4 Must-Have Dog Training Supplies (Number 3 is Our Favorite)
Training your dog to walk on a leash or obey your commands takes a lot of patience and dedication. But it also requires the proper 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 four most crucial dog training aids 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 pup.
Top Dog Training Supplies
1. Dog Leashes for Training Your Dog
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 unique leashes designed to help you train. Some come with collars that pinch and become uncomfortable whenever the dog pulls on the leash.
A training leash will discourage your dog from pulling. Others come with a dog harness that gives you more control over your dog.
A harness 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:
Size of Your Leash
You need a leash that fits the size of your dog. Size 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.
Style of Your Leash
Some leashes have automatic leash retraction so that you can adjust the length. Leash retraction is particularly helpful for teaching your dog to walk at your side. Other leashes come with a dog vest, harness, or different collar types. You want to choose the right style leash for your dog and your training method.
Comfort of Your Leash
While your dog is still in training, the constant pulling can be rough on your hands. So you want a comfortable handle that won't hurt your hand when the dog pulls.
2. Collars for Training Your Dog
Dog training collars are used most often 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 an electronic training collar for use during obedience training.
Using an E-collar for training is like the negative reinforcement version of clicker training (see below). Your dog will wear a collar with a vibrator/shocker attached to it.
Meanwhile, you have a small, handheld control. When your dog does something it shouldn’t do, you push the button on your control, and it emits a short shock or vibration to your dog.
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 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 Behavior
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 and what they shouldn’t be doing.
Stay in Control of the Controller
You should be the only one who can access the controller. Access is vital 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 an electronic collar for your dog, keep these things in mind while shopping:
Get a High-Quality Training Collar
Your electronic training collar is one thing you don’t want to scrimp on. A cheap dog collar might not have the same safety standards as a high-end collar. Go for a brand you can trust and make sure that it is made well. It should be uncomfortable, not painful!
Look for 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 to 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
Some models can automatically trigger a shock if your dog barks or crosses a specific boundary. However, you want to be careful with these because they can often deliver shocks or respond to a false trigger. Such as when your dog walks up to the boundary but not over it.
They can be helpful when you aren’t home, but it’s usually better to be in complete control over your dog’s collar’s shock function.
3. Dog Clicker for Training Your Dog
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 right or behaving in a way that you want them to act, you signal that by clicking the button. The tiny device emits a sound. Your dog learns that the clicker’s sound is a positive signal that shows your approval.
The greatest thing about this is that you use it during training sessions and throughout the day. So even after training your dog for the day, you can still reinforce the lesson by signaling good behavior whenever you see it.
Tips for Using a Dog Clicker for Training Your Dog
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 necessary 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. To make sure they know it is a positive signal that tells them they are doing something right, 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 many 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 right, 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 provide them with the feeling that rewards may come at any time.
Don't Use it for Punishment
For it to work, you can’t use it to signal bad behavior. Clicking for negative behavior will just confuse your dog. Your pupster will either think the bad behavior was good or 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 sound.
The key things you want to consider when shopping for a dog clicker are:
Those are the two most important points. Even the higher-end ones are still not that expensive, but you don't need to go high end if you don't want to. Your best bet is to try and test one out in the store before you decide.
4. Dog Training Bags & 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 explicitly designed to hold your dog treats.
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 your dog fast enough to know why they are getting a reward. And the bags are more durable than a thin sandwich bag, so you won’t have to keep replacing them.
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 waist. 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
Important note; make sure your training bag is from a reputable company that uses 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
Many designs 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 many 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
Dog treats come in different flavors and 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 incorporating each of these dog training accessories into your training method.
There are some great online resources to help you find and use the correct method based on your dog’s personality and needs.