Trip Less Trainer Tapped the Future in LA

Miller Lite Tap the Future® returned, celebrating their 5th year and searched for innovators with an unwavering commitment to making their dream a reality. Miller Lite annually sponsors the competition to empower entrepreneurs to hold true to their innovative business ideas. The competition provides business owners the opportunity to pitch live in front of Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and a panel of national judges for a chance at a cash grand prize.

“Tap the Future is a phenomenal opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain access to essential expert advice and funding,” said Daymond John. “For those who have made the commitment to dedicate their life to a business idea; this program offers the practical and inspirational resources to achieve their goals. If you’re a serious entrepreneur in need of a jumpstart to your business, I highly recommend applying for the Tap the Future competition.”

I would have to agree with Daymond. This experience taught me a lot. There is a lot of preparation that goes into an event like this. I always thought that speaking to individuals was a natural talent for me but when you are given only five minutes to break down your business as well as how your business fits into a niche market, it becomes a lot harder than you think. Luckily Miller Lite gave us experts to advise us on how to prepare our pitch. My team and I spent weeks preparing my speech based off the feedback from the experts. I don't know how many times we drafted notes, narrowing down ideas on a white board until I could pinpoint what exactly I needed to say. After that, I spent my commuting hours in the car rehearsing and rehearsing to myself until I thought I had it down. It wasn't till the day of, when I walked out on stage did it all come together. I received great feedback from the judges and from the audience. Sandy and Max loved the attention by the way. I think they are natural entertainers. 

From this experience, I was able to walk away with more confidence and more knowledge then before the event. I highly recommend any entrepreneur to take advantage of this event. What a great experience and even though we did not win, Trip Less Trainer is still going to Tap the Future as we believe in our product and what our company stands for. 

German shepherds all in the family for the Abbotts

Photo by Rahannah Abbott

Photo by Rahannah Abbott

Check out our affiliate Shell Abbott, owner and trainer of Out of the Shell Dog Training, making news in Maricopa, Arizona. Shell embodies what Trip Less Trainer stands for, better connecting owners with their pets. How is your pet connection?


By Chris Swords Betts

Abbott’s German Shepherd Dogs welcomed three litters of puppies in April and is expecting another litter in June.

Business partners and community residents Shell Abbott and her mother Ranelle breed German shepherds, the second-most popular dog in the nation for several years, according to the American Kennel Club.

A German shepherd, Rumor, won the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February, for the first time since 1987. Abbott said she didn’t watch the show, but she quickly learned of the results.

“My Facebook messenger blew up with people sending the video to me,” Abbott said.    

The Abbotts, however, don’t breed conformation dogs – dogs that are shown for appearance, as in the American Kennel Club’s show. 

“Mine are working dogs,” Abbott said. “Most people are looking for intelligence in a dog with good health.”

Abbott participates in at least two shows a year, favoring obedience and rally events. Most of the Abbotts’ dogs are sold as pets or service animals.

They currently have four female dogs each and two males for breeding.  Abbott said her mother has been breeding German shepherds since before Abbott was born. 

Because of federal regulation, Abbott said about 90 percent of their puppies are sold within Arizona. However, they do ship some dogs to their new homes. In 2006, Abbott shipped one of her dogs to Copenhagen, Denmark.

“It’s about connecting the right people with the right dogs,” Abbott said.

Abbott said much of a dog’s behavior can be predicted through its parentage.

“Anyone who comes to buy a dog from me needs to meet its mom and dad,” Abbott said. “And if they want to meet the aunts and uncles, and grandparents, they can do that, too.”

Abbott, 26, began professionally breeding and training at the age of 17. She was training and showing her dogs by age 9 through the 4-H program.

As a teenager, Abbott started rehabbing dogs with behavioral issues, and she continues today. Abbott is the trainer in the business, and holds classes for all breeds. 

“I love being able to help people further that relationship,” Abbott said, “to better understand each other and have a happier relationship.

