Holiday Gift Guide for the Dog or Dog Lover in Your Life

How did it get to be mid-December already?

With six trainers here at Cold Nose College we’re always trying out new products and talking about products we love.  

Here are a few trainer tested favorites:    

Sheepskin Tug Toy with Bungee Handle 
Available from AllK-9 

Bonita Ash of Cold Nose College Blue Ridge Georgia recommends this product because her dogs love it!

She wanted to use a game of tug as a way to reinforce her dogs when training, but they just didn’t seem to enjoy the game. Enter the Sheepskin Tug Toy and they changed their minds!

The long handle helps keep fingers away from young or excited dogs and the bungee reduces jarring of the dog’s neck and handler’s shoulder.

What’s better than one tug toy? Two! She suggests buying two tug toys so that you can play the ‘Switch Game” that teaches both impulse control and ‘Trade.’ Available here: 

Wash ‘n Zip Pet Bed
There’s probably not a one of us who hasn’t spent a lot of money on dog beds throughout the years of living with one or multiple dogs. Too frequently in my case the chosen product didn’t quite live up to my quality, comfort or ease of cleaning expectations. Sound familiar? Thankfully your faith in a high quality, comfy, easy-to clean-bed can now be restored with the Wash ‘n Zip Pet Bed.

Even before the pet bed arrived, I was blown away by the superior customer service of this independently owned small business. Of the many things I love, the convenience of washing the bed is on the top of the list. The entire bed can easily be put in the washer and dryer, so no wrestling with taking off and replacing a bed cover. I cannot tell you how amazed I am each and every time with how easily the bed zips back together after washing and drying.

The bed is the perfect for teaching ‘Go to Mat’ a skill that benefits all dogs. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, easy to clean pet bed that your dog will love, this is it!  

Crumps’ Naturals Chicken Morsels Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
Available from or

Tiffany of Cold Nose College Space Coast Florida found these to be an excellent mid to high value training treat for many dogs she’s trained – 100% freeze dried chicken with nothing else added. After her dog was hospitalized earlier this year and refusing all other food, these freeze-dried morsels were all she’d eat. That’s a glowing endorsement if there ever was one!  

Squishy Face Studios Flirt Pole
This fabulous enrichment tool is an awesome gift for your dog. The flirt pole provides an incredible energy outlet for a dog when you can’t spend time outdoors during the cold winter months or if you have too small area in which to exercise your favorite furry friend. It’s also a great tool for use by people with limited physical abilities. Using the flirt pole provides much needed exercise for your dog with little movement needed by you. You can see it in action here as I use it with my girl, Willow: 

Streaming Learning in the Comfort of Your Home
Want to learn in your pajamas? Whether you want to teach your dog how to focus on you, teach your dog to Come, or learn how to enjoy stand up paddle boarding or dock diving with your dog, you can enjoy virtual learning on demand at your own pace in the comfort of your own home!  Stream any one of our training options: Fabulous Focus, Rocket Recall, What’s SUP Pup?  and/or Jump into Dock Diving.

The Training Levels Book by Sue Ailsby
The quote Rachel Thornton of Cold Nose College Natchez Trace Mississippi most often shares with clients is: “Training should not be considered a luxury.” ~ Ken Ramirez

Every dog deserves to be trained. Training builds relationship and connection and creates a language so that we can communicate clearly with our dogs. Training benefits both the dog AND the owner. 

The product I most often recommend to help an owner with the daunting possibility of training their own dog is The Training Levels, by Sue Ailsby. Sue’s two-volume set is available in printed or digital versions. I have both, use both, and I encourage my clients to order a copy.

Sue does a fantastic job of explaining the ‘how’ of training and also the ‘why’. She breaks training into basic behaviors and splits those behaviors into levels with even further splitting into individual steps to follow, all with line by line guidance as to how to approach each piece. Sue has done all the thinking for you – you’re ready to start training!

The Training Levels while a fantastic resource for new handlers and is also a fabulous resource for the more seasoned trainer. I glean a new nugget each time I use The Training Levels to train one of my dogs. Sue’s insight, experience and tone create an easy-to-read and enjoyable book of instruction and troubleshooting, complete with photos.

I recently read a quote, “A novice handler wants to work on intermediate training. An intermediate handler wants to work on advanced training, but an advanced trainer works on the basics.”

The Training Levels is the encyclopedia of basics that is rich enough for the intermediate or advanced handler. It’s where all dog training should start. Get a digital copy here:
For a printed copy (or a bundle which includes printed + discounted digital):  

Happy Gift Giving from all of us at Cold Nose College!

Lisa Lyle Waggoner is a CPDT-KA, a CSAT (Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer), a Pat Miller Certified Trainer Level 2, Faculty for the Victoria Stilwell Academy of Dog Training and Behavior, a dog*biz Certified Professional Dog Walker and the founder of Cold Nose College in Murphy, North Carolina. She enjoys providing behavior consulting and training solutions to clients in the tri-state area of North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, as well as offering educational opportunities and virtual training for clients, dog trainers and dog hobbyists throughout the U.S. and Europe. 

Lisa Lyle Waggoner is the author of The Original Rocket Recall™: Teach Your Dog to Come. She’s a CPDT-KA, a CSAT (Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer), a Pat Miller Certified Trainer Level 2, Faculty for the Victoria Stilwell Academy of Dog Training and Behavior, a dog*tec Certified Professional Dog Walker and the founder of Cold Nose College in Murphy, North Carolina. The company’s trainers enjoy providing virtual behavior consulting and training solutions to clients around the globe and offers coaching, mentoring and behavior case support for pet professionals.


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