Investing time and energy in dog training can benefit you and your furry friend in many ways. Aside from building your dog’s confidence and social skills, proper training can help you build a stronger and more positive relationship with your pet and discourage them from developing problematic behaviors. In essence, with appropriate training, you can make caring for a dog a more delightful, rewarding, and satisfying experience.
Perhaps you have a new puppy or recently adopted a slightly older dog that you want to train, and you’re wondering if you need certain items for this purpose. If so, read on. This article will give you a rundown of six must-have dog training tools you may need to prepare to enhance the training process and make your job easier and more enjoyable.
Rewards, such as treats, verbal praises, and toys, are crucial in dog training, especially when using a positive reinforcement training method. The idea is to give some form of reward for good behavior so that your dog will be motivated to repeat and develop the desired behavior.
When choosing a reward, make sure to find something that your dog truly likes. While treats are the most common option, they may not be so effective if your pet isn’t treat-motivated. In such cases, your best bet is to use toys as a reward. Dogs are naturally playful, so they love interacting with different kinds of toys. To start, you can look at wholesale dog toy collections as they offer a good variety of products. You can also enjoy great deals when buying toys in sets or in bulk.
A clicker is a small device that makes a clicking sound when pressed. You use it at the precise moment your dog performs a desired action and then give your pup a reward right after. The dog will begin to associate the clicking sound with positive experiences, like getting a treat or a toy, and this will motivate them to repeat the desired behavior.
Because there are many types of clickers on the market, you may need to find one that suits your dog’s age and temperament as well as the training environment. For instance, when training a puppy or a dog that easily gets frightened by loud sounds, softer-sounding clickers may be better than loud ones. But if you plan to train in an open field, you’ll want to get a clicker that your dog can hear even from far away.
High-quality leashes are another dog training staple used for setting boundaries, keeping your dog safe, and preventing your pet from getting lost whenever you and your pup are outside. When selecting the right leash, consider going for a long standard type that’s about six feet in length. This will give your furry friend ample room to move around and explore their surroundings without straying too far from you.
You’ll also want to look for leashes made of a durable material that will last for a long time. It’s also best to avoid retractable leashes. While they do allow for freedom of movement, using retractable leashes may cause your dog to develop the bad habit of pulling on the leash or wandering in whatever way they please.
Collars or Harnesses
In addition to a leash, you’ll also need a quality collar or harness. When choosing which product to use for your fur baby, consider your dog’s size and breed as well as the training techniques you intend to use.
For example, if you have a dog with a flat face, a history of tracheal collapse, or orthopedic problems, opt for a harness to prevent them from experiencing further health issues. If you’re using the positive reinforcement method, you can go for a martingale or slip collar. It tightens just slightly with a tug of the leash without causing discomfort and is comfortable for most dog breeds to wear.
A target stick is a long stick with a knob or ball at the end. It’s effective in holding your dog’s attention so you can introduce and teach different positions and behaviors to your dog more easily. They’re especially useful if you’re training puppies or small dogs since you won’t have to bend over to touch them.
When buying one of these items, choose a lightweight yet rigid target stick. This will help you better control and use it for longer periods without tiring out your hands and arms as quickly. You may also opt for foldable types for easy packing or those with built-in clickers for enhanced functionality.
Dog training can be challenging as it requires patience, consistency, and considerable time and effort. But with the right strategies and tools, you can make the process more manageable and meaningful for you and your furry friend. With this in mind, make sure to invest in the dog training must-haves discussed above and to use them well. More importantly, do your best to maintain a friendly and gentle disposition throughout your dog training journey to keep your dog comfortable and excited to learn new tricks.