money on items that don’t work well. Below are the items we’ve used with our own dogs (some for more than 20 years!) and are fantastic. Let’s start with the one we get asked about most…

Training Rewards

Our all time favorite for training was Dick VanPatton’s Natural Balance Food Roll. Unfortunately, they decided to discontinue it a few years back because…wait for it…demand was too high! So they stopped making it completely. Makes no sense, right? The biggest reason we liked it was because it was a balanced food. By that we mean it was meant to be fed as a dog’s regular meal just like canned or kibble. So it’s not like you’re giving your dog candy during training. It’s also soft, which means no crumbs to distract your dog from the task at hand, and smoky smelling…the dogs seem to love that. There are other roll foods on the market now. If you’re going to use any food roll the way we recommend is to slice off a few 1/4″ slices. Then stack them and slice them into 1/4″ pieces, turn it 90 degrees and slice it again into 1/4″ pieces. Now you’ve got a whole bunch of treats all diced up…somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 per original slice, and that’s a lot of treats!!!

If you’re going to use bagged treats like Zukes, these can be made the right size by breaking them up or pinching off a bit when you’re giving it to make it smaller! You don’t want to fill your pup up when you’re training!

And the most important piece of dog training equipment is something to put those treats in, of course.

Pockets are neat, but not good for keeping training rewards. Rewards in a cup on the counter, also neat. And they’ll both work ok, but a treat pouch will change your world! There are so many treat pouches out there it’s hard to decide. For us, we go for a simple, single function pouch…no bells, no whistles, and reasonably priced. Introducing the Treat Tote. It’s available in 2 sizes, too, so if you have to have a multifunctional pouch get the large and you can carry an extra Chuck-It Ball under your treats.

Treat pouch - a must have for training


We highly recommend raised beds when teaching a place command. The best beds anywhere are made by Kuranda and their raised beds are guaranteed chew proof! For the record, we like this bed so much we became an affiliate.

Raised Dog Bed - a great place for your dog to relax.
Kuranda Dog Beds are orthopedic, chew proof and easy to clean

Proper Attire

Probably the most important piece of training equipment for dogs is what they wear when they’re out and about.

If we’ve already met then you have an idea that we’re not fans of any sort of back clip harness for walks. Regular harnesses encourage pulling and most of the ones that clip in front offer no way to communicate effectively.

The collars and harness below are, in our opinion, the best available and help you eliminate pulling on your walk.


The only harness we can confidently recommend is the Easy Walk harness by Petmate.

Easy Walk Harness - The only one we recommend for training the walk.


The Gentle Leader is a great option for a training collar. Used to control the head of your pup, it can help control in a way different from any other collar. The one big downside is most dogs don’t care for anything on their muzzle, so there can be a steep learning curve.

Gentle leader - Head collar to lessen pulling

Training Collar

First, we need to address the elephant in the room. The appearance of these collars can be off-putting to some. Yeah, we get it. But feelings aside, when used properly as a means to communicate rather than restrain, it can be very effective with a fraction of the pressure from high end of the leash required by a harness or regular flat collar.

Not using one of these is NOT a deal breaker, but we may recommend one if we think it will help and if we do, the Herm Springer is the best training collar on the market. This top quality collar is the only one we recommend. It’s made in Germany and is available in Chrome and Black Stainless Steel.

Training Collar
Best training collar

Toys – may seem like fun and games but are still equipment to train your dog

There is little doubt that every dog needs a Kong. This is one of the best pieces of equipment for training a dog. Not only is it great to gnaw on, it’s even more useful when it’s stuffed. That’s right, put treats, their food, peanut butter, and/or special rewards inside and it will keep them busy for a while…even longer if you freeze it. Great for when you’re crate training them!

Kong - stuffed food toys are great for chewers

When it comes to the game of Fetch, there’s really only one ball for our own pups, and only one delivery system…the Chuckit! Ultra. Tennis balls are easily found, and cheap. The problem with them is they can grind down your dog’s teeth. Really. Think about the covering on a tennis ball and what it’s meant to come in contact with…the court! Not many tennis balls lose their fluff, but when a dog chews on it, guess what? It is so abrasive it can grind down their teeth. So what do we recommend? These rubber balls by Chuckit. They’re tough and gentle on the teeth.

Chuck it! Ultra Balls - All rubber, and tough

And don’t forget the Chuck It! delivery system. This is guaranteed to tire them out and save your arm…not to mention, no slobbery hands!

Chuck it! Ball Launcher for playing with your dog