If you’re a dog owner, spend a little time thinking about your dog before you start making out a Christmas wish list for him. It’s easy enough to jot down a handful of items that every dog likes and most have, like a new bone or chew toy. But you may be overlooking some things that make a lot of sense for your dog, ideas that could benefit both of you this year. Your pooch will have a good time on Christmas no matter what he gets – there are lots of boxes and wrapping paper to sniff and play with, family members who are feeling generous, and plenty of special attention for the pets. Having doggie presents to open on Christmas makes a good time even better.

But your dog may need something a little different. For example, if your pooch is on the feisty side and a little hard to control, he might benefit from some obedience training. Or maybe your dog is a frustrated escape artist that likes to flee whenever possible, forcing you to come look for him. These are problems, but they could also be gift ideas you could use to train your dog to be better behaved.

Obedience training

Private obedience classes range from about $240 to $600 for six lessons. There may be additional costs for training assistance aids, such as leashes, treats and other items used to teach your pet. It gets a little more expensive for dogs with special behavioral issues, perhaps as much as $100 per hour or more. Housebreaking, excessive barking and other persistent problems can be dealt with. Your house guests will appreciate that your dog will learn not to beg or jump on them. If you’re not sure if it’s for your dog, many obedience schools and clinics will allow you to sit in on classes to see firsthand how they operate.

Safe and secure

Your dog is a much-loved member of the family. It’s unthinkable that something tragic could happen to him if he were to escape and get hurt because you couldn’t locate him. Fortunately, there are some outstanding tracking products that are affordable and very reliable. The Whistle GPS Tracker sends you alerts via text and a special app if your pet gets away. The waterproof clip-on device lets you track your dog using GPS capability. With the Nest Cam indoor security camera, you can keep track of your dog when you’re not at home. If you don’t have time to check in, you can also record his activities over a preset period of time. Check out the top-rated dog monitor cameras here.

Dog toys with a difference

If you and your dog hate to call off a game of fetch because of darkness, the ChuckIt! Max Glow Ball is the perfect option. It’s made of a high-visibility material that glows in the dark. Place it under a light for a few minutes and you and your pal can romp and play outside all day and night. The Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel toy is another great gift idea for a dog with logs of energy to burn and a burning desire to sink their teeth into some squirrels, real or not.

Sleep space

If your dog’s been taking up space in your bed or shedding on your best couch, now’s the time to get him his own sleep space. If yours is a little dog, the Martha Stewart Pets Holiday present bed is warm and snug and topped with a Christmas bow. At more than 3 feet long, the You & Me Pawsitively Plaid bed can comfortably accommodate a much larger dog.

This Christmas, try thinking beyond the usual gift ideas for your dog. There’s no rule that says he has to get dog treats or a Frisbee. Who knows? He just may like something a little different this year.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com.