We used to think treat pouches were, generally speaking, not super sexy... but that might be changing, thanks to the likes of fanny-pack mega fan Kendall Jenner.
Most people aren't accustomed to coveting someone else's belly bag, but trainers sure are! We are constantly eyeing one another's pouches, as there are many customizations that can help when working with a dog. Among some of the qualities most of us seek: sturdy fabric, multiple pockets, and a way to keep the mouth of the bag open for easy access without risking spilling the valuable contents of the bag.
A few years ago, we became the envy of all the dog trainers we knew. This was because we discovered Petaluma, CA entrepreneur Mimi Reid. We love its many pockets -- perfect for holding keys, a wallet, a phone, and enough treats to feed a horse, let a lone a dog. Because we trainers tend to wear their pouches pretty hard, we also appreciate the super sturdy Sunbrella fabric, which we've found can stand up to literally years of daily battering. The piece de resistance is the hinged opening, which keeps the opening wide for easy access during training. We have it snapping open and closed all day it holds up incredibly well. On the rare occasion the hinge needs to be replaced, Mimi is always happy to be the Treat Pouch doctor we always dreamed of.
Today, you'll rarely see our trainers without one of these strapped around his or her waist.
And our students love them, too!
Mimi has found a way to meld form and function with her handmade hinged belted bait bags. In addition to making these treat pouches, she also custom makes word-emblazoned jackets for service dogs and for dogs who are looking for forever families. I asked her to tell me a little about how these bags came to be.
Mimi Reid, of the Etsy shop Give A Dog A Home, and her happy dog, Cabana.
What is the basis of your company’s name, Give A Dog A Home?
This business came about because my younger daughter Stephanie was taking an entrepreneurship class in high school, so she and I started Give A Dog A Home. Stephanie came up with the name, and I felt it was very fitting. She subsequently dropped the class, but this wonderful business was born and has been going full-tilt ever since.
What prompted you to start making treat bags? Were there just not enough good ones on the market?
Our dog, Cabana, was a guide dog puppy we were raising to become a service dog. Our puppy group leader gave us a French hinge training pouch, and I thought it was a great concept. But it broke after about 6 months. I decided to try to make a new one for myself because I wanted to improve on the design. I felt it needed more pockets, and I didn’t like the way the old one flopped around when I ran with my dog. I made about 5 different versions of the training pouch before I finally got it right. I use my training pouch every single day, and I really don’t know what I’d do without it!
What do you normally carry in your treat bag?
Several different kinds of treats of varying values, and a few peanuts, which are Cabana’s highest value treats. Poop bags, of course, a whistle because Cabana is trained to come with one, business cards, lip balm, car keys, and a carabiner which I sometimes use to clip Cabana’s leash to or hang my camera from.
Do you use a treat bag regularly? For what kind of training and/or treats?
Every single day, without fail, because I firmly believe that dogs should be exercised, played with, and worked with every day!
Do you have a favorite treat pouch? We want to know all about it! If you want to add one of these beauts to your collection, you've come to the right place.