What's In Kathy's Training Bag?

by Kathy Santo | Feb 13 2019

Every day at my training school, students are asking me what my favorite products are for their dogs. So I decided to create a one-stop shop, where you can find everything I use, every day, for all my dogs.

This bag holds everything I need! The outer pockets are great for toys, and the inner compartments help me organize my treats, leashes, etc.

Pro Tip: I like to keep an extra one in my training bag at all times. That way, I don’t need to worry about remembering to bring it when I head out to train!  I also always keep extra poop bags in the front part of the treat pouch, so I’m always prepared!

I know YOU know, but every single day, many of my students admit to me they forget to bring poop bags with them on a walk! Pro Tip: AmazonBasics has a GREAT deal on poop bags.

I love training with these low-calorie/limited-ingredient treats (great for dogs with allergies!). They don’t need to be refrigerated, so they’re in my training bag at all times.

I love ZiwiPeak as a high-value reward! BONUS: this product is high in protein and kilocalories, so it can also be used as a meal for your dog!

Another great choice for a high-value reward to keep in your training bag. No refrigeration required, and zero preservatives or additives. Just 100% liver!

I ALWAYS have this in my bag to help prevent ticks and fleas (we have awesome hiking trails in NJ, and my dogs always go with me). This product is a safe and effective alternative to chemical treatments! Of course, before we get in the car, I do a brush check to make sure we’re not bringing any ‘friends’ (ticks) home with us.

Pro Tip: Use a lint roller to ‘brush’ your dog. Ticks that haven’t attached themselves will stick to it!

This kit MUST be in every training bag, and includes bandages, gloves, gauze pads, antiseptic and more!

This ball on a string is one of my “go to” training rewards. My dogs love it!

One of my training bag toys is a soft fleece tug. To build speed and drive, I attach it to a long leash and drag it on the ground/floor. My puppies and dogs all love to chase, so to them, it’s a better reward than a cookie!

Some dogs need a little extra motivation to create excitement for a toy, and squeakers can do that! Conversely, this is also a great toy to improve your dog’s advanced levels of impulse control games.

Another of my favorite tug toys. My preference is to have 3 or 4 different ones, so I can rotate which one I use in a training session.

Easy to clip onto the outside of your training bag, so you’re never without a bowl.  

Whenever I take dogs out for a training session, or even just a walk, safety ALWAYS comes first. A martingale collar prevents dogs from being able to back out of their collar, should they become spooked or startled.

From experience, I know that “leash choice” can be super personal!  My preference is to have a sturdy, 5-foot leash if I’m doing heeling, or any kind of training where distance isn’t a factor. Leashes made from Biothane are great because they’re easily cleaned, and generally last a long time!

I always have either a 15 or 20 ft long line in my training bag for training distance work exercises (recalls, place, waits, etc.).  

I keep one of these in the bottom of my training bag at all times. You never know when you need to use the “Place” command!

This is a “must have” for me, in case an unfriendly/aggressive loose dog (or raccoon, or …..!) won’t heed my appeal to “Shoo!” Most times, it works like a charm.

For those rare cases when a loose dog is charging us (and I can clearly tell he’s NOT friendly!), I keep a mini air horn with me to keep myself and my dogs safe from an attack.

Invaluable for filming your training sessions!  Not just to post online (“look how awesome my dog is!”), or send to me for feedback, but for you to look at what you’re doing during a training session. My students are initially reluctant to film themselves, but once they do, the eye-opening begins, and they can see their mistakes (and fix them) before the next session.  

The number of things you can do with a carabiner is endless! From tethering the dog to a fence to work on stays, to tethering his leash handle to your belt loop for hands free walking, to fixing a broken collar, and much, much more.

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Waldwick, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.


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