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Latest in Training and Behavior Products

The latest training and containment products to help keep customers’ pets on the best-behaved list



Training and behavior products are an important segment—not just for retailers, but for pet owners, as well.

Larry Cobb, vice president of sales, marketing and operations for The Company of Animals in Bridgeport, Conn., said head collars, harnesses and behavior products are on the rise across the world as people look for kind and comfortable solutions to problems they might have with their pets.

“Although we all know that training is the best way to prevent unwanted behaviors, we also sometimes want a quick fix,” he said. “Our job is to ensure that we are providing good-quality, useful products that are not harmful to pets and will help solve problems and enhance the bond between pets and their owners.”

Nicole Haefke, marketing specialist for Coastal Pet Products Inc. in Alliance, Ohio, said professional trainers are looking for solutions with a variety of playful patterns and colors.

“They want useful tools that are fun and fashionable,” she said. “The majority of trainers are female, and Coastal Pet Products looks to meet the demands of this demographic by providing quality, convenient solutions with style.”

Its most recent product, the Adjustable Check Training Collar With Buckle, maximizes dog training with as much comfort as possible. The collar features a limited closure and rust-proof chain designed to quickly correct a dog’s behavior in a way that boosts control for the owner and is comfortable for the dog, Haefke said.

“The chain will not mat longhaired coats or cause excessive loss of neck hair,” Haefke said. “This collar features the benefit of chain and the comfort of nylon.”

Easy Does It
Dog containment products also serve an important function in homes and yards, as well as for training purposes.

When at home, companionship equates to ensuring the dog is calm, comfortable and nearby, even when being contained.

“Owners don’t want to just lock up their pets or put them in a cage,” said Kristin Butler, marketing coordinator and account executive for Richell USA Inc. in Grand Prairie, Texas. “They want pets to be close by and feel like part of the family, and also allow pets to feel comfortable and at ease in their own space.”

The company recently released its Expandable Pet Crate and Easy Clean Pet Crate, Butler added.

At Global Pet Expo, Advantek Marketing launched its new Gone Green family of eco-friendly chicken, rabbit and dog homes.

“As pet owners, we try to include our animals in all aspects of our lives, and safe and attractive containment gives us that ability,” said C.J. Pomerantz,  vice president of marketing for the Moorpark, Calif., company. “The biggest trend we’re seeing is a desire from consumers to have containment options and solutions that compliment their homes, whether indoors or out.”

Containment also is an essential part of any training program, Pomerantz added.

“When properly trained, a dog is inclined to view its kennel, crate or pen as its home, a place to feel safe and secure. Teaching the dog to go to that place on command or on its own is as essential to training as any treats or training aids.”

Easy Does It
Sean Klein, president of Klein Brands Inc., the Hollywood, Fla., manufacturer of shake-
Trainer, noted the latest buzz in training and behavioral products are both “do-it-yourself” and humane.

“People are looking to save money, so they are trying do-it-yourself training products like shakeTrainer before hiring expensive dog trainers,” he said.

John Hatcher, owner of EzyDog in Ponderay, Idaho, said people in the industry are talking about combining ease of use with safe, effective and humane training tools.

“Training can be a big enough task without complicated equipment,” he said. “Our newest training product, the SnakPak, is a treat bag that offers a magnetic closure, an easy-to-clean pull-up liner, an accessory pouch with a waterproof zipper and two ways of attaching it around the trainer’s waist.”

Katrina Boldry, owner and designer of Bold Lead Designs in Aurora, Colo., said consumers want training solutions that are positive and reward-based, as well as simple and easy to use while offering control over their unruly canines.

“Dog trainers and owners have an interest in communicating clearly with their dog without dangerous pressure on the dog’s neck or trachea,” she said. “They want to find the perfect training tool, especially when a dog does not respond well to other products.”

To accomplish this, Boldry created The Perfect Pace Halter Leash, which came out in December 2014.

“The Perfect Pace head collar instantly stops pulling and lunging in a gentle and effective manner,” she said. “The lead comes from the top of the head (rather than under the chin), and it encourages calmness and attention.”

Marketing Matters
Ashley Brindle, marketing coordinator at Coastal Pet Products, implemented the interactive, online Selling Specialist presentation that educates store associates on product lines and quality standards.

“Education is key, and the Selling Specialist presentation provides a full library of product knowledge and merchandising tips,” she said. “The best part is that the information is available anytime. Offering chain and alternative products gives the trainer a choice of preference.”

Coastal Pet Products developed rack danglers for more training product information. The danglers feature QR codes that consumers can scan with their smartphones to link to the website for additional product knowledge.

Klein recommends that all retailers watch a short five-minute instructional DVD on the shakeTrainer.

“Being placed near the cash register helps dramatically accelerate sales,” he said.

A full presentation with an assortment of colors and sizes always makes for a more compelling display, EzyDog’s Hatcher noted.

“It shows that the retailer believes in the product and so should their customer,” he said. “Retailers can also let their customers know there are easy-to-use training tools out there that will help them enjoy their time with their pets even more.”

Cobb said manufacturers can do a lot to help retailers, and the first step is talking to them.

“It’s easy to produce point of sale material, but if it doesn’t help the retailer or their customers, then it’s a waste of time,” he said. “Offering product training to retailers and their staff can be one of the most rewarding ways to help, because it makes selling much easier and more enjoyable.”

When it comes to larger items such as containment products, many dog owners turn to the Internet to research and even make their purchases, said Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and COO of the American Pet Products Association in Greenwich, Conn. To keep more sales like these in stores, he suggests retailers become better educated on the products.

Radio Systems Corp.’s Hart agreed, noting that because these products often are pricier, consumers are apt to research them before making a purchase.

“A well-educated staff can help make a sale by providing the necessary information to the customer,” he said. 

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Pet Product News

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