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Gathering All The Dog Training Equipment
Before you begin the process of training your dog or puppy, you will need some basic equipment to make the process easier for both you and your dog. Figuring out what works for you can be quite overwhelming when there are so many dog products available now.
During the training process it is often beneficial to offer your dog some sort of reward. Rewards can be basically anything your dog considers enjoyable. Treats or other food items make great rewards because sometimes a way to a dog’s heart is through his tummy. You can even reward your dog with a game of catch or some other game he enjoys. The easiest reward is a food item simply because you can reward your dog and quickly get back to training. However, you don’t want to always use treats or food for rewards because often when you are training on the job you won’t have treats with you and your dog will not understand to follow a command if he isn’t getting rewarded. So a pat on the head and a kind word will often pass as a reward in this case.
Toys can be a little different from rewards although they can be used as rewards. Toys can serve the purpose of staving off boredom and helping your dog to follow a command such as down. Often when your dog is offered a toy prior to training he tends to have better focus during the actual training. So it is a good idea to offer him a toy that he enjoys while you gather your training gear.
Leashes and Leads
For some training a leash or a long lead will be needed. A leash would be used for close training and very useful for dogs that want to bolt or are dealing with serious behavioral issues. A leash that is retractable is not suitable for training because it allows the dog to have too much control of the situation. A lead is used after you have maintained control of your dog at a close proximity and you are ready to train from a distance but, still need to convey commands that are not spoken. When you train with a long lead you still have control but, the verbal communication can be lessened or cut out all together.
A properly fitted collar is necessary in order to maintain some control while training. First, make sure the collar fits properly. You should be able to fit at least one finger between the collar and your dog’s neck. Leather or Nylon collars are best and should be cleaned regularly. If you are using an e-collar or training collar then you should make sure you read the owner’s manual or read our Training Collar Buyer’s Guide in order to determine which collar you need and how to use it. A training collar can help you train for in the field or around the house and has many uses that will help you to develop a high standard in your dog training.
Some dogs will do better with a harness. If your dog pulls on his leash and often gets out of his collar then he will benefit from a body harness. The harness will fit around his neck and body so that when he pulls on the leash, pressure is applied to his body.
A dog crate has many uses. One of the best uses is for housetraining and preventing unwanted behavior. Successful crate training takes time and patience but, is one of the best proven methods for helping your dog to be successful while training. A properly sized crate is very important. The crate should offer your dog enough room to turn around, stand up and lie down with his feet and legs in a stretched out position. If a crate is uncomfortable and cramped it can actually have a negative effect on your dog and his temperament. A crate can also be a place of refuge for your dog where he can be “at home” within your home. Many dogs will take ownership of their crate and actually prefer it to roaming free all day.
Some dog trainers prefer a dog mat instead of or in addition to a crate. You can use a mat or a padded dog bed to have a place that your dog can be made to lie down or settle down. Sometimes when your dog begins to get to excited or jumpy a familiar place to lie down be a huge comfort to him and allow him time to settle before he is allowed to get up. Most dogs will thrive on routine and knowing he can go to his during certain stressful situations will help him remain calm and feel in control of situation. For example, if you train your dog to go to his mat when visitors come over, it can help with an unwelcomed response from your visitor.
Launchers and Dummies
If you are training your dog for bird hunting then a launcher is an excellent help in recreating the real thing. Whether you are training for the field or for a hunt or field test, a launcher will help you get your dog ready for anything. Launchers can be used for a number of scenarios. So whether you are training a dog to point or training your dog to flush, using dummies or real birds, you can find the perfect launcher for training your dog.
Frame of Mind
When it comes to training equipment, one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have is the correct frame of mind. It is always important to make sure you are calm and prepared when you begin training your dog. Your attitude and your reactions can make your training much easier and can help you and your dog enjoy the whole training process. Because training is an ongoing, lifelong part of dog ownership you can always stop and begin again at a better time.