“I don’t want to train other people’s dogs,” she said. “I want them to train them. I just want to give them the tools.”

Abbott also does in-home training sessions.

“I recommend everyone do two in-home sessions across the board,” Abbott said. “You can get a good foundation with two classes.”

She said younger is better, but she has worked with dogs as old as 14.

“A lot of people want their puppy to be excited and happy all the time,” Abbott said. “But I’m trying to raise a dog, not a puppy.”

Abbott said patience is imperative

“I can’t say patience enough,” Abbott said, “because people just lack it. I still lack it. You need to realize you need to walk away when no learning is happening.”

Abbott offers words of advice to all dog owners: “You must be more consistent and persistent than your dog.”

She said bad behaviors should not be dismissed as a stage of puppyhood.

“If they’re starting to bark, cower or anything,” Abbott said, “that’s a sign it’s time to start training. They don’t grow out of it.”

While most of her trainings are in the Valley, she also travels to Tucson and surrounding states. A dog owner once flew to her from Georgia for training. Abbott also offers weekly group obedience classes.

The group classes are multi-level and free for all 4-H students and open to drop-ins for a fee. Classes are ending for the summer but will begin again in the fall. The only requirement is a rabies vaccination.

Eliah, 13, another daughter of Ranelle, is also involved in the family business. She has been training puppies since age 9, helping them socialize with other people and their littermates. Eliah begins working with the puppies the day after they’re born.

Trip Less Trainer builds a better leash

Trip Less Trainer makes it easy to control even the biggest, most challenging dogs.

Trip Less Trainer makes it easy to control even the biggest, most challenging dogs.

By Sara B. Hansen

Joshua McCauley decided to build a better leash — so he created the Trip Less Trainer — to make it easier to take walks and train dogs.

The Trip Less Trainer is a shorter leash that the human holds using a thumb tab. McCauley says that allows the trainer to focus on the dog and maintain consistent control.

The shortened leash also prevents either the dog or the owner from tripping or getting tangled. And it allows the owner to quickly correct any behavior issues the dog may have.

Walking with a dog who happily stays by your side and doesn’t pull on the leash is a joy. I’m fortunate that my 8-year-old Australian Shepherd-Corgi mix is that kind of great walker.

But sadly that hasn’t always been my experience.


Walking as a chore

Before I got Sydney, I had Browning and Finley (a Beagle-Labrador mix and a Beagle-Cocker Spaniel mix) who were a lot of work to walk.

Browning was a 35-pound nose hound who wanted to spend every walk with his nose to the ground. Finley was a 28-pound dynamo who wanted to walk straight and very, very quickly. When I walked them with a leash for each, I’d feel like their real mission was to pull my arm from its socket.

Ultimately, I got a device that I could hook to each of them and then hook one leash to it. They still pulled, but it was a more controlled walk and they pulled against each other more than me.


Training key to good walks

I’ve always wanted to find a better way to have a good walk. When I got Sydney, we started walking using a leash the first day I brought her home. Later, we added a harness to prevent any stress on her neck.

So when I was contacted about trying the Trip Less Trainer, I was curious and wanted to see if using it would indeed help create a better walk.

In retrospect, I should have opted for the mini-leash rather than a regular 18-inch one. Because Sydney’s an Australian Shepherd-Corgi mix — emphasis on the Corgi — she’s short.

I’m 5’7" and she stands about 15 inches high. Fortunately, I have really long arms, so the short leash did work for us. But I’m sure the longer one would have been a bit easier to use.


Trying a Trip Less Trainer

We like to walk on a greenbelt trail near our house that’s often crowded with other people — fellow dog walkers, joggers, cyclists and occasionally people on horseback.

By using the Trip Less Trainer, I never had to wonder about how far away Sydney was or what side of me she might be on. She was always tight by my right side and I didn’t have to worry about who might be approaching us.

