Dog training doesn’t have to be that difficult and really, when it comes to basic dog training, you only need a few dog training tools. Sure you can buy all the latest and greatest tools that money can buy but you don’t really need to and sometimes, such as is the case with dog training tools, less is actually more. That being said, I would like to point out that the type of training that you do will greatly affect the type of dog training tools that you need. For example, if you are training your dog for hunting, you will need a variety of tools such as dummies, birds, whistles and, possibly, a rifle. While hunting training may be a step that you are moving toward, for now we are just going to look at dog training tools that you will need for basic dog training.Tool #1: The Bait Since most dog trainers use positive reinforcement you need some form of bait and reward for your dog. Obviously, food is a big incentive for many dogs but you may need to invest in something different if your dog is really not interested in food or your trainer recommends a different type of reward, such as a clicker. If you will be using food, it is important to use a soft treat that is cut into small morsels; usually about the size of your pinkie nail. Using small bites is the perfect dog training tool since a dog won’t lose focus when he is chewing the food and you won’t need to spend large amounts of money renewing your food reward.Tool #2: The Lead (or leash) One piece of everyday dog gear that you will use as a dog training tool is a lead or leash. This is just a standard leash that you can use for walks on a daily basis and the only thing that it should be is sturdy. For many areas of training, this will be the most important dog training tool that you will use, outside of food, since this will give you the greatest control over your dog. What is usually recommended with leads is to purchase one that is 6 feet long with a sturdy clip. Do not purchase a retractable leash to use as a dog training tool since you will not have as much control over your dog if you do. If you decide to take your dog to different types of training, such as conformation, you will find that you need different styles of leads but for basic training, a simply 6 foot nylon lead is essential. When you move into long distance “come,” your trainer may ask you to purchase a 20 foot lead but that will be at the discretion of your trainer.Tool #3: The Collar Although this dog training tool is often linked with the leash, it is important to look at the collar on its own. Generally, when you are looking for a good collar for training, you will want one that is flat and has a snapping clip to prevent the collar from slipping. Some trainers will recommend that you use a choke or a prong collar as an essential dog training tool but it is important that you only use those if you are told to do so and that you use the collar correctly since they can lead to serious injuries for the dog if used incorrectly.Tool #4: The Toy While this isn’t a dog training tool that you will really use during the training, it is a good tool to have handy for breaks or even for distractions. During a training session, take a few breaks for the dog to be rewarded through play. This will keep your dog interested in training and it won’t seem too long for you puppy. In addition to providing a break, a toy can be placed out as a distraction when you are teaching come. Having the distraction will teach your dog that no matter what he is doing, he needs to listen when you give the command. Once you have all the essential dog training tools, I would recommend speaking with your trainer to find out if there is anything that he would recommend or, if the training is specialized, if there is anything extra you should bring. Usually, all you will really need is a lead, a collar and the reward.
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