Dog Training Kit Must-Haves
Hello Dog Lovers! Welcome back to another edition of the Jarvis Dog Whisperer free dog training blog. This month I am sharing my 10/10 favourite dog training kit must-haves to support your dog training journey at home.
You know, Grandpa Jarvis (a fine carpenter and wood turner – God rest him) always used to say “you’re only as good as your tools” and the same is true of dog training.
Dogs don’t come pre-packaged, fully trained or ready to take out of the box. No matter how old your dog or puppy is when you adopt them – they will need some kind of training right away. For 99.9% of us, that requires daily, progressive training sessions and interactions to gradually build trust, commands and the desirable behaviours we want for the next 15 years.
From teeny tiny teacup Yorkies to titanic Great Danes – breed shape, size and strength all require different tools to support safe, controlled handling both at home and in public.
Well then, let’s get started. Here are my top 4 dog training kit must-haves.
Colourful Long Lines
Long lines are important for recall training. If you do not have 100% recall in high distraction areas, your dog should be on a long line. Colourful long lines are perfect because they show up clearly no matter where you are – walking in the woods, on grass, at the seaside.
The colours will also show up so you don’t get tangled up and even better – other walkers, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to see your dog is under control.
This one is particularly comfortable to handle.
Top tip: purple is especially good as it does not fall into the colour categories that are growing in popularity to create space for dogs in training (red/orange = aggressive, yellow = nervous, white=disabled, blue = in training etc).
Comfortable Head Collar
Head collars are not created equal. Some have an attachment underneath the chin and I find that these pull fabric into the dog’s eyes. There is also a certain amount of “give” that looks uncomfortable for the dog.
Gencon, however have to be my favourite brand. Their clever criss-cross design fits perfectly around the muzzle, and will go slack in loose lead walking. Ideal if you have a dog that is especially strong or exuberant (like my Border Collie).
Often, strong dogs don’t realise just how hard they are pulling you on a flat collar or harness. A head collar helps to equalise both the pressure between you in exactly the same way as a horses head collar. If you have a disability or limited physical capacity this can be critical in those first few months in training a large or strong pet. Personally, this product saved my life when I experienced chronic back pain.
XL or very strong breeds such as Danes, Rotties and Hounds do well on these head collars. They are not suitable for flat faced breeds.
Clicker & Training Bag
Many of you know I love clicker training – it is by far the most efficient way to train a dog and best of all, it’s a positive reward based method.
Clicker training bridges the gap between the command and the reward to allow for a faster learning experience for the dog. If you’d like to know more about this, join my VIP membership and train a dog exactly how I would – start to finish.
A decent treat bag is also essential. Dogs need constant binary feedback for the first two years of living at home this feedback is not just verbal but also physical. Dogs need praise, affection, corrections, food and toys to learn effectively.
If you don’t have treat bag attached to you for 90% of your day, how is your dog staying motivated? How are they learning?
Our dogs need a lot of repetition and motivation to carry out recall, listening and focus. Keep them on target with 50% of their daily food allowance on you at all times to reward even the smallest of perfect behaviours.
Imagine how much focus your dog would give if they know you always have something delicious about your person?
Last but by no means least, we have the mighty TugeNuff tug toy. I couldn’t live without these toys in my training bag and I am willing to bet that they will completely transform your training journey too.
If you have a Terrier, Sight Hound, Hunting breed, Herding dog or any dog with a. naturally high prey drive tug toys are a secret weapon for recall and grabbing attention instantly.
The amazing thing about these toys is they encourage play. Play supports your dog’s mood, improves their ability to handle stress and makes you more interesting to be around.
Appropriate biting is also a really important outlet for lots of working and hunting breeds – this toy gives them a safe place to bite and hunt on walks and at home (trust me, the squirrels will thank you later).
Some squeak, some crunch and other stretch! The Rabbit Chaser is a favourite in our house, as is the Big Twizzler.
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