Dog Training Equipment
That "Fits"

When looking at dog training equipment, what do you really need to know? There are as many products available as there are breeds of dogs.

Basic equipment that you will need for sure is a collar and a leash. These two items insure that your “pupil” will not bail out on you. Your dog won’t learn at all if he’s not paying attention.

Treats and a good positive attitude are the other must for training. If you don’t want to use treats, that’s okay. My argument for treats is this: they are fast and effective in most situations. But sometimes they can hinder training. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of treats, click here. Clickers are little noise makers that help in communicating with your dog. If you’ve spent any time watching Animal Planet, you’ve probably seen many animals trained with the clicker. Jump over to my clicker pages to learn more about this type of training. Of course, a treat bag helps with delivery of your treats if you’re using them for training.

Some things to think about:

What is my skill level?

What kind of skills do you need to train your dog? Some knowledge about dog behavior is helpful. Understanding why your dog is motivated to do certain things can aid you in correcting behavior problems.

Timing is a critical skill. If you reward too early or too late, you may be creating a behavior you don’t want or you could be just confusing your dog.

Being able to read your dog’s body language correctly is another skill that is invaluable to training your dog. If you don’t know when your dog is stressed out your dog could quickly “shut down” and stop doing anything.

The better you are at these skills, the more proficient you will be with the dog training equipment.

What is your dog’s temperament?

Extremely shy or fearful dogs need a very gentle hand and gentle techniques. Clicker training, nylon collars and lots of praise help these dogs become more self-assured.

Confident, bossy or extremely active dogs may need some additional restraints if they are prone to pulling on the leash, especially if your dog outweighs you. A head halter may be a better choice than a collar.

What are you training?

Depending on the exercises you are working on, you may need additional equipment to help with your training. Tracking dogs usually require a tracking harness and a long lead line. Bird dogs will need a training dummy. If you’re into Agility, Flyball, or Obedience competition there are tools and equipment that are more specialized.

There are even special tools available for addressing specific behavior problems such as barking, getting on the furniture, and housetraining.

Teaching your dog how to kennel in a crate definitely requires that you first have a crate to practice with. A dog bed is helpful for teaching your dog “place.”

Time Well Spent

As you can see, choosing your dog training equipment requires some thought (but not too much). Keep in mind your skill level, your dog’s temperament and what exercise you are training and you are well on your way to living with a great dog.

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Dogs inhabit our homes, our lives, our very souls.  They show us how to live our lives; with compassion, with vigor, with purpose. 

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