Dog trainers do their job because they love dogs, not because they expect gifts, riches, or fame. But if your dog trainer has made a huge difference in your pup’s life (or if your bestie is a dog trainer and you want to get her something special), you might be ready to surprise her with a gift this holiday season.
Whether your dog trainer is your spouse, friend, or “just” your trainer, you might want to spread the holiday cheer this year or at your pup’s graduation ceremony. Many of my friends are dog trainers, so I’m always trying to think of good gifts for the dog trainers around me.
We asked hundreds of dog trainers to weigh in on what they love getting from their clients, friends, and family. This list outlines the top picks for dog trainer gifts.
Wine: For the Dog Trainer Who Needs A Break
Who doesn’t love wine? I haven’t met any dog trainers (yet) who wouldn’t appreciate a cute bottle of wine or six pack of beer. Bonus point if it’s got dogs on the label!
Wine is almost always a good choice, but this can be especially nice if you know that your trainer has been working with some tough cases lately.
Journey Dog Training’s Pick: Go for Two Bad Labs Wine. It’s a universal favorite with a name like that!
Handwritten Notes: For the Sentimental Dog Trainer
Whether you’re short on cash or looking for something that will really warm your trainer’s heart, a handwritten note is a great dog trainer gift. This is especially great for clients to their trainers. That said, as a dog trainer myself, I can say that the best compliments I’ve ever gotten as a trainer tend to revolve around my dog. Sending a friend or family member a handwritten note pointing out something specific about how much they and their dog love each other will really warm their heart.
A nice email will make your trainer happy but be sure to hand-write it (and mail it if needed) to really send the point home!
Journey Dog Training’s Pick: Pick out some dog-themed stationery to really make the note special.
Waist Running Leash: For the Active Dog Trainer
Not all dog trainers love running, but almost every dog trainer who likes running loves running with her dog. Waist running leashes can get a bit pricey, but the bungee wears out every few years. A shiny new leash will really brighten up your trainer’s day, even if she already has one!
Journey Dog Training’s Pick:Ruffwear Roamer leash The is one of the best-constructed waist leashes out there (like most Ruffwear gear). The bungee is resilient and it comes in enough colors to suit most trainers.
Dog-Themed T-Shirts: For the Funny Dog Trainer
It’s hard to go wrong with a dog-themed T-shirt. I can say firsthand that it can be tricky to keep up with the laundry and wear appropriate clothes while working with clients. Dog-themed t-shirts are great dog trainer gifts as they help solve the “training-class-ready-shirt” problem and make your dog trainer smile.
Journey Dog Training’s Pick: The Snack Leader, Not Pack Leader t-shirt will be a winner for most dog trainers. If your trainer is more of the pack leader type, opt for a T-shirt with his breed of choice on it.
A Dogwise or Audible Gift Card: For the Bookworm Dog Trainer
There’s almost endless reading to do as a dog trainer. This field is constantly growing and changing, and most dog trainers struggle a bit to keep up with the books! Dogwise is a leading publisher in dog training books. Your trainer will love getting a discount on her next order! Click here to look at the gift card options.
Alternative Dog Trainer Gift: Many trainers spend a lot of time in the car. An Audible gift card will let your trainer get an excellent training book (I just finished The Education of Will) to read while she’s driving from client to client!
A Ruffwear Gift Card: For the Outdoorsy Dog Trainer
There’s just too much good stuff on Ruffwear to pick. Since some trainers already have quite a bit of gear, it can be hard to know what to get. A gift card lets your dog trainer pick her own present. Even better, it’s easy to pool money with your class to get a bigger gift card!
Fancy Dog Treats from Chewy.com: For the (Dog) Foodie Dog Trainer
Like Ruffwear, Chewy is a leader in dog training supplies. This online warehouse has amazing supplies of treats, high-quality food, and fun toys for dogs (and cats). Your trainer (and her dog) will be drooling over the fancy treats and meals offered from Chewy.com.
Travel Coffee Mugs: For the Sleepy Dog Trainer
Since dog trainers spend so much time in their cars driving from home to home (and staying up late writing out training plans), we’re a sleepy bunch. A good travel coffee mug is always a thoughtful gift — and even better if it’s got dogs on it!
Journey Dog Training’s Pick: The Yeti Rambler Travel Mug is incredibly well-made. It looks plain, but it’s one of the best out there!
Fancy Dog Toys: For the Playful Dog Trainer
Dog trainers love good dog toys. From aggression cases to agility competitors, toys help us connect with our dogs for fun and for function. We all know how fast dogs like to shred toys and their trainers tend to lose them. Your dog trainer will love a well-made and useful toy.
Journey Dog Training’s Pick: Rabbit-fur tug toys are extra-fun for dogs. This option has nice bungee on it, helping make the tug game fun for a dog and less jolting for the handler.
Hurrta Dog Trainer’s Vest: For the Dog Trainer Who Needs More Pockets
Dog trainers have a lot of things in (and on) our hands. It seems like there’s never enough hands for a clicker, a leash, treats, and toys. The Hurrta Dog Trainer’s Vest is made to be lightweight, solving the pockets problem even in warmish weather. This fancy vest isn’t cheap, but it’s a super-thoughtful gift from a class or a few family members.
A Remote Treat Dispenser: From the Group Class to the Best Trainer
Do you really love a dog trainer? I don’t know any dog trainers who have too many remote treat dispensers. From Furbo to Treat N’Train to CleverPet, there are a lot of options on the market these days. Each remote treat dispenser has its pros and cons, but they’re all amazing gifts for any dog trainers out there. It’s impossible to pick just one that would make a trainer’s day (or year)!
What did you surprise the dog trainer in your life with this year? We’d love to add to this list!
Kayla is from Ashland, Wisconsin but currently lives on the Panamerican Highway. She holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and has spent years working in zoos, animal shelters, and as a private dog trainer. She is currently putting her knowledge to use as a freelance writer while she builds Journey Dog Training. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. She shares her life with her dog Barley and her boyfriend Andrew.