So you’ve decided to train your own service dog. Whether you are choosing to train your pup yourself to help offset costs or just merely out of preference, then this list is sure to help you save a couple bucks and up not only your training game, but also add a little needed conveniency in your life.
1. No Hands Leash- $13
This leash is by far my absolute favorite as of recently. I love that I can use it to hook around my body so that I can work on our “walking nicely” command with Finn, making sure that he’s next to me and not pulling. I also love it for its functionality in everyday life. If I am unloading groceries and have Finn in tow, I can hook it around myself and not have to worry about him wandering off. Or of course, having to keep him under constant supervision so that he doesn’t pull the leash out of my hands as I’m trying to make one of my famous “two trips are for weenies” grocery haul up the stairs. I also love that I can hook him to other things so easily, given that there isn’t a set hand loop. Since it’s an easy clip on, I can hook him to my chair or to the table during our “down-stay” training without having to get up and get him if distractions pass by. Overall, this is a great product for any dog owner, but especially for your new service dog in training. Check it out more here.
2. Collapsible Dog Bowl- $4
Collapsible bowls are awesome! While they are not essential, it is super convenient to have, especially when you’re out training and working on socialization and don’t necessarily have space in your pack to carry a full size bowl and water for your pupper. I love this collapsible one as opposed to the plastic silicone ones as it saves more space and is more environmentally friendly. Plus it dries super quickly and holds so much water! Get it here for under $4!
3. Easy Walk Harness- $20
At right at $20 this harness is a steal. It is the best thing that I’ve gotten for Finn when it comes to teaching him not to pull on his leash. Within a matter of minutes, he went from excitingly stretching my arm out beyond my grip, to walking right beside me with NO PULLING. This harness is a miracle worker for those puppers who get too excited during walks and need a little reminder who is walking who. Also a bonus: It goes around their chest instead of their neck so no choking them!
4. Pinch Training Collar- $11
Speaking of getting your pup to stop pulling, this no pull pinch collar is also another great alternative. These chain collars imitate how a mother might grab at her pup, making it safe to put around their necks. It is also a great way to save money if you can’t stretch your budget for the harness as this collar comes at only half the price.
5. Collar- $14
This collar is perfect for those who don’t necessarily want something flashy for their pup and are looking for a more classic look. The leather on these collars makes them last SO LONG and doesn’t break apart easily like other collars might. I’ve always been a fan of the slip through instead of the buckle snap just because they can come undone much more easily than a slip buckle can. Check out this collar here!
6. Training Treats- $8.50
Treats are the basis of training as any trainer, new or old, knows. I love these treats because unlike others, they hold a healthy nutritional value as well as having the easy ability to break them into halves and even fourths. This will easily double your treat pack and makes it so much more affordable. For all my budgeting pros out there, this one should definitely go on your shopping list!
7. Treat Tote- $6
I can not brag enough about this treat tote! I love that it can easily hook onto my shorts or bag. Plus, it can carry so many treats inside for just a small pouch. I like putting my training treats in ziplocs and tuck them in the tote to keep them fresher longer as well as keep them from making a mess in the bottom of the bag. This comes highly recommended!
8. Clicker- $4
So you have the treats, the tote bag, the puppers, but now you need something to reinforce the training. This is where this handy little dude comes in handy. Clicker training is by far the most effective training method, letting the dog know exactly when they have completed the desire command or behavior. I like these too because they are not obnoxiously loud, like some others. Plus two? I know already that I’m going to lose one and have to use the backup. Check them out
9. Service Dog in Training Vest- $14
So long story short- as a new service dog in training owner, I’m sure you get the many questions about why people can’t always pet your dog. I got the constant “but he’s so cute” or the selfish “but he wants to be pet,” when he was suppose to be training on focusing on me and not other stimuli. So it came time for me to make a more obvious sign, other than the hand written one I put out during his “down-stay” practice. Bringing me to getting his- drumroll please- first vest! As a service dog, he of course will most likely go through more than one vest, so as a puppy I was torn about waiting till he got big enough to wear a permanent one and having one for his puppy days. Let me help you make the decision- get one as soon as you start taking them out for training. This helps them not only get the cue that the vest means it’s time to go to work, but also this vest grows with them and helps make the transition to full time work for your pup.
