Whether you are new to owning dogs or if you just want to brush up on your dog training knowledge, every successful training session must have the right tools that achieve your goals. From the perfect lead to the ultimate training treats, these are the products we suggest to get you and your dog on the right foot.
1. A Walking Lead and Harness
One of the first things that we’d suggest to train your dog is how to walk correctly on the lead. We’ve all seen those people on a walk whose dog is pulling and lunging on the lead, not only resulting in a stressful walk for the owner but also risk of injury to the dog. A well fitting harness with both a front and back clip as well as a strong, durable lead long enough to hang loosely when your dog is walking at your side is absolutely essential.
If fitting a harness is something that seems complicated to you, there are many pet shops who specialise in finding the right fit for your dog. Furthermore, companies such as Perfect Fit provide online services to help you measure your own dog.
2. A Treat Pouch
The way to most dogs hearts is through their stomachs. This means that one of the biggest essentials in your training kit is a treat pouch. Giving treats as a reward for good behaviour is something called positive reinforcement. The dog starts associating a particular behaviour with something they enjoy, therefore making them more likely to do that behaviour again. The quicker the treat is given after the behaviour, the better. This means that the ideal treat pouch must be easily accessible, wide enough to fit your hand in and contain a waterproof lining to keep treats fresh. Some pouches come with D-rings to attach whistles, clickers and water bottles too and extra pockets to store keys, phones wnd most importantly those poo bags!
3. The Perfect Treat
The dog food business is an absolute minefield and even we still get overwhelmed by the options provided in shops these days. We will avoid the raw vs dried debate as we don’t claim to be canine nutritionists but we do have a few suggestions for training treats that have had the biggest successes in our experience.
* Hotdog sausages - The smellier the better! We find dogs respond to commands better when they can smell their reward. Just be careful of sodium content.
* Liver cake/brownie - Easy to make yourself or also available in pet shops, liver cake is smelly and rich in protein making it the ideal treat.
* Cooked Chicken - Suitable for dogs with wheat allergies or who are a little overweight, cooked chicken is low in fat and easy to find.
* Peanut Butter - Dogs LOVE peanut butter as an extra special treat. Just make sure it doesn’t contain any Xylitol.
Training treats should be something that your dog doesn’t ordinarily eat at home therefore making it extra rewarding.
4. A Longline
Another vitally important thing a dog should be taught is recall. Having good recall is essential for a number of reasons including preventing your dog from getting lost, reducing the risk of dog fights and for keeping your dog and other dogs safe from harm. The best way to teach your dog recall is through the use of a longline. Just like a normal lead, long lines can vary in length giving your dog the freedom of being off lead whilst ensuring you still keep control by holding the end.
5. A Clicker
Not entirely essential but definitely useful, a clicker can be a handy addition to your dog training kit. Clickers can take the place of a treat to let your dog know quickly of positive behaviour if accessing your treats in a timely manner is difficult. Clickers should always be associated with a highly rewarding treat In order to be effective.
6. A Positive Attitude
It doesn’t matter how well trained a dog is, at the end of the day they are still an animal and are going to have good and bad days. Not every dog is going to understand a command straight away and honestly it will take time. A positive attitude and plenty of patience is absolutely essential to be successful.
We promise you WILL get there!