5 Must-Have iPhone Apps for Pet Owners
When you're teaching your dog a new behavior, whether it’s sit or roll over, it can be difficult to remember the different steps and their order when you’re in a practice session. Smartphone training apps offer immediate feedback right on your phone.
Admittedly, an app will offer only a condensed overview of training and will have relatively few details compared with what you would find in a training book or extensive article. But when you're on the go, often a condensed overview is all you need to get you on the right track.
I tested dozens of iPhone apps and rounded up my top five, including three training apps and two designed to encourage better behavior.
Dog Tricks & Bark Machine
This app has an extensive library of tips on teaching both basic behaviors and trick training and includes information about avoiding common behavior problems, such as barking, digging and jumping up to greet. The app covers dogs of all ages and includes a puppy-specific section. As an added bonus, the app includes games you can play with your dog and allows you to research the personality traits of popular dog breeds. Dog Tricks & Bark Machine, $.99.
Puppy Coach 101
This application is helpful for teaching your new puppy useful behaviors, such as crate training and coming when called. It also provides helpful information on teaching your puppy the rules of tug and offers advice on house training and mouthing. The application includes high-quality video and provides easy-to-follow steps for training. Puppy Coach 101, $2.99.
Dog Trainer Pro
This application includes detailed descriptions of how to teach new behaviors and solve behavior problems for both adult dogs and puppies. It also includes two free Ian Dunbar books, Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy, which are invaluable tools for any prospective or current puppy owner. Dog Trainer Pro, free.
Growing research shows that music therapy can have a calming effect on animals, and Pet Acoustics provides music designed to promote relaxation for both you and your dog — or, if needed, your cat or horse! While this is not specifically a training tool, I encourage pet owners with anxious pets to use music as a tool to soothe their anxious animals. The app can be beneficial in numerous on-the-go situations, such as helping relax a dog who is fearful of car rides. Pet Acoustics, $1.99.
While exercise in and of itself may not stop every single pet behavior problem, it can be a major tool for aiding in the decrease of unwanted behaviors. This app encourages owners to get their pets off the couch by recording information on every walk you take with your dog, including speed, distance and duration. Having that information inspired me to work out harder and longer, which benefited me and the dogs. Petometer, free.
Did I miss your favorite pet training app? Feel free to share your experiences with different apps in the comments — I would love to hear your feedback!