The proper equipment can make all the difference when it comes to dog training.
Going through with the training will be difficult, and even impossible in some cases, without the right tools and equipment.
This is why you should familiarize yourself with the basic training equipment before you get to it.
But no matter which equipment you use, knowing the right approach to training your dog is crucial. In fact, if you use these tools without implementing a smart method of training, you might get no results, and you might even end up harming your dog unintentionally.
That’s why we always suggest dog owners to learn about these 5 Kickass techniques that helped thousands of people train their dogs efficiently.
Once you know the core rules of how to make your dog obedient but still happy, continue reading and find out in which way certain equipment can help you in training.
The choices are endless! Dog training tools are evolving more and more and there are so many different types of tools to choose from. But before you start choosing, you have to make up your mind about the way you want to train your dog. For instance, if you believe in positive training, you have to choose tools that fit into this training style.
In order to do that, you have to have an insight in the variety of training tools and supplies and pick the right ones for you and your dog. This can be very confusing in the beginning – we know – so we decided to help you. Read further and discover what’s what in the jungle of training equipment.
The following pieces are the essentials when it comes to most types of dog training. So, we’ve decided to focus on collars, harnesses and leashes as they’re the used in every-day training.
Check out also: When Is The Right Age To Start Training Your Dog?
Dog collars are among the oldest tools in the field of dog training. In the beginning, they were used for two purposes – to keep the dog from running away or protect it, in battles or from predators such as wolves.
The purpose of these collars hasn’t changed a lot to this day, apart from dogs being used in wars and conflicts, which is a lot less common today. Today, they come in a lot of different shapes and forms. These are the most common ones:
- Classic collars
- Slip collars
- Limited slip collars
- Head halters
- Prong collars
Classic collars are a good first choice for training and good for everyday use. They can be flat or rolled, for long-haired dogs. They should also have a release that opens under pressure, in order to eliminate choking.
These collars are also called choke chains and they’re one of the oldest collar styles, usually made of chain or nylon. The collar slips over the dog’s head and serves its purpose by applying pressure due to “misbehavior”. This is one of the most used training tools in obedience classes.
- Serves in addressing unwanted behavior
- Easy to control
- Doesn’t usually help in the long run
- Can be dangerous and damage your dog’s neck if used inappropriately
Limited Slip Collars
These collars only tightens a small amount due to pressure, as a mechanical stop limits the tightening in order to prevent choking. It also disables the collar to slip off the dog’s head. This is a common choice for dogs whose neck and head are pretty much the same diameter, such as greyhounds.
These collars wrap around the dog’s nose and back of the head. They are relatively new on the market and have become quite popular. Its purpose is to discourage pulling and it’s often used to train a dog to walk “properly”.
- Works great and is effective even with big, strong dogs
- Less possibility of damage than with slip collar
- Easy to control the dog
- It takes time for a dog to accept these collars
- The dog may panic or overreact in some situations wearing this collar
- Doesn’t solve the pulling problem in the long run
Also called pinch collar. When pressure is applied, its inward-pointing prongs press into the dog’s neck. Most commonly used with compulsion based training. According to some references, this collar was designed by a veterinarian to mimic a dog’s corrective bite to the neck.
- Immediate responsiveness
- The pressure level is lower than with other tools
- Creates less physical damage
- It’s one of the tools that causes the highest level of stress
- Can provoke handler aggression
- Is only a temporary solution, if no other training methods are applied
This is a battery-operated collar that corrects either by giving the dog a warning noise or an electrical shock. E-collars are used for electric fence training, barking problems and other training. These type of collars proved to work great with off leash recall training
This isn’t something positive reinforcement trainers choose, as it can result in trauma to your dog. Even if you choose to use them, they shouldn’t be operated by people who aren’t instructed in their use.
Harnesses are not that commonly used as collars, but that doesn’t mean harnesses don’t have their advantages. They are also the safest choice for dogs with some kind of throat disease.