Our first walk was a little awkward. It felt like we weren’t quite in sync — either I was taking extra steps to catch up or I was slowing down to accommodate her. But by our second walk, it was like we’d been using the shorter leash forever. It makes an already easy walk even easier.

We also used the Trip Less Trainer at our weekly agility class. Although she runs the course off leash, it was a bonus to use the shorter leash that week. There were several new dogs at our class and it was a breeze to keep her tight by my side to avoid any potential conflicts.

It’s easy to identify the benefits of the Trip Less Trainer — especially if you are working with a bigger dog or one who is a problem walker. I’ve recommended it to my brother who has 2-year-old, 80-pound lab mix who is a chronic leash puller. I also gave my test leash to a friend who is battling the same problem with her dog.

Bottom line: The Trip Less Trainer delivers on its promise — it does make it easier to walk and train your dog.


Sara B. Hansen has spent the past 20-plus years as a professional editor and writer. She decided to create her own dream job by launching Dog’s Best Life. She grew up with family dogs and since she bought her first house, she’s had a furry companion or two to help make it a home. She currently shares her heart and home with Sydney, an Australian Shepherd-Corgi mix. You can reach Sara

Learning the Basics: Advanced Concentration

In this video, we are stepping it up a bit to show what consistency will do for your dog. If you are still in basic dog obedience training, don’t worry, you can apply these skills once your dog follows through on all basic commands and exercises. Don’t rush this step, spend as much time as you need, every dog learns at a different pace. The goal is for them to learn not to be distracted by anything around them and can fully concentrate on you, the handler.

Josh demonstrates with Ted and Sandy, German Shepherds, the basics of advanced concentration. During basic obedience, you have given your dog command words for different actions like sit, down and stay. Let’s add hand signals along with looking and engagement.

We all know a dog’s hearing is superior but they actual hear sounds rather than words so it would be helpful to add hand signals as a secondary form of communication. What type of hand signals to use is up to you but once you pick a hand signal for a command, stick with it otherwise your pet will not understand what you are asking of them.

Engagement or eye contact with your dog during training is crucial. There are several reasons why this is so important to teach your dog:

1.) Constant eye contact is calming for those dogs that are a little more nervous in nature.

2.) Good eye contact will reinforce that you are the leader if you are working with a more dominant dog.

3.) Eye contact will require your dog to focus on you which in turn will allow your dog not to be so distracted by background noise.

Once you have incorporated these tips, you can now start working on new exercises. Dogs love learning something new (great for their mental health) so this will be exciting for both you and your dog. Make sure to have a treat that is easy to give and eat so you can reward them during training.

Down or Sit on Recall (forward come): Call your dog to come to you. When they have reached the distance you want them to be at, give the command sit or down.

Finish Command: Recall your dog. Have them come straight to you and sit at as close as possible in fount of you. Give the command Finish and have them walk around behind you and sit at your heeling side.

Keep consistent with your training. This will not be something they get right away so like anything it takes practice and lots of encouragement.

Learning the Basics: Feeding Routine Keeps Your Dog Healthy and Trim

Dogs are habitual creatures by nature. They do best when they are able to stick to habits and routines that they have been accustomed to which makes for a happier and healthier dog. When it comes to food, a balanced diet and feeding routine keeps a dog healthy and trim. 

Feeding your dog at the same times every day is important, it keeps them on routine which in turn helps with their mental wellbeing. A routine feeding schedule is also important for their metabolism as well. The metabolism will get used to the pattern, adjust itself to fit the set feeding times and the quantity they take in.

Be consistent on where you feed your dog every day, and have it be a comfortable environment for them to chow down in. It is also important to be consistent with the food that you give and not to make any sudden changes. If at any time you need to adjust the daily schedule, amount of food or a new brand of food, make it a gradual change as their stomachs are sensitive and a drastic change will not only upset their stomach but will be mentally tolling for them as well.

