Dog Training Equipment

What must you have to train your dog? A leash/lead, a collar, some treats, props for certain tricks, patience, time, a dog to train…yes. But apart from the patience, time, and dog, there are some tools that are better than others.

Leashes/ leads:  It is really important to have a good leash for your dog.  For example, a two-foot, chain-collar showmanship lead like they use in dog shows will not work unless you have a well-trained show dog. A short, slip-on agility lead is only useful for getting a dog onto an agility course and then letting him run. A seven-foot leash that either attaches to Rover’s collar or has a slip-on collar attached to it is what you want. If your county has a 4-H Dog Club, they probably sell leashes. Mine did, and that’s where I got my leather leash that’s lasted seven years and counting!

Collars:  A normal dog collar works great. Please make sure the collar is the right size for your dog.  If you have a huge dog, you need to make sure that you find a heavy duty, stable collar that won’t break or come apart easily for a while.  Once he’s started getting into the habit of obeying, you can switch it for a regular collar if you want. Using choke or shock collars work but only because he’s obeying out of fear of being hurt by you, not out of positive motivations like wanting to make you happy or wanting that tasty morsel in your hand.  Trust me!  You want a happy dog that obeys commands to please you instead of fear you.

Treats:  And speaking of tasty morsels in your hand…DO NOT use large treats unless you can break then into little bitty bits. If you give your dog a medium or large treat every time she does something right, she will get very fat. And that is really bad for her. Small training treats like you can buy at PetSmart (Susie, one dog I trained, liked Pet Botanics Training Reward Beef&Brown Rice treats). Also, PetCo’s Canine Carry Outs work great because you can tear them up.  You can get them really cheap at Wal-Mart. (Smiley loves Canine Carry Outs of any flavor: beef, chicken, bacon…) Many trainers will suggest you use tiny bits of hot dogs or cooked chicken.

Props:  These, I’ll give guidelines for as they come up, because they vary depending on the trick and the dog learning it.

3 thoughts on “Dog Training Equipment

  1. Pingback: Dog Training Vocabulary | Mrs. Kim Is My Mom

  2. I’ve been a professional dog teinarr for over 25 years, and I’ve used a shock collar on a dog a grand total of once, back in the early 90s.This particular dog was a two year old Australian Cattle Dog mix that I’ll call Dusty, whose family had decided to move out the the country and moved next to a dairy. Dusty thought that this was awesome, and quickly figured out how to get into the neighbors cow pastures and chase the baby cows. The cows owner was understandably upset, and insisted that the dog get training, or be removed.Dusty’s parents built a better fence, six foot tall and Dusty couldn’t see the cows anymore, but Dusty figured out how to climb over it. They then contacted me. We taught Dusty to leave the cows, to not leave the property, improved his recall, and everything went great for about six months.Then they went on vacation and left in in the care of the wife’s brother, who stayed at the house. The story I got was a little muddled, but from what I could piece together, the brother encouraged Dusty to get excited when he saw the cows, and the end result was that Dusty went to go chase the baby cows again, only there were no more baby cows, and Dusty ended up getting into a scrap with the dairy’s resident bull.One very large vet bill later, Dusty was was confined to house rest for pretty much the whole winter. Come spring, as soon as his people would take their eyes off of him, he’d be over the fence and chasing the cows. He was perfect if people were watching him, but as soon as he could get the chance, he’d slip off. Eventually he flushed a calf into the fence and it was injured. The owners tried tying him to a rope in the back yard, but he’d chew though them. They tried the plastic covered steel one, and he lacerated his mouth trying to chew it off.This is the point where I was called back. The farmer had made it clear that the next time he saw Dusty on his property, he was going to shoot him. At first I recommended that Dusty only go out supervised, but he had apparently learnt how to open the screen door, and could let himself out at will. We got some boards to cover the bottom and top of the fence as a visual marker and painted them a bright blue for some good contrast, with the bottom board going down under the ground so he couldn’t crawl under, and the top board at an angle so it made it harder crawl over it, and worked on leave its and boundary training yet again, and watched him though the window so he though was was unsupervised. As soon as he was unsupervised, he was digging and trying to get out, but he couldn’t jump over it now.This is the point where the owners decided to get an invisible fence. It went just on the outside of the existing fence, and we re-taught the dog to not cross the blue boards. He never got out again, and within about a month we were able to have on just on the collar with no battery in it, but if he wasn’t wearing the collar, he’d be trying to get to the cows again. He wasn’t stupid, he knew it was the collar that was keeping him from getting to the cows. It wasn’t a perfect solution, and he certainly wasn’t trained, but neither he or any more cows were hurt, and he lived to a respectably old age.

Comments are closed.