Dog training equipment is one of the most significant aspects of dog training. Without the proper tools and equipment, executing the actual dog training based solely on the various different training techniques and approaches, would be extremely difficult, and in some cases even impossible.
There are several different types of dog training equipment that we use in dog training. Some equipment is specifically designed to help us train specific behaviors, such as bite suits and bite sleeves that help us train various protection-based tasks with our dogs; other equipment such as target sticks and touch-pads allow us to train a whole pallet of behaviors like positioning our dog in a specific way, training the hind-end awareness, send away, etc.
We also have dog sports such as agility, for example, that are completely created and based around dog training equipment like jumps, tunnels, A-frames, etc.
Although there is such a large array of dog training equipment available, I have chosen to focus on the more common dog training equipment in this section, as it is used by all in our daily interactions with our dogs.
- Dog collars
- Dog leashes
- Dog harnesses
Dog Collars are certainly the most common and popular of all
of the dog training equipment that we use on a daily basis. To find out more
about the various different types of dog collars and the specific ways for
which we use them, you can visit this page. It is important to know both the
good and the bad points about a specific type of collar, to best help you find
the one that best fits your needs.
For more details on dog collars please click here.
Whether required by law, or purely for safety purposes, dog leashes are present in our dog’s daily life. Unfortunately, there are so many things about dog leashes that many dog owners are simply not aware off. Although the choice of leashes is a much simpler decision than choosing the right collar, how you use this type of dog training equipment requires specific training, in order to avoid common setbacks.
There are so many things that can go wrong when starting to
use a leash with your dog. This can easily end up as a permanent conflict whenever
going for a walk, for example. The wrong
use of the leash is definitely one of the most common reasons that dogs pull.
On this page, you will find a complete guide on how to present this tool to
your dog properly and how to use it down the road.
For more details click here.
Usage of this type of dog training equipment is not as popular as a dog collar, but never the less it gives the great advantages, depending on the need. There are different types of dog harnesses created for different purposes. As a tool in general, the harness was developed to help disperse the pressure more evenly on the dog’s body which enabled them to pull. Today, we have different types of dog harnesses; some have been created to encourage and aid a dog in pulling, while other types have been created to discourage or prevent a dog from pulling. For more details about this type of dog training equipment and how to use it, click here.
Some key points to remember with any and all dog training equipment:
· Take your time
I know that I mention this multiple times throughout the website, but it really is very important for so many things related to dog training, including the selection, introduction and use of dog training equipment.
No matter how simple some things may look, like wearing a collar or attaching a leash to it, we often forget that we are dealing with animals. What is easy and simple to our human selves, may be complicated and/or scary for them. They are animals, so there isn’t any training equipment that we use that is actually natural to them.
In order to avoid problems, take your time to present the tool that you are going to use to your dog in the proper way so as to classically condition a positive response from your dog to that tool.
How many times I’ve seen families that get a new puppy and they fuss over it with love and care until the first official on-leash walk. Instead of taking the time to properly introduce the dog training equipment that they are about to use with their new puppy for the first time, they simply get their dog ready, snap on a collar, then hook on the leash and head out for a walk. That walk tends to look more like a combination of fighting and big game fishing, then the pleasant stroll they had anticipated. The dog gets nervous, starts mouthing the leash, mouthing the owner, starts running from side to side, puts on the brakes with all fours or in some cases, just drops down on the ground like a sack of potatoes.
It is wrong to expect that everything would go smoothly, without the proper steps. No, your dog is not broken, nor he is misbehaving. Your dog is actually behaving normally, as would any animal that is introduced to something unpleasant, and because you didn’t take the time to introduce the dog training equipment properly, it is indeed something unpleasant for the dog.
Keep in mind that every tool makes different noises, smells, tastes, and sensations for your dog. Your dog needs to get comfortable with all of that before the tool can be used for its intended purpose.
I remember the days when we used to train our working and service dogs to get comfortable wearing a dog cone (known as “Elizabethan collar”). Many people would ask why? The reason was because of the high risk of injuries for working and service dogs. Imagine a situation in which you have an injured dog that is already stressed and in pain, and on top of that, he needs to wear a dog cone.
In addition to all of the stress and discomfort from the injuries, the dog would get even more stressed and uncomfortable from the new tool. People, who have unfortunately been through this, know what I’m talking about. By training the dog to accept a dog cone in a controlled and non-stressful environment, we avoided problems later on.
Even if we never had to use that particular tool throughout the dog’s life, the dog was comfortable wearing it, in case it was ever needed.
Now, how many owners do the same thing when presenting the dog leash, dog harness or dog collar to their dog? How many people take the time to train their dogs to wear a dog leash in the comfort of their home or the backyard before going out for a real walk? You can find a lot of details on the dog leash page about how to introduce this type of dog training equipment to your dog.
TIP: Don’t expect miracles. If you don’t take the time to properly train your dog to accept different types of dog training equipment, your dog will struggle with that equipment for the rest of his (her) life. That is the beauty of classical conditioning. Whatever response your dog associates with that tool, either good or bad will persist, until it gets addressed.
· Use quality dog training equipment
The “Double stitched leather leash with a brass clipper” Story
Before I was officially involved with dog training, while I was still a young kid, I remember having one of my dogs on a thin, cheap leash that I thought was good enough to hold him. It was the best that I could afford on my tight, kid’s budget.
One day while I was out walking my dog, we were approached by a local dog trainer who advised me that the leash that I was using was unreliable for my 130+pound dog, and that it could easily snap. He told me that I should get a “double stitched leather leash with a brass clipper”; he said to only get the best. My defiant pre-teen response of course, was the defensive argument, that the dog training equipment I was using was doing its job just fine.
It was only a few days later, while I was walking my dog near the highway that he spotted his “friend” on the other side of the busy road and pulled. I remember that he pulled stronger than he normally would and at that very moment the clip on my leash busted.
For a moment everything froze, my yelling for him to stop didn’t even seem to reach him; I heard the car brakes screaming and panic set in. No, very fortunately, he didn’t get hit. Even though the traffic was busy, he somehow managed to get across the six lane highway to the other side. Everything happened in a split second and the next thing that I remember was that I was still desperately squeezing my hand on the leash while my dog was on the other side of the highway.
Later that same day after talking with my family, we all went to a local pet store to get a “double stitched leather leash with a brass clipper”. I still have that leash, all these years later, and it is as good as the day we bought it (over 20 years ago).
I know that most dog owners have similar stories about using poor-quality dog training equipment, although some have happy endings like my own story, there are far too many that are not as fortunate. I always see new dog owners making this same mistake and getting either cheap or fancy (but inefficient) equipment.
A hot pink collar with your dog’s name engraved and a couple of shiny stars may look good on your dog, but unless it is custom made from a reliable source, it is probably not a safe choice. Having a collar with a plastic snap may be easy for you to snap on and off, but keep in mind that with constant wear in outdoor conditions (heat, cold, humidity, etc) combined with constant pressure, will weaken the plastic and it will snap some day, too.
Invest into your dog training equipment; as it is these tools that are our last line of defense and safety when dealing with our dogs on a daily basis.
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Find out how you can improve these tools and how to introduce and use them properly. Although this type of day to day dog training equipment is usually taken for granted by dog owners worldwide; the reliability, the way that you present it to your dog and the way it is used, can all have a huge impact on you and your dog.