It is also important to note that dogs need to properly digest their food before exertion or playing around. Just like humans, dogs need to relax for 30-45 minutes after they have finished their meal. This will help prevent bloat among other issues that can arise.

Let us know how your fair at feeding time..

Learning the Basics: Vocal Command Training Using Tether Method

We love that our leash provides all the ability to be hands free with your dog. Owners have asked, "what if your dog isn’t to that point yet?" We are glad to demonstrate in this Learning the Basics video, how to train your dog to listen to your commands rather than the leash by using a well known and proven tether method. We will start off with a 15 foot leash that will be held by a secondary handler and our Trip Less Trainer dog leash that will be held by the main handler. The purpose of this method is to introduce the dog to verbal commands by the main handler yet still being in control with the secondary handler while training. The dog will not pay any attention to the secondary handler and will remain focused main handler, thinking he is the one in control based on his verbal commands. If the dog doesn’t listen and moves after the main handler gives a command, the secondary handler will give a quick tig correction on the leash as the main handler uses his correction word. Try this method several times until both you and your dog start understanding what works best for one another. You will start to notice after a few sessions that the dog will start to listen to your voice and not the leash.

Learning the Basics: Bow Tie in Action

Welcome back for another installment of Learning the Basics. In our last video we introduced the bow tie method that allows you to play hands free, making virtually every activity easier for both you and your dog. The bow tie method shrinks the length of the Trip Less Trainer leash by almost half. When you want to instantly regain control, simply pull on the thumb tab to release the bow and you're reconnected, ready for your next adventure.

In this video, we will show you how easy it is to be active with your dog hands free when using this unique method.


Learning the Basics: Bow Tie Method

Getting your dog out for a little exercise is great for their physical and mental health. It allows them to explore the world outside their everyday life in the backyard through smells, sights and sounds. You want them to roam a little on their own so as owners, we want to take their leash off and set them free but what do we do with the leash? Do you bunch it in your hand? Drape it over your neck? Lay it and leave it on the ground? Those are all valid ways to take care of the leash but there is a solution that will make it easier for both handler and the dog to play hands free, our bow tie method. In this video we will show you how to decrease the length a little more with three easy steps. If something occurs to where you need to quickly regain control of the dog, it can be easily done by one quick, smooth pull of the thumb tab and you are back in control. 


Learning the Basics: Introduction to Small breed and Mini line

When creating the Trip Less Trainer the Standard was a perfect training tool for our German Shepherds but when it came to using it on our Shih Tzu, it fell a bit short. So we tailored our Mini line to give pet owners with smaller dog breeds the same advantages of the Standard leash but added additional length for a more comfortable feeling. Knowing smaller dogs have different needs, we integrated our patent pending thumb tab on a one inch handle and a thinner half inch line into our design. Not only will this leash be beneficial for the smaller dog but for you, the handler as well. We made sure to keep the concept of the Standard at play here by teaching you the consistent grip and placement of hand as well as giving you that more stable and firm grip.

Learning the Basics: Learning to Walk the Right Way

In this video, we will demonstrate the correct heeling technique while providing helpful tips to get you and your dog in stride.

Here at Trip Less Trainer, we have continued to set ourselves apart from traditional leashes with our patent pending thumb tab design that increases the benefits for all handler levels. Trip Less Trainer dog leashes have been able to eliminate common hassles and injuries associated with the traditional loop leashes used today. Tripping, tangling and wrist strain are now issues of the past and has made walking with your dog a lot simpler. We are not only providing the consistency your dog craves but training the handlers how to place their hand in the right position and teaching you how to engage your dog as well. This will teach both man and beast to work together.

