I got my German Shepherd puppy from a local shelter when she was 9 weeks old. I named her Sophie.
Like most dog parents, I fell in love with Sophie at first sight. I didn’t know why, but I knew I had to bring her home.
That said, I wasn’t blind to dog owners’ bitter-sweet love relationship with their fur babies.
I knew my work was cut out for me, and I was well prepared.
I began training Sophie almost immediately. My focus was on potty training and basic command lessons.
To achieve my goal, I planned on using the positive reinforcement technique.
This technique involved rewarding Sophie whenever she did what I asked her to do. The rewards ranged from simple petting to praises and food treats.
I also used dog training equipment to make the lessons more effective.
This equipment made it easier for me to train her. They also made Sophie love the training lessons.
Dog training equipment is a tool for teaching a dog specific behavior and skills. They include a collar, leash, dog crate, clicker, treats, toys, and calming aids.
Let’s look at the dog training equipment you must use.
Must-Have Aid and Equipment When Training Your Dog
I used most of these aids and equipment on Sophie and she loved her training lessons. I also had an easy time conducting the lessons because of this equipment.
Dog collars are useful in many ways. They are suitable for attaching a dog’s identification (ID) tag. Anyone can retrieve the ID tag and contact you if your pup gets lost.
Second, you can use a clicker to attach a leash to the collar for runs or walks. You can grab the pup by the collar if you need to hand-hold your pooch.
Third, it keeps your pup safe and gives you control over your dog during training.
The ideal collar to use when training your dog should be:
- Strong to hold the pooch
- Suitable for your pup’s behavior
- The right fit and comfortable
There are different types of collars you can choose for your dog training. They are:
- Martingale collar – it offers medium control
- Plastic training collar – it is ideal for rectifying some undesirable behavior. It is easy to use and offers a mid to high degree of control
- Standard (Flat) collar – it provides a low to medium degree of control
- Prong collar – the prong collar is used on dogs to rectify undesirable traits like pulling.
Some handlers use a choke collar. However, it is not advisable to use a choke collar. It has potentially negative consequences on the dog’s health.
Finally, a collar is one of the must-have items when collecting your puppy from a breeder.
A dog leash comes in different lengths and materials. The leash choice depends on the dog training you wish to perform on your dog.
Typically, you need a 6-foot leash for basic dog training. However, you will need a 33-foot longline leash for distance command training. Longlines are ideal for specialized training.
When choosing a leash for your dog training, ensure you get a leash that is:
- Adapted for your training purposes
- Comfortable to hold and easy to manipulate
- Compatible with your pup’s personality
Here are the different types of leashes you should consider when training your pup:
- Tab leash – 6 to 12-inch long leash, mostly for teaching sports agility and in-home control.
- Standard leash – 4 to 6-foot-long leash good for basic command training.
- Longline leash – 20 to 33-foot-long leash used for specialized training
Avoid retractable leashes. They can cause serious injuries during training sessions. In some ways, the retractable leashes encourage pulling.
If your dog pulls on her leash or you experience pulling issues, get a no-pull leash. You can also teach your pooch to walk without pulling.
Treats or Motivators/Reinforcers
You need both primary and secondary motivators. Primary motivators keep the attention of your pooch on the training activities. They also reward the pup for doing what she is told.
Examples of primary motivators include high-value treats and human food. You can use hot dogs, cheese, meatballs, and chicken.
Secondary motivators are also known as reinforcers. Secondary motivators do not have an apparent value to the pooch. However, they are very effective when paired with another activity.
Your dog’s treasured toy is an example of a secondary motivator.
That said, dogs have unique tastes and preferences. Some pups love toys as their motivators more than they do food. Know what ticks her fancy and give it to her as a reinforcer.
No, your pocket isn’t small. You can fit all the treats mentioned above for a training session. But there is a catch.
High-value dog treats are moist and smelly. A treat pouch offers a better way to hold and dispense them during training.
Some dogs are fearful and have phobias just like humans do. They may be frightened by sudden, sharp, loud sounds. As such, you need to calm them using calming aids.
You can use a product like a thunder shirt for dogs to calm her. Other products like pheromone (DAP) collars and sprays designed to calm dogs are also good.
Your vet can recommend some behavior supplements with a calming effect on dogs.
People Also Ask
What is the most common training needed for a dog?
Stay, sit, and come. These are the three common lessons taught to dogs at the start of their training. They are the foundation lessons for more behavior modification and skill training. In most cases, stay-and-sit lessons, teach dogs how to submit to humans.
What are the three main methods of dog training?
All dog training methods fall under three categories. These are the scientific technique, traditional dominance, and positive reinforcement.
At what age should you start training a dog?
Typically, dog training should start when the puppy is 8 weeks. In most cases, this is the age when you bring a puppy home. At this age, a puppy can comprehend fundamental dog training cues.