News – Page 3 – Store For The Dogs
Tell us your dog's birthday and get a special gift!
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart


      Looking For The Best Dog Treat Pouch? We Found It

      Looking For The Best Dog Treat Pouch? We Found It

      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? 
      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. 

      10 Dog Crates That Break The Mold

      10 Dog Crates That Break The Mold

      Crates can be a crucial part of a training plan for many dogs-- especially for puppies. They can also be indispensable for those who need to travel with a dog, either by car or air. But they've traditionally been clunky and woefully unattractive. That could be changing, however. We've found a handful of options for dog owners who are looking for more than the standard pet store crate can offer. 

      revol dog crate

      Revol Dog Crate

      Launched by the company Diggs on Kickstarter in 2018 (with a hilarious video that's worth watching), the Revol is short for "revolution," because its creators hope to "revolutionize" the world of... dog crates. Learn more about the Revol in our recent School For The Dogs Podcast episode. 

      Price: $245 for small, $325 for medium

      Small* (for dogs up to 30 lbs)

      Open External Dimensions: 26.9”L x 19.6”W x 20.3”H


      Weight: 23.2 lbs

      Medium* (for dogs up to 50 lbs): 

      Open External Dimensions: 34.7”L x 26.2”W x 24.5”H


      Weight: 30 lbs

      Via StoreForTheDogs

      dog crate

      Poplar & Plywood Side Table Crate

      Custommade in Denville, NJ, this sleek crate-cum-side-table is rare in that it is all wood, and is a great space-saver with a nice amount of openness and airflow. 

      Price: $800

      Size: Custom

      Via Etsy

      dog crate midcentury

      Mid-century Modern Pet Kennel

      Design meets functionality with this beautiful piece of furniture that will please both the dog and the humans in your home. Not suitable for large dogs, and probably not best for ones that have a sixth sense for the art of escaping locked spaces...

      Price: $1479 

      Size: 36"w x 26"d x 19" h

      Via Etsy

      dog crate

      Amp Kennel

      Inspired by amps, this fun crate is easily moved around (thanks to its casters) and has a nice open grill that will let your dog feel part of his surroundings (and let you feel like you're part of the Rolling Stones). 

      Price: $1275 

      Size: 24"w x 24"d x 24" h

      Via Etsy

      dog crate

      Proline Pro 4 Condor Crate (Small)

      A crash-tested crate made to fit the back of an SUV, the Condor is made from high-grade aluminum, and can even be outfitted with a "crash bag"--a pad that acts as a kind of air bag for dog passengers. 

      Price: $519.99

      Size: 32.08"w x 28.93"d x 27"h

      Via PetProSupplyCo

      crate dome


      Introduced more than a decade ago (when it was then priced in the low three figures), the eiCrate by GoPet, this domed crate is probably the coolest looking, and most expensive, crate on the market.

      Price: $2200

      Size: 34"w x 31"d x 34"h

      Via Etsy

      dog crate

      Omlet Fido Studio Dog Crate

      We love this simple approach to incorporating a crate into home decor at a price that isn't so much more than a comparable-sized piece of Ikea furniture.

      Price: $186.99

      Size: 39"w x 19"d x 23"h

      Via Omlet

      dog crate

      Ellipse Chrome Crate

      Made by the same people behind the eiCrate (see above), this unique round crate comes in a variety of happy colors. 

      Price: $1479 

      Size: 34"w x 31"d x 25"h

      Via Etsy

      dog crate

      Petite Pretty Kennel

      Made of clear lucite, this luxe crate is a clever option for the design-conscious owner of a dog who is ten pounds or under. 

      Price: $999

      Size: 22"w x 17"d x 18"h

      Via Etsy

      wood designer dog crate

      Handmade Redwood Crate

      Does your dog need his or her own log cabin? This nice-looking crate offers an eye-pleasing alternative to your typical metal eyesore. 

      Price: $499 

      Size: 19"w x 21"h x 25"d 

      Via Etsy

      designer dog crate

      Gunner Kennels G1 (Small)

      Gunner Kennels G1™ Small is the first and only pet travel product to receive a dual 5 Star Crash Test rating from the Center For Pet Safety. 

      Price: $349.99

      Size: 18.624"w x 20.5"h x 24.5"d

      Via Gunner Kennels

      designer dog crate

      The Pawd

      Also launched on Kickstarter last year, the Pawd is constructed from Polypropylene (the makers point out that it's the same safe material that baby bottles are made of), this cute-looking crate comes in three colors, and collapses into pieces that can be housed in a flat, easily-portable container. 

