Top 4 Must Have Dog Training Supplies
Training your dog to walk on a leash or obey commands takes a lot of patience and dedication. But it also requires the right dog training supplies. So if you’re planning to start training your dog, you should make sure you have the tools you need to make that training a success!
In this article, you’ll learn about the 4 most important dog training aids that you should get. We’ll talk about what they do, how they work, and how to make sure you are choosing the best ones for you and your pooch.
1. Dog Leashes for Training
One of the most important things you can train your dog to do is walk on a leash properly. Dogs need their exercise. But if they are constantly pulling on the leash each time you go for a walk, it’s going to make things more stressful for both of you. So learning to walk on a leash will make your walks more enjoyable.
There are special leashes designed to help you train. Some come with collars that pinch and become uncomfortable whenever the dog pulls on the leash. This will discourage them from pulling. Others come with a dog harness that gives you more control over your dog. This is especially helpful if you have a larger dog who might pull hard enough to knock you down or pull the leash out of your hand.
Tips for Using a Dog Training Leash
To train successfully with a training leash, you first need to choose a leash training method. The method will influence the kind of leash you want.
For example, if you’re using a negative reinforcement method, a leash with a choke collar might be best. But if you’re using a positive reinforcement method, the discomfort of the choke collar could discourage your dog from wanting to go on walks.
If you are using a positive reinforcement method, a harness can be a great choice because this is the most comfortable for your dog. It distributes pressure across their body rather than concentrating it on their neck. But some dogs can be too stubborn to wear a harness so it’s not the best for everyone.
The important thing is to find one that works with your method of training and suits your dog’s personality.
Tips for Finding the Best Dog Training Leash
Finding the right leash will take some research. Leashes and dog training collars (see below) are the ones that will take the most time to find because each dog has its own unique needs.
Here are a few factors that will affect your decision:
- Lease Size - You need a leash that fits the size of your dog. This is especially true of the dog harness which needs to fit comfortably and snugly around your dog’s body. So it can’t be too big or too small.
- Lease Style - Some leashes have automatic leash retraction so you can adjust the length. This is particularly helpful for teaching your dog to walk at your side. Other leashes come with a dog vest, harness, or different types of collars. You want to choose the right style for your dog and your training method.
- Lease with comfortable handle - While your dog is still in training, the constant pulling can be rough on your hands. So you want a handle that is comfortable and won’t hurt your hand when the dog pulls.
2. Dog Collars for Training
Dog training collars are most often used for leash training. That means you can get different designs to suit different leash training methods. We talked about that above. But you can also get a shock training collar for use during obedience training.
This is sort of like the negative reinforcement version of clicker training (see below). Your dog will wear a collar with a shocker attached to it. Meanwhile, you have a small, handheld control. When your dog does something they shouldn’t do, you push the button on your control and it emits a quick shock to your dog.
3 Quick Tips for Using a Dog Training Collar
Some owners don’t like the thought of causing pain to their dog which is understandable. However, this method does not cause any permanent damage or harm. So it is safe. If you do choose this method, though, you still need to be careful not to overuse it. Follow these guidelines:
- One shock per behavior. Don’t push the button over and over. Even if your dog doesn’t stop after the first shock, you still shouldn’t be shocking more than once per behavior. If the shock alone isn’t enough, you need to use stern scolding or another punishment method to follow it up.
- Reward good behaviors. While negative reinforcement like this can be effective, using only negative reinforcement can strain your relationship with your dog. You also want to reward the good behaviors so your dog learns what they should be doing as well as what they shouldn’t be doing.
- Stay in control of the controller. You should be the only one who has access to the controller. This is especially important if you have kids in the house who might not understand what it is and could end up shocking your dog for no reason or doing it repeatedly.
Tips for Finding the Best Dog Training Collar
If you are considering getting a shock collar for your dog, be sure to check out our detailed guide to learn more.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind while shopping:
- High quality training collar - This is one thing you don’t want to scrimp on. A cheap dog collar might not be built to the same standards of safety. So go for a brand you can trust and make sure that it is made well. It should be uncomfortable, not painful!
- Training collar with multiple intensity levels - For the best results, you should get one that has different intensity modes. For example, some come with a warning vibration or beeping sound so that you can warn your dog if you see that they are about to do something bad without causing any discomfort to them.
- Be cautious about automatic training collars - There are some models that can automatically trigger a shock if your dog barks or crosses a certain boundary. However, you want to be careful with these because they can deliver shocks too often or in response to a false trigger—such as when your dog walks up to the boundary but not over it. They can be helpful for when you aren’t home but it’s usually better to be in complete control over the shock function of your dog’s collar.
