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21 Must-Have Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Dog Lovers

Updated: Jan 3

French bulldog puppy surrounded by gifts.

My dogs love being outside. Whether we’re hiking, camping, or just enjoying a nap in a swaying hammock (talk about boosting mental health benefits!), they treat every day as if it were a brand-new adventure.

Dogs are not just pets. They are wonderful off-grid companions—and they can also be helpful assistants around the homestead. From herding livestock and warning you about intruders to helping you de-stress after a long day, dogs will find a way to work themselves into your heart and your daily routine.

Can you tell I'm a dog person?

If you’re wondering what holiday gift to give your favorite homesteader’s dog or your favorite dog lover, here are 21 ideas to get you pointed in the right direction!

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Gifts for dog lovers

Need gift ideas for the dog lovers on your list? Check out my gift guide below. If you’re looking for gifts for the dog, scroll down to the next section!

Dash Dog Treat Maker: You live off the grid so you can raise healthy, organic food, right? Why not treat your dog to the same level of care by making your own healthy dog treats in this cute, bone-shaped treat maker?

Dog lover’s welcome sign: Make sure your guests know your dogs come first by displaying this welcome sign near your entryway.

A funny calendar: Need a gag gift for a dog lover or a white elephant gift exchange? How about this Pooping Pooches calendar? (It’ll be sure to get a laugh!)

Outdoor dog run: There are times when a well-trained dog can run loose on the homestead and other times when it’s best to keep your pup safely contained. But what if you don’t have a backyard fence? Gift this large outdoor welded wire dog run to keep larger dogs (and small dogs) protected from predators and close to home.

Insulated dog house: My dogs live in my house, but I’ve known a lot of farmers who let their dogs sleep in the barn or yard with the livestock. If you’re looking for a safe, warm place outdoors for your working dog to get out of the weather for a few minutes or overnight, try this extra-large insulated dog house. Two layers of wood with styrofoam insulation sandwiched between the layers make the thick walls perfect for keeping in the heat.

Dog training books (herding dogs): Books are always a great gift! Herding Dogs: Progressive Training gives insight into the history and herding practices of different breeds with tips and instructions for handlers of all experience levels.

Dog training books (hunting dogs): If you enjoy hunting, having a hunting dog as your companion can be helpful for retrieving fowl and finding game. Tom Dokken's Retriever Training: The Complete Guide to Developing Your Hunting Dog is a good book to start with if you’re training your first retriever, and How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves is highly rated by several top hunting dog magazine editors.

Other dog training books: Do you love super-active, highly intelligent herding breeds like Aussies, corgis, and border collies? Or what about a dog breed that hunts small game, like a Parson Russell terrier?

These breeds aren’t for beginning dog owners, who may have difficulty keeping up with their dog’s need for a job and mental and physical stimulation. Teach Your Herding Breed to Be a Great Companion Dog: From Obsessive to Outstanding can help would-be herding dog owners sculpt their favorite breed into a companion by explaining how to redirect herding instincts and boundless energy into productive, well-mannered behaviors.

Training tools: If your favorite dog aficionado enjoys hunting, why not give them some tools for training their hunting companion? The SportDOG Canvas Dummy training bumper is weighted (choose from puppy or standard) and holds a scent to get dogs used to sniffing out waterfowl and game birds.

Automatic ball launcher: This is a gift as much for the human as it is for the dog (our corgi LOVES hers!). This automatic ball launcher will help your dog run off some energy and give them mental stimulation (and give you a break) as they learn to reload the balls into the chute on their own for hours of fetching fun.

Dog agility set: A big backyard is a perfect place to set up an agility course to help your canine companion work off some energy and learn a new skill. This agility set comes with weave poles, a tunnel, and jumps you can collapse and pack away during the off-season.

A new coffee mug: If the dog parent on your list loves coffee almost as much as they love their dog, try gifting this I Work Hard So My Dog Can Have A Better Life coffee mug for their morning cuppa.

Rescue dog sign: Why does everything about rescue dogs make me cry? Maybe because the best gift is the gift of hope and companionship! If your favorite dog lover adopted a rescue pup, gift them this sign to let the world know how important their furbaby is.

Gifts for dogs

Now that you’ve explored my suggestions for gifts for dog lovers, how about gifts for the dog? Dog gifts can include anything from toys to puzzles to a comfy new dog bed. (But if you ask my girls, they’ll always go straight for the toys!)

Even a dog with acres to play on can get bored on rainy days when she’s stuck in the house. I’ve collected links to some of my favorite boredom-busting dog toys and accessories for the dog who loves adventure.

Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel: My girls love sniffing out these squeaky little squirrels and pulling them from the log. Six plush squirrels fit inside the soft tree trunk—and if you really want to keep your furry friend busy, you can hide a few training treats in between the squirrels for extra hunting fun!

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound: Both of my dogs love this intermediate puzzle dog toy, but what else would you expect from a problem-solving terrier and a corgi? With three types of puzzles to solve—lifting the white bone-shaped lids, opening the red boxes, and sliding the red boxes to reveal a secret hiding spot—this toy will help keep your active pup’s mind stimulated and make mealtime more fun.

TRIXIE: The TRIXIE Mini-Mover and Move-2Win dog puzzles are a level-3 challenge for dogs who love solving advanced hide-and-seek problems. I especially love that these puzzles are top-shelf dishwasher safe (see manufacturer’s directions).

Snuffle Mat: Snuffle mats help dogs practice their foraging skills. They’re also great for slowing down dogs who like to gulp their meals! The TOMAHAUK snuffle mat can be tossed in the washing machine to freshen it up after your wild one finishes dinner.

Reflective collar: The Joytale Reflective Collar is an affordable option if you’re looking for a way to make your dog easier to spot at night. The nylon collar is lined with padded neoprene for extra comfort.

If you’re looking for a collar that lights up, try the Illumiseen LED rechargeable dog collar. I haven’t tried this one myself, but reviewers love it (one even used it for his alpaca). Just remember to keep it charged so you can find your buddy in the dark.

Outward Hound Life Jacket: Lucy loves playing in the water, but she has been known to swim until she’s so exhausted that I have to go into the pond after her and bring her back to land. Outward Hound makes life jackets for dogs who enjoy swimming or boating, and the top grab-handle makes it easy for you to pull your pooch to safety.

GPS dog tracker: Always know where your best friend is with this waterproof GPS dog tracker that attaches to their collar. Install the app on your phone and track your pup in real-time—no subscription fee required! It works with Google Maps and has a 9-mile tracking radius.

SportDOG remote trainer: The SportDOG remote trainer is expandable and works with up to six dogs at once. I like the options for tone and vibration, although there is a static option for dogs who need a little extra reminder (please work with a professional dog trainer before using static collars on your dog). This trainer has a ¾ mile radius and an easy-to-read OLED screen.

Bonus dog gift idea: I was first introduced to dog chews made from yak’s milk during a dog expo in Denver. These odorless, natural dog chews are long-lasting and easily digestible. Your doggie gift recipient will love them!

There are seemingly endless ideas for gifts for dog lovers and their canine companions. I hope my list helps you get started to find the perfect gift!

Need more gift ideas for the holidays? Click here for gift suggestions for writers, gardeners, and off-grid chefs!

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