Initially, they were created to help disperse the pressure on the dog’s body more evenly and make them pull more effectively. Today, there are a lot of different types of harnesses, some with a similar function, while others serve the opposite function – to prevent from pulling.
Front-clip harnesses are a rather new form, allowing you to clip on the leash on the front. This reduces the chances of your dog pulling you. They are very effective with strong pullers.
Dog leashes are the most used tools by dog owners. Dog training or any other everyday activity would be impossible without a leash. Besides, leashes are required by law in many places.
The purpose of dog leashes is to keep the dog reasonably close to us and prevent it from running away or doing something else unwanted. Nowadays, they come in a variety of materials and lengths, depending on the purpose of its use and the size of the dog. Let’s take a look at some of the most common leashes!
The most common materials of these basic leashes are nylon, leather and cotton. They are usually 4 or 6 feet long. These leashes are used daily in walks, but can also be used as a reinforcer. For instance, a dog can learn to associate the action of sitting by waiting for the leash, under the condition that the dog has made a positive association with the leash.
These leashes have built-in elastic pieces or stretchy rubber tubing. Its purpose is to minimize or prevent damage to your dog’s trachea when he hits the end of the leash. The purpose is to decrease the pulling, as a mild aversive. This means that it teaches the dog not to pull, but it doesn’t reinforce the desired behavior and shows him what to do.
This is the basic difference between positive training and training with aversatives.
A lot of long-line products are out there, in the range from 10 to 60 feet, or even more. In general, their purpose is to give the dog more freedom, while maintaining control. Long lines are neutral tools that can serve both as reinforcers and aversvatives, depending on the way you use them.
This leash consists of a handle with a cord that automatically rolls up into it. Depending on the type, the cord can be between 15 and 30 feet. The leash can be locked by the owner by pushing the button on the handle.
While being a neutral tool and very practical in some situations, it can also teach the dog that pulling gives a greater freedom. They can also give mixed messages, as the dog is very close one moment, then very far away the next.
Additional Training Equipment
It goes without saying that collars, leashes and harnesses aren’t the only training tools, even though they’re the basic ones. Let’s take a look at some other supplies that could come in handy when training your dog.
Dog Treat Bag
A dog treat bag is used to carry all the good things you need when training your dog. There are bags specifically made for holding training treats, toys and other important things. The choices are endless, so you’ll be able to find the right one for you!
The clicker training‘s purpose is to mark the exact moment of the good behavior and it should be followed by a treat. Instead of using a clicker, you can just say “yes” when your dog does the right thing. Clickers come in many different shapes and forms, and some of the most popular ones are clickers with straps so you always know where it is.
While this may not seem as training tools per se, no training is possible without the occasional treat. Treats serve as rewards for good behavior and will contribute to a more fun and effective training. There are various treats especially made for training, that fit in you pocket and are the appropriate size. You can also make some great homemade treats that will bring a lot of benefits to your dog.
Pet Corrector Spray
This is a spray emitting an inert gas that causes a hiss sound. It’s used to discourage unwanted behavior, such as barking, jumping on things and aggression.
Whistles are something many dog owners use when training their dogs. The variety is big and you have a lot to choose from when it comes to colors and sizes. They are usually used to stop barking and train dogs fast, in addition to other training tools of course.
There’s a big variety of training equipment and tools which is why most people end up buying leashes, collars or harnesses that the seller in the pet store suggests them. However, this decision cannot be based on general assumptions and needs to be thought through.
The choice of training equipment should be based on what kind of approach you want to use in training your dog. Older, bigger or more temperament dogs might need slip collars and shorter leashes, while smaller, stubborn dogs will need a different approach.
A positive reinforcement approach is definitely the best one, and it will only enrich the relationship between you and your dog. So try starting with more gentle ways and remember to be patient.
Dogs don’t give up on their behavior over night, so for most dogs, giving them time, attention, as well as right commands and approaches will be more than enough to see desired changes. If nothing seem to work make sure you learn these 5 kickass techniques in dog training that will surely bring the results you’re looking for.