      Price: $99

      Size: 16"w x 21"h x 16.5"d

      via KindTail

      dog crate

      Staart Radius Wooden Crate (Small)

      Although reviewers report the quality seems to be not great, this small crate is one of the better-looking ones we've seen. 

      Price: $129.99

      Size: 19"w x 22"h x 22"d

      Via Amazon

      dog crate wood

      Casual Home Lattice Wooden Crate (Medium)

      Although the latch looks a little wimpy, this all-wood crate is unique and seems pretty sturdy.

      Price: $129.99

      Size: 23.5"w x 29"h x 36.5"d 

      Via Amazon

      designer dog crate

      ZenHaus (Small)

      Another crate-as-coffee-table option, this polished fiberglass option comes in three colors and two sizes.

      Price: $399.99

      Size: 24"w x 25.5"h x 34"d

      Via DenHaus


      Why You Don’t Need High-Tech Dog Toys: Meet the Snuffle Mat

      Why You Don’t Need High-Tech Dog Toys: Meet the Snuffle Mat

      As the owner of a training facility and dog toy boutique, I keep a close eye on what’s new and interesting on the dog product market.

      In the last year or so, I’ve been inundated with vendors pitching me every kind of digital and battery-operated dog toy—from automatic ball launchers and Bluetooth-enabled bones to treat-dispensing toys that contain tiny cameras and speakers

      But earlier this year, just when I was almost convinced that high-tech gewgaws are as enticing to dogs as they are to people, I was reminded of something that observant caninophiles have known for millennia: Dogs just want to push their noses into stuff that’s stinky.

      How to Engage Your Dog’s Senses

      For many dogs, this put-nose-in-stinky-stuff impulse has long meant pursuing a major in laundry bags, or a passion for exploring the crack between the sofa cushions, or an insatiable interest in (let’s be honest) your crotch.

      But recently, a whole new kind of product has hit the market: snuffle mats. You can hardly get more low-tech than the toys in this “new” category, each of which is designed simply to hide dry food or kibble in various kinds of crannies and folds.

      I’ve found they can keep dogs busy for very long periods, and the fact that they’re easy to wash and easy to transport makes them popular with humans. Here are some of my favorite “snuffle” products on the market.

      Top 4 Dog Activity Mats and Snuffle Mats

      The Wooly by Paw5

      wooly snuffle mat

      This gray mat resembles a monochrome rag rug—indeed, you could probably use one as a bath mat in a pinch—but it’s designed for your dog’s rifling pleasure.

      Simply dribble some treats or dry food in it, and let your pup go to town trying to find the bits and pieces hidden in its stringy tendrils.

      An unexpected bonus: After mealtime, you might find your dog enjoys using it as a bed.

      Fleece Activity Mats

      fleece activity mat

      Available in three sizes, these soft, fabric activity mats offer an array of different kinds of obstacles for your dog to forage treats in, under, and through.

      The nubby rubber backing helps keep it from sliding all over the floor, and I’ve found that the largest size (which takes up roughly 8 square feet) is sometimes big enough to be enjoyed by two dogs at once without them getting grouchy with each other.

      Buster Activity Mat

      buster activity mat

      Designed in Denmark, the Buster Activity Mat is literally hundreds of toys in one.

      Its base is a mat outfitted with snaps; a variety of components can then be attached to it and folded and tied in a variety of origami-esque ways.

      Go ahead and tuck dry or dehydrated food into its various attachments. You can even hide bully sticks in some of the large pieces.

      Most of the pieces can be adjusted to be easier or harder for your dog to navigate, based on his or her skill level. The whole thing can be folded into an adorable blue duffle bag, making it a great travel toy.

      Challenger Cube

      fleece activity cube

      There are several “makers” selling homemade snuffle mats on places like Etsy, but my favorite handmade products of this ilk are made by British animal trainer Sarah White.

      In particular, I really like her “Challenger Cube,” which is a six-sided fabric cube in which you can hide lots of yumminess.

      It combines the genius of a snuffle mat with the fun of a plush toy that can be kicked around. Have a specific color scheme in mind? She’ll make your Challenger Cube to order, upon request.

      Make Your Own DIY Snuffle Mat

      Of course… there are always DIY versions.

      It’s not hard to make your own snuffle mat-style toy. One option is to cut up a bunch of old t-shirts and tie them all over the inside of a shallow milk crate, or to a sink mat (although I don’t suggest the latter if you have a heavy chewer).

