What Supplies Will I Need To Train My Dog?
If you’re like most of my clients, you’ll soon discover that the right “equipment” makes the training process easier and faster for you as well as, safer and more comfortable for your dog. And because I’ve been a dog trainer and behaviorist for almost two decades, I’ve used lots and lots of dog-related products. Some have met or exceeded my high standards; others have not.
What’s more, due to the sheer number of products available, it’s hard to know which ones work best and I’m often asked for my advice, which I’m happy to offer. However, to make it easier for my website visitors and clients, I recently took the time to create list of my favorite dog-related products – dog training supplies, cool gifts and gadgets, grooming tools, nutritional supplements, traveling gear, safety equipment, etc.
Also, after scouring the Internet, I’m convinced that Amazon is the best place to purchase most of them. They’re prices are usually lower than you find elsewhere and you’ll often get free shipping.
I’ve tried to categorize them into logical groups, but there are certainly ones that cross over into more than one. Below is my list of the best overall general training tools and my list of “must-haves” for all dogs… whether you’re training them or not. You can find a full list of my picks for the best dog products in all categories on my Shop Online page.
Simply click on the link provided and you’ll be taken to a page on Amazon.com where you can get more detailed information about the product and order online.
Best General Training Tools (and ones I use in just about all the training I do):
- Strong Durable Dog Leash Lead: These, in my opinion, are the best leashes for most dogs. They’re lightweight and flexible; the nylon is strong; and they’re 4 ft. long, which is the proper leash length for most breeds. Additionally, they’re brightly colored so they’re harder to lose and the snap is very simple so you can get the leash on quickly, before your dog escapes. Even better, they’re inexpensive but a great investment. I strongly advise my clients to have 3-4 of these on hand in case they lose one or more or they become too worn. We’ll use these during our walking exercises.
- Martingale Collar with Quick Snap Buckle: These no-slip training collars are a must-have during the process and are appropriate for both untrained and well-trained dogs. For safety reasons, I believe that all dogs should wear no-slip collars in public (and this is especially true for fearful and/or aggressive dogs) since many dogs will “escape” and run if they wear buckle collars only. Made of nylon, they’re washable (and should be laundered periodically to prevent skin infections, which dogs can also get with leather collars).
- 20-Ft. Cotton Web Dog Training Lead: We’ll use this during the process because it’s just the right length for distance training for novice dogs. Shorter leashes are not long enough to simulate distance work and longer ones can cause running dogs to build up too much momentum and therefore, risk injury to themselves or their owners. These are durable and lightweight and the snap is very simple so your dog is less likely to escape as you put it on.
- Long, 50-Ft. Nylon, Visible, Durable:This is a heavier-duty version of the 20-ft. line, which helps with larger dogs. Additionally, because it’s longer it allows for longer distance training for dogs of all sizes.
- 20-Ft. Tie-Out Cable: I use these in two ways. First, during puppy/untrained dog training, my clients use them as “drag lines” in the home (they’re cut in half so the dogs get used to the leash and can’t get it caught on furniture, etc.). I also recommend these for active dog owners who bring their animals with them on camping trips and the like. For example, when I take my dog camping I tie him to a tree so he has freedom of movement and remains safe (these leashes don’t get tangled like others).
- Grass-Fed Beef Treats: I use a positive training process that rewards dogs for obeying specific learned commands. Given this, your dog will be getting more than his/her share of treats, so it’s very important that they be as healthy and low in calories as possible. This “lickable” treat provides the reward, without the calories. It is also acceptable to use your dogs daily kibble.
- Petmate Ultra Vari Dog Kennel: Crate training is one of the kindest and wisest things you can do for your dog. Not only does it provide a safe environment for puppies and/or untrained dogs when you’re not at home, but it also offers your pet a comfortable and familiar place to rest when they’re stressed, away from home, or just plain tired. I like this particular kennel because it’s lightweight, easy to set up, is a good value and it’s airline approved.
- Crate Games for Self-Control and Motivation DVD: While not a “must-have” this is great for folks who have issues getting their dogs into crates, whether that stems from anxiety or something else. It provides a structured, positive process for getting dogs to happily get into their kennels.