Learning the Basics: True and Relaxed Grip

As a pet owner we all want the same thing, our dogs to walk obediently with us but sometimes we don’t know how to achieve that. Joshua McCauley, Trip Less Trainer founder, has found a way to help solve this problem. He sums it up in one word, consistency. When trying to modify a dogs behavior, we recommend starting with consistent placement. It is something all dogs thrive off of which will lead to a better connection between pet and handler and in turn, creating a pet that is eager to please. Our leashes help bridge the knowledge gap between pets and handlers. Along with our leashes, it also depends on handlers to have consistent control. We would like to introduce the two types of grips we recommend with our leashes, True and Relaxed.

Our True Grip starts with proper hand placement and what we highly recommend you use. This grip lets you take hold of the leash with unbeatable control using a natural hand position. The thumb is made up of nine individual muscles. As your thumb slips into the thumb tab then your fingers take hold of the leash in a power (true) grip form, they are powerfully drawn by the flexor profundus and will remain in that position which ensures an efficient grip. The power grip will ensure a better handle of your dog if they begin to pull or yank. Combining that with the shortened leash, this will give you optimal control while teaching your dog to stay by your side.

Next we have the Relaxed Grip, which is exactly what the word implies. It is a grip we recommend for those that have trained their dogs to heal by their side with no issues. The Relaxed Grip is a one finger hold, by any of your fingers, that lets your hand loosely hold on to the leash. If ever you need to transfer over to the True Grip, it can be quickly done and with ease. The way you will transfer between the two is by connecting your finger to your thumb. You will then slip the leash around to where the leash is now on your thumb. This grip works best when on leisurely walks.

Learning the Basics: Lets Talk Product

When designing the Trip Less Trainer, we knew one size does not fit all. Everyones height, hand and dog size are different so we created two distinct lines, the Standard and the Mini, to give you the most comfortable fit possible. Our Standard line comes in three different width sizes - 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 2 inch. The Standard line is mostly geared but not limited to the medium to extra-large dog. It will give you the right amount of distance between you and your dog to have that consistent positioning your dog thrives on and an unbeatable grip to maximize your comfort and control. The smaller/toy breeds need a little more distance between you and them to place them in that same position they thrive on to learn. So Trip Less Trainer has created the Mini line to help out our vertically challenged four-legged friends. The Mini is provided in a longer 31 inch length that provides the same consistency of position for the dog and unbeatable grip as our Standard. Come see which one is best for you by visiting our website at and click our About page. You will see our handler and breed guides that will help walk you through the decision making process. The handler guide will give you two measurements to determine what width is best for your hand and the breed guide will help which leash, Standard or Mini, is best for them. These guides are recommendations to help guide you but as we all know no one knows you and your dogs needs like you do. If you have any questions, please let us know. We are more then happy to help. Want to learn more? Stop by our website:

Learning the Basics : Why a Thumb Tab

The second installment of “Learning the Basics - Why a Thumb Tab” Interested in being better connected with your dog? Want a leash that will train you as well as your dog? The Trip Less Trainer dog leash was created with all dog owners in mind. We are delivering a product that alleviates most if not all headaches caused by traditional leashes. By replacing the traditional 6' leash with a shortened thumb tab leash, it now provides a better connection and more advantages. The excess material that once caused tripping and tangling by you or your dog is now gone but what really makes the Trip Less Trainer so great is the thumb tab. The thumb tab will provide you with a stronger, safer grip when walking or training your dog. With the combination of a shortened leash and thumb tab, the leash will now consistently enforce perfect behavior for walking or heeling. 

Learning the Basics: A Unique Product and It's Creator

Here at Trip Less Trainer dog leashes we are excited to announce the launch of our new video series. This video series will start by breaking down the basics on this unique product known as the Trip Less Trainer for all pet owners so they better understand why the leash was created, what makes it unique and how to use it. 

The first installment will introduce you to the creator Joshua McCauley and his concept behind the leash. Shortened leashes are not new to the dog community but have you ever seen a thumb tab? Joshua is paving a new way of connecting with your dog. With a consistent and solid grip, he is empowering the every day pet owner to be their own trainer.