10. Patches- $10
I recently got this patch because while the vest said in training, some people were confused as to whether he was a therapy dog, who is trained to greet everyone, or a medical alert dog, that is not supposed to greet others without a command. This patch helped me kindly let other people know “Hey! He’s working and can’t be pet right now” without having to say it too many times in one day. Plus this bundle here includes two of the same patch for either side, on other vests or anywhere else you need to put one.
11. Industrial Puppy Removable Packs- $15
This is the next thing on my shopping list as I’ve noticed that so many things in my bag, Finn can’t really get to when I need him to. Things like my peppermint oil that calms me down, my medication to take when I begin to have an attack, a candy to pop in my mouth when my blood sugar begins to crash, along with so many other things, shouldn’t have to be more of a struggle for Finn to get for me. Especially now that we have started retrieval training, this packs will definitely coming in handy the more commands he learns.
12. Dog Food- $13
While we just switched Finn from the Puppy Chow brand to Pure Balance, due to some tummy issues, I found that the easiest way to get dog food is through Amazon. If you have Prime, the two day shipping comes in handy when you realize you’re running low on dog food and don’t want to make a trip to the store. There is also ways to schedule auto shipping to make it even easier for you to have your pup’s food on your doorstep right when you need it.
13. Natural Bones- $18
In case anyone hasn’t told you already, Rawhide is a big no-no for dogs, especially for the little puppers. Which is why I like these as an alternative. The natural bones might be a little more expensive, but as an overall comparison, they are much better for their teeth and health. Click here to get a pack of large bones, sure to keep your pup busy for days.
14. KONG- $12
KONG’s are infamous in the dog world. They are so easy to use, just stuff any treat inside and it keeps your pup busy and out of things that they shouldn’t be messing with. These Kongs are a great size too to fit carrots (Finn’s favorite) treats or even peanut butter inside! Check them out
15. Tennis Ball Launcher- $5.94
Here is something that is sure to add some convenience to your life. This brand has so many different options about how to play with your pup and burn their energy, without having to burn all of yours as well. This tennis ball launcher works for all tennis balls, not just their brand, and makes it easier to throw them farther out for your pup to chase. I’m excited to get this for Finn as he often is so hyper when we go to the dog park and while my throwing isn’t a “softball national champion” worthy throw, this easy plastic launcher makes it so much easier to burn off some of that energy without throwing out my own arm. Also, check out the launcher by NERF. SO MUCH FUN TO USE! (It is over $20 though, but totally worth it).
16. Puppy Chewers- $6
I’m sure you know about the puppy teething stage. So much fun right? Don’t you love how your favorite shoes or socks, they always seem to find? If you’re looking for a cheap solution to this, then I give you these puppy chewers. They are great for the pup to grind their new teeth away with its tough exterior.
17. Potty Training Bells- $10
These were truly a godsend when it came to potty training. While Finn had a few accidents in the house after we purchased these, we noticed that they were only when he couldn’t get to the bells. This pack comes with two, which I highly recommend for the back door and near their crate. These have been such a help during this somewhat frustrating time and is super easy to include in your potty training routine.
18. Potty Pads- $15
While I didn’t use these as much as we thought we would (thank you potty bells), they are a great option for those who prefer to start crate training right away during the early puppy days. Finn would constantly tear them apart when we got them (early teething) but I’ve heard from so many people what an amazing tool these are to have so I wanted to give them a little spotlight as well! Plus they come in such big quantities, it becomes an easier solution than the amount of urine remover we had to buy.
19. Potty Refill Bags- $9
Speaking of potty breaks, this is one of the biggest necessities as a dog owner. Living in an apartment, I’ve gone through hundreds, yes hundreds, of these life saver bags. It’s a requirement in some places, while just common courtesy overall, so these handy little things are a must have when you’re walking your pup.
20. Dual Chamber Dog Food Bottle- $10
Last but not least, this is another item currently on my shopping list as it comes in handy for overnight or day trips, when packing an entire bag of dog food takes up too much space. Plus for the sake of convenience, it seems like a great time and space saver, and makes for a great backup! I’m looking forward to using it for camping trips!