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A Dog Trainers Top List of Christmas Presents for Dogs

Lyndsey Mackinnon, head dog trainer and co-founder of Canine Pawtential, will in this article take you through her list of top Christmas presents for dogs! Of course we believe that the best gifts for our dogs are all free, but watching your dog tear apart their beautifully wrapped presents is something that will bring a big smile to everyone’s faces.

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Lyndsey Mackinnon - Head dog trainer and co-founder of Canine Pawtential

Dogs may not understand the concept of ‘Christmas’, but it shouldn’t stop us from absolutely spoiling them like we would our other family members and friends!

Have a read below to see our list of top Christmas present ideas for your dog this Christmas.


Top Christmas gift ideas

    Enrichment themed gifts

    Providing enrichment for dogs really could be one of the best things you can do to improve their quality of life, and their behaviour!

    Enrichment is a little more than just providing a new toy for your dog to play with. We want to find ways to challenge our dogs appropriately to stimulate them both mentally and physically. Over the years, dogs have become so domesticated by us, that they no longer need to hunt for their food, they get it handed to them on a lovely silver platter! However, their natural instincts and need to hunt and scavenge are still bred into them today.

    If they aren’t given an outlet for this and they are then under-stimulated, you may find you have a dog that prone to repetitive, destructive behaviours such as ripping up your cushions, barking excessively out of boredom or digging up the lovely plants in the garden.

    Have a good think about your dog before purchasing enrichment toys. Herding breeds like Collie’s are highly intelligent and will likely benefit from puzzle toy stimulation / stalking games, whereas your terriers may benefit more from a new sand put to dig in!

    Always consider your dogs age and physical ability too. Enrichment can be a super idea for dogs that are recovering from injury/old or hate the rain and refuse to go out on walks on wet days!

    Food Puzzles

    Puzzle feeders, Treat Balls or Snuffle Mats - These vary in difficulty and allow your dog to use their natural hunting/scavenging abilities to consume their meals. Your dog will feel much more satisfied after breakfast and may even need a nap!

    Kongs, Licki Mats or Stuffed Toys – Licking is a super soothing behaviour for dogs to perform and really brings their energy levels down. These are great to use when guests are over throughout the Christmas period. Freezing them first is always a great idea to make them last longer!

    Training Themed Gifts

    It’s time to set some new dog training goals for 2023 and there are a variety of different gifts that you can get your dog that will benefit your training sessions.

    Have a good think about which of your dog’s behaviours you would like to put some work into this year. This doesn’t have to be huge subjects either, it can be as simple as teaching 5 new tricks, working on their recall when out on your daily walks or building their confidence with getting their nails clipped.

    I have been working with both of my dogs throughout 2022 and have seen huge improvements, however I still have goals in place for 2023. My Chihuahua, Lucy is still nervous when guests enter the house so we will be focusing our energy on this next year!

    Treats – You can never have enough treats. We want to use treats to reinforce behaviours that we want to see more of. Remember, what gets rewarded, gets repeated. Treats are also an easy way to build a positive association with all sorts of things in your dog’s environment. It is essential that you always have a large supply of treats to hand, both indoors and outdoors. If we want our dogs working, we must pay accordingly. Check out Marleybones delicious natural treats. Think about what it is that reinforces and excites your dog the most. It may be a new tennis ball or a new tuggy toy. These would also be great gifts for training!

    The Gift Of A Training Class / 121 Package – This is a wonderful way to commit to your new goals with extra help from a professional. Have a look for force-free trainers near you and sign yourself and your dog up to a new class! At Canine Pawtential we run a huge selection of classes or tailored 121 packages to suit your needs. 

    New Training Equipment – The first step towards a successful training session is ensuring you have the appropriate equipment. A few pieces we would recommend are a treat pouch, a nicely fitted Y-Shaped Harness and a 5-meter training lead to practice recall without allowing your dog to run away/over to other dogs or people.

    Management Gifts – An easy way to kickstart your training programme in 2023. Have a think about what your dog seems to find stressful in their day-to-day life and implement simple management techniques to minimise this stress e.g., if your dog is barking at the window all day, pop some window film up in minutes to reduce this! If your dog is stressed in busy areas, gift them a block booking at a private secure field!

    New Year’s Resolution Gifts

    Each year we all set some new years resolutions, so why not do the same for your dog?

    Cut out the Junk! – Take a look into your dog’s nutrition and make it a resolution to improve their diet. A dog’s diet is often overlooked when considering why they are displaying certain behaviours. This is something we look into initially before starting any training programme.

    Marleybones dog dining is made from the finest produce and is gently steam-cooked to retain all the nutrients and natural flavour. Packed with superfoods such as hemp seeds, chia and wild seaweed.

    No label tricks. No preservatives. No hidden nasties.

    Dental Hygiene – By the age of 3 more than 80% of dogs will display some form of dental disease. Gift your dog a new doggie toothbrush and paste and add Marleybones' new dental health food topper to your food.

    Top tips on how to make it a pleasent Christmas for your dog

    Finally and most importantly, ensure that Christmas day is not too overwhelming for your dog.

    1. Have a safe space for your dog to retreat to if the house is busy.

    2. Make sure they are mentally and physically fulfilled. Go for a good walk and add lots of enrichment training. 

    3. Don't allow them to eat any unsafe human foods. Stick to their usual feeding routine to avoid an upset stomach. 

    4. And of course remember to spoil them with extra love and time.

    Have a Pawesome Christmas!

    Lyndsey Durand Professional dog trainer and owner of Canine Pawtential


    In 2021, Lyndsey and her partner started up a dog training school focusing on positive reinforcement and force free training where they aim to provide positive training solutions for any and all training issues.

    Lyndsey is a qualified Puppy Training Specialist and a member of ICAN (International Companion Animal Network). She has been studying for the last 7 years with a number of providers such as The IMDT, Canine Principles, The Dog Training College and more, whilst also training her own two dogs, Lucy the Chihuahua and Mango the Whippet.

    Fun fact

    Her dog’s have taught her A LOT more than she have taught them!


    Lyndsey is passionate about giving dogs a voice and educating owners on new, positive methods within dog training.