3. Dog Clicker for Training
A dog clicker is a great little device that helps you make sure you are communicating well with your dog. It’s a small device with a button that you hold in your hand. When you see your dog doing something good or behaving in a way that you want them to behave, you signal that by clicking the button. This emits a sound. Your dog learns that the sound of the clicker is a positive signal that shows your approval.
The greatest thing about this is that you use it during training sessions as well as throughout the rest of the day. So even after you are done training for the day, you can still reinforce the lesson by signaling good behavior whenever you see it.
4 Quick Tips for Using a Dog Clicker for Training
Using a dog clicker is very simple but there is a technique to it that you need to follow to make it work. Below, you’ll find the basic steps to using a dog clicker but you should check out our article with more detailed instructions to learn more:
- Teach your dog the clicker sound is positive. When you first get it, it will just be a new sound your dog hears and they won’t know what to think of it. So to make sure they know it is a positive signal that tells them they are doing something good, you need to associate it with a reward. So during training sessions, give your dog a treat right after you push the clicker. This way, they learn the clicker noise is linked to reward.
- Use small treats. The clicker method tends to involve a lot of rewards. So you want to keep each treat small so that your dog doesn’t get full and lose motivation to earn more treats.
- Be alert even outside of training. To get the best results, you want to use the clicker even when you aren’t training. So pay attention to your dog’s behavior the rest of the time as well. When you notice them doing something good, push the button on your clicker. You don’t have to give treats at this time. You just want to acknowledge that you see their good behavior and give them the feeling that they could be rewarded at any time.
- Don’t use it for punishment. In order for it to work, you can’t use it to signal bad behavior as well. This will just confuse your dog. Either they will think the bad behavior was actually good or they will think the clicker sound is negative and avoid doing the good things you have been training.
Tips for Finding the Best Dog Clicker
Luckily, all dog clickers are very affordable. The important thing is that once you choose one, you stick with the same kind the whole way so that your dog hears the same exact sound.
The key things you want to consider when shopping for a dog clicker are:
- Clicker comfort - It should fit comfortably in your hand so that you can easily carry it around.
- Clicker sound - They all make a similar springy noise but some are quieter than others. And since your dog’s ears are more sensitive than yours, it can be better for both of you to get one of the quieter ones because your dog can hear it loud and clear and the noise won’t be overly annoying for you. But not everyone is bothered by the noise. Your best bet is to try and test one out in the store before you decide.
PRO TIP: Those are the 2 most important points. Even the higher end ones are still not that expensive but you definitely don’t need to go high end if you don’t want to.
4. Dog Training Bag & Treats
For nearly every training method, you will need to have plenty of treats to use as rewards. And you’ll need to keep those treats in a convenient, easy to access place. That means you will need a bag to hold the treats for your dog. Otherwise, you’ll just have loose treats in your pockets. And that can leave a lingering odor that you probably don’t want.
While a regular plastic sandwich bag can work, you can also find some very convenient bags designed specifically to be used as treat bags. They have separate pockets and can be worn on your belt or strapped around your waist so that you have easy access and don’t risk that sandwich bag breaking and spilling treats everywhere.
Quick, easy access like this also helps make sure that you are rewarding dog fast enough that they know exactly which behavior is being rewarded. And the bags are more durable than a thin sandwich bag so you won’t have to keep replacing it.
Another advantage is that your dog will learn to recognize the bag. That way, when you are holding or wearing it, they will immediately be more motivated to obey and learn from you.
Tips for Finding the Best Dog Training Treat Bag (Pouch)
There are a lot of different options available. So keep these points in mind while shopping:
- Training pouch that is easy to wear - Some have straps that wrap around your waste. Others have clips that hook onto your belt or the waist of your pants. So decide which one appeals to you more.
- Durable Training Bag - The most important thing is that it is made from durable material. After all, if it’s not any better than a plastic sandwich bag, there’s no reason to spend your money on it!
- Dog treat pouch that is multi-functional - There are a lot of designs that also include extra features like doggy bag dispensers for cleaning up after your dog goes to the bathroom. And some have extra pockets where you can store a clicker or other things you might want to have quick access to while training.
For treats, you have a lot of different options. There are lots of different kinds of special dog treats available and the right one for you will depend on your dog’s tastes. So if you aren’t sure, you can try out a few different kinds to see what your dog seems to enjoy most.
Some options include:
- Hot dog pieces
- Dried fruit
- Kibble dog food
PRO TIP: Dog treats come in different flavors and can sometimes offer other benefits like removing plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth or providing much needed vitamin supplements.
The right dog training supplies will make the training process a lot easier and more effective. But they work best when you know how to make the most out of them. So be sure to do plenty of research on how to incorporate each of these dog training accessories into your training method. There are some great resources online to help you find and use the right method based on your dog’s personality and needs.