      Or, simply get a cotton mop head and mix a bunch of yummy things in with the strings. Hours of fun may ensue… no batteries or Bluetooth required.

      If you’re a visual learner, check out this handy video on how easy it is to make your own snuffle mat.

      Happy snuffling!

      This post originally appeared on

      Featured image of School For The Dogs' student, Hobbes, by Karina Ramirez

      6 Bully Stick Holders Your Dog Will Want To Try

      6 Bully Stick Holders Your Dog Will Want To Try

      Dogs may love bully sticks, but we humans often worry about what might happen when they chew it down to its tiny end. While they may eventually be digested, they also might never reach the stomach; it's possible they can become lodged in a dog's throat, which could certainly result in choking. Scary stuff! Another issue: Bully sticks aren't cheap, and they can be chewed down to nothing very quickly. 

      Inventors around the world are working at developing product that can reduce the likelihood of choking, and make bully sticks last longer. The result is the birth of a new pet toy category: bully stick holders. Here are some of the ones we've tried with our students:

      The Animaswizzler


      Pros: Dogs really enjoy the mix of a toy that is both bouncy (thanks to its rubbery ends) and tasty. While the bully stick is enclosed in plastic, enough of it is exposed for satisfying chew-ability. 

      Cons: Not great for heavy chewers, who tend to be able to crack the entire thing open, sooner or later. Sometimes, especially clever dogs are able to push or pull the bully stick out of it from the end. 

      Cost: $24

      The Bonehead

      Pros: A nice, simple design that holds a bully stick in place with a screw that clamps down on it, making it pretty hard to get at. 

      Cons: It is really designed for use with a Himalayan chew. To use it with a bully stick, you need the thickest one you can find. Some people dislike the fact that you need to have a screwdriver on hand to put it it to use; after repeated use, we've found the top of the screw tends to degrade.

      Cost: $11

      The Qwizl

      qwizl bully stick holder west paw

      Pros: Made by the Montana-based company Westpaw, the Qwizl slips over the bully stick like a thick rubber sleeve. It is recyclable, latex-free, BPA-and-phthalate-free, FDA compliant, and comes with a lifetime guaranty. 

      Cons: Most of the bully stick is covered by the toy, which means much of it will simply never get chewed, which is a bit of a waste. Also, unless you have a bully stick that is precisely the right size, it can be hard to get it into the hole; many bully sticks are simply to thick to use. 

      Cost: $16 (small), $20 (large)

      The Animatwist

      animatwistanimatwist holder

      Pros: Quite challenging for a dog to excavate the bully stick as it is only partially exposed, in the middle. The toy is also very versatile as it can also be used with a Himalayan chew, or the bottom and top pieces can be removed from the middle part and then put back together to form a little treat-dispensing ball. 

      Cons: It was really designed for use with a Himalayan chew; for use with most  bully sticks, you need to use one (or more) extenders.

      Cost: $37 (including one extender) 

      The Everchew

      everchew bullystick holder

      Pros: The Everchew has a particularly clever design in that it has a pin that goes through a bully stick in order to hold it in place at its base. This makes it pretty much impossible for a dog to dislodge the end. Learn more about the Everchew in this School For The Dogs Podcast interview with its inventor, Kirby Kendall.

      Cons: Unfortunately, The Everchew is not yet available for sale, but you can follow the Everchew folks on Facebook to get production updates. It also can only be used with thick bully sticks that have a small hole drilled into them. Kendall intends to sell these along with the bully sticks, but it isn't difficult to drill a hole yourself if you have a drill and a small drill bit. 

      Cost: $19

      The Bully Buddy

       bully stick holder


      Pros: Screws tightly onto the bottom of bully sticks of all lengths and widths; leaves most of the bully stick exposed. 

      Cons: This is the only product in this list that we haven't tested ourselves yet but we've heard reports of some dogs managing to pull out the stick. 

      Cost: $25



      The Best Leashes and Harnesses For All Dogs and All Occasions

      The Best Leashes and Harnesses For All Dogs and All Occasions

      Recently, a client came into the School For The Dogs shop and was disappointed that we didn’t carry leashes with more cushioned handles. Her dog, she said, pulled so much that he often cut off the circulation in her hand. Didn’t I have a leash that could keep her hand from getting crushed?

      I felt bad disappointing her, but I admitted we didn’t carry any leashes designed to make pulling easier on the hands. At School For The Dogs, our approach is to keep a dog from pulling in the first place, and a fancy leash isn’t a tool that will prevent pulling any more than buying a treadmill will cause you to lose weight.

