Consumer spending on dog training and behavioral aids is increasing across the country, according to pet stores Fear and leash are the biggest challenges dog owners want to tackle with their pets.
Not that long ago, people were more focused on basic behaviors like potty training and barking, said Megan Trombley, manager of Urban Tails Pet Supply in Minneapolis. Now customers are trying to address fears, especially around separation and socialization, she said.
Tony de Vos, President and CEO of Cardinal Pet Care of Azusa, Calif., Reported “a greater emphasis on eliminating antisocial and fear-based behavior in dogs,” based on the fact that people are getting their pets involved in more activities today.
“If your dog was ever scared of the crowds, you just left him at home,” he said. “But today people want to take their dogs everywhere. To do this, they have to train their pets to behave well, be socialized and not be afraid of new surroundings.”
Dr. Nick Hill, founder and general manager of Sure Petcare in Clearwater, Fla., Said owners identify when people “spend more time with their pets” [issues]B. lack of enrichment or environmental factors that can change the dog’s behavior and where he needs further attention. “
As a result, there has been a significant increase in accessibility and demand for educational products, according to Bianca Rossi, director of marketing at The Company of Animals in Broomfield, Colorado.
Today’s owners are proactive in behaving and training their dogs to join them in all walks of life.
“I’m seeing a lot more preventative training these days,” said John Thomas, manager of the Bark N ‘Scratch Outpost in Milwaukee. “In the past, many people have waited for a dog’s problem behavior to become unbearable before considering significant exercise. Now we often see people deal immediately with excessive barking, fear, aggression, pulling, etc.”
Many of the latest product launches address these pet owner concerns.
“Cannabidiol (CBD) products have come to the rescue with anxiety, among other things,” said Kim McCohan, chief happy officer at Bend Pet Express, which has two locations in Bend, Ore.
After John Headley, co-founder of Presidio Natural Pet Co. of San Rafael, Calif., “Saw firsthand the benefits and efficacy of hemp oil,” he said the company had decided to “manufacture a line of premium hemp oil that is also suitable for hemp oil. ” Pet owners like pets. “
The company introduced Blossom, a full-spectrum hemp oil, at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida in March.
No-pull belts are also popular customer requests. The Company of Animals unveiled the Halti No-Pull Harness and Halti Double-Ended Lead at the Global Pet Expo last month. The harness is available in small, medium and large sizes and is designed to prevent dogs from pulling on the leash. The leash has two attachment points to prevent dogs from being pulled. It is available in four colors and three adjustable lengths.
Training trends continue to focus on reward-based positive reinforcement, where treats often play an active role, according to industry insiders. Cardinal Pet Care connects consumer demand for low-calorie treats and organic dishes and offers Crazy Dog Organic Train-Me! Training rewards. The organic treats contain real beef or chicken as the # 1 ingredient and come in a mini size that contains 1.7 calories per treat in a 4-ounce pack and a normal size of 3 calories per treat in a 16-ounce pack. Contains ounce pack.
Tech Meets Training / Behavioral Aids
In an increasingly connected world, technology is showing up in all areas, including the pet industry. Although industry insiders have reported limited requests for digital or electronic pet products, “smart” options continue to emerge.
In December 2018, Sure Petcare introduced Animo, an activity and behavior monitor designed to “learn and accurately interpret a dog’s unique behavior and activity patterns”. The 22-gram waterproof device is worn on a dog’s collar and comes in three strap sizes for dogs of all sizes.
“Animo provides insight into a dog’s activity and sleep, as well as problematic behaviors such as shaking, scratching and barking,” said Dr. Nick Hill, founder and CEO of Clearwater, Florida based company. “With the Sure Petcare – Animo app over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), owners can set and monitor daily activity goals for their pet, as well as view their pet’s activity and behavior reports by day, week, month or year.”
Despite the interest in “smart” options, many pet stores find it unaffordable to carry.
“While our customer base is interested in technology, they haven’t asked enough about products like this to introduce it,” said Megan Trombley, manager of Urban Tails Pet Supply in Minneapolis. “They’re usually high dollar too, so for us as a small business it’s more of an investment.”
Kim McCohan, chief happy officer at Bend Pet Express, which has two locations in Bend, Oregon, agreed, adding that the price points are keeping them away from emerging trends like babysitting home tech or GPS collars in Bend Pet Express stores to wear, but the store can order them on special order.
Retail staff training
A crucial sales component
According to industry insiders, an uneducated workforce cannot effectively sell products or help customers find the best solutions to their concerns. For many pet retailers, staff training is number one.
“When our people don’t know what they’re talking about, it’s hard to really sell,” said Megan Trombley, manager of Urban Tails Pet Supply in Minneapolis. “If you know how it works and believe in it, it’s a breeze.”
According to Tony de Vos, President and CEO of Cardinal Pet Care in Azusa, Calif., Doing business with trained and helpful employees not only drives sales, but also builds customer loyalty and trust.
“When a retailer’s sales force can recommend a training product and explain how it can be used to solve the problem, they create a very loyal customer who will rely on them and keep coming back to the store in the future,” he said.
Many customers walk into the store knowing very little about the training and behavioral aids available to them, said John Thomas, manager of Bark N ‘Scratch Outpost in Milwaukee.
“First of all, we want to be sure that staff are aware of all of the options for a particular problem so that the owner can make a decision based on multiple choices,” he said. “At the same time, we offer our advice on what is best for the situation.”
Many manufacturers offer solutions to help trading partners with the training they need. Sure Petcare is working closely with key retailers to provide training and support for their products, said Dr. Nick Hill, founder and CEO of Clearwater, Florida based company.
John Headley, co-founder of Presidio Natural Pet Co. in San Rafael, California, stressed the importance of “providing clear and simple literature on the subject in case a question arises that a retailer is not readily aware of.”
There are several ways that pet retailers work to make sure their staff are well trained.
“We run 90 days of intensive training and education for our employees,” said Kim McCohan, chief happy officer at Bend Pet Express, which has two locations in Bend, Ore.
Urban Tails conducts monthly product and store training, Trombley said.
“We also offer computer training when companies have videos for our employees to watch,” she said. “Sometimes we get samples that we can use with our own pets so we can see how it works.”
5 key positions to highlight behavior / training aids
When customers come to shop, product placement and merchandising can have a huge impact on what products they buy. Regarding dog behavior and training aids, industry insiders made the following recommendations to highlight these products for consumers.
1. Front display
“We keep many of our training products outside the store,” said Megan Trombley, manager of Urban Tails Pet Supply in Minneapolis. “It’s easiest for us to answer questions and help people as soon as they first step in.”
2. New puppy ad
“A good merchandising strategy is to create a ‘New Puppy’ display,” said Tony de Vos, President and CEO of Cardinal Pet Care in Azusa, California. “In addition to displaying educational products, the area can be populated with … any items items that will be needed by people welcoming a new puppy to their home.”
3. POP for smaller items
“With a smaller product like hemp oil, a POP is critical to grabbing consumer attention,” said John Headley, co-founder of Presidio Natural Pet Co. in San Rafael, California.
4th training section
“We have an area dedicated to training that is strategically located between puppy products, leashes / collars / harnesses, and potty training / casualty products,” said John Thomas, manager of Bark N ‘Scratch Outpost in Milwaukee. “That way, it stands on its own and at the same time is at the center of the three most common training needs.”
5. Show dogs
“Our harness and no-pull items are placed on show dogs so the customer can see what their dog should look like,” said Kim McCohan, chief happy officer at Bend Pet Express, which has two locations in Bend, Ore, has “They are smaller dog mannequins so we can move them around easily.”