      In both cases, purchasing the right tool isn’t the issue: using it properly is.

      99% of the time, there should be such little tension on the leash that something flimsy could suffice.

      Ideally, a leash and collar or harness should be safety precautions to keep a dog from chasing a squirrel into the street, not tools to control a dog’s movements. For this reason, I sometimes ask my clients to practice “walking” their dog inside using dental floss or a crepe paper streamer.

      Ninety-nine percent of the time, there should be such little tension on the leash that something that flimsy could suffice. For this reason, my preference is usually to use a leash that feels invisible—in other words, you want it to be as lightweight as possible.

      My current favorite leashes are the lightweight nylon Mendota, which come in a variety of girths, lengths, and colors. I ideally want to forget it’s there at all! I also like using hands-free leashes, like the rope Found My Animal leash, which is long enough to buckle around my waist or even to put over my shoulder, or the Buddy System leash, which adjusts to your waist size with a simple clip.

      Selecting A Harness

      I’d say that three-quarters of the time, our clients report that switching to a front-clip harness solved their walking issues, full stop.
      If there is one piece of dog walking equipment that has any kind of “magic wand” quality about it, it’s probably the front-clip harness. I’d say that three-quarters of the time, our clients report that switching to a front-clip harness solved their walking issues, full stop.

      The harness I usually suggest is the Freedom Harness, which has both a back-clip and a front-clip, along with velvet straps that keep a dog from chafing in the sensitive underarm area, and a center chest strap that helps keep the chest clip in place at the dog’s sternum.

      My second favorite front-clip is probably the Ruffwear Front Range harness, which also has a clip at the back and in the front, and is soft under the dog’s arms. In my experience, both are much easier to put on correctly than other front-clip harnesses on the market, such as the Easy Walk and the SENSE-ation, although those are pretty good, too.

      Four reasons to use a front-clip harness

      • They take the strain off your dog’s neck.

      If your dog pulls at all, I’d rather he be wearing a harness of any kind than a collar, since I can’t think of a good reason why we should do anything that messes with our dogs’ ability to breathe.

      A back clip harness will, however, usually increase pulling. This is because your dog has more weight and control when a leash is clipped to the middle of his body than when it’s clipped to the front. Think about how dogs are affixed to sleds: By their backs. If your goal is to have your dog pull something, then by all means, clip their leash at the back.

      • They give you more chances to reward your dog.

      Because it wraps around a dog’s upper body at a central point at the chest, when your dog pulls at all, he’ll naturally get turned to one side or the other, which usually means he’s going to look back at you, even for a moment. And looking at you is a great thing to reinforce!

      • They cause the leash to pull at your dog, rather than the other way around.

      Imagine a leash attached to the front of your dog, and there is tension on the leash (as stated above: If the leash is anything other than slack, it means there is pressure being exerted at both ends). Assuming you’re walking forwards, which is in front of which? The leash clasp is in front of the dog, of course.

      So, the pulling causes the leash to pull at him from the front. The result? The dog is going to pull in the other direction… And if he’s out in front of you, that means the pulling will be back towards you! If he’s moving towards you, well, that’s something else you can reinforce with a reward.

      • They allow you to hook a leash to a dog in two spots.

      If it’s a harness that has a spot for two attachments, like the Freedom or the Ruffwear Front Range, you can attach a leash to both. This can be done with the Found My Animal leashes and the Freedom double-ended leash, both of which have clasps at both ends; if it’s one that has only a single attachment, you can have a leash attach to the harness and also to the collar.


      Using two leashes at once

      Why two leashes? For one, from a safety standpoint, it’s never a bad idea to double up on leashes. However, having two points of connection can also help your dog learn the subtle physical cues you give to indicate where you want to turn.

      You are already giving physical cues when you are holding a leash connected to a dog, whether or not you mean to, but you can become more purposeful about it by, say, making sure to reward your dog as soon as he begins to move at all in the direction that you are decreeing.

      This is sometimes called “Silky Leash” training. It is, in some ways, not unlike training a horse to go in the direction his reigns are pulled, although we are using positive reinforcement (rewarding the dog for going in the right direction) rather than using coercion, also known as negative reinforcement (taking away pain or pressure once the horse complies).

      The bottom line

      Click through to the earlier post on leash training for more tips on how to teach your dog to walk without pulling. With the right tools and plenty of practice and positive reinforcement, your dog walks will get easier.

      This post originally appeared on