I’ve come to realize, that many dog owners don’t know about dog training accessories. With all the information that’s out there today, many are still lost in the basics that they need. Or, even how to train, really. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert by any means. Even I pay for dog training still, because sometimes, you just need outside help. Especially when you have two dogs that love to have their spats! Atlas and Muse for example!
Last night, my daughters friend came over for a visit. As she was here, we started talking about dogs, and of course her dog came up in the conversation. She was mentioning how her Mom had ordered a harness for her dog to be able to walk him. She said that he pulls all the time and that he pulls so hard, he yanks her Mom around. So, we started talking about some dog training accessories that I use.
The Gentle Leader for Walks.
I’ve always been a huge advocate for the Gentle Leader to walk dogs that like to pull. Now, you still have to train them not to pull, unless you want to use the Gentle Leader all their life. Of course, it’s fine to use forever, it doesn’t hurt the dog in any way. Heck, some dogs are so stubborn that they always want to pull. But, not everyone likes prong collars, so they look for something a little more gentle.
The way the Gentle Leader works, is it attaches to the dogs muzzle, like a horses lead. It forces the dogs head where you want it to go. So, if they attempt to pull you, you have the leash in your hand, they can’t. As soon as they try, their head comes right back to you.
I gave one of mine to my daughters friend, and said, “Here, let him try this for a few days and tell me what you think. You’ll be amazed that he can’t pull at all.”
Next in Dog Training Accessories – the Prong Collar.
If you want to train your dog with a prong collar, that’s a great tool as well. The pressure points bother the dog, so they stop doing whatever it is you don’t like. However, most people don’t use them
correctly. Even I’ve used them the wrong way in the past. But hey, if you don’t know, you don’t know!
The prong collar is meant to be directly under the dogs chin and behind their ears. Around a dogs head, they have sensitive pressure points that these prongs will touch. So, when you pull up on the leash, it causes them discomfort. Used correctly, these are great tools!
*A word of caution – not all prong collars are good. The ones with sharp ends are very dangerous for dogs. These are the cheap brands. You’ll want to look for the quality ones that have rounded prongs. This means, that the prongs can’t pierce your dogs skin, and they remain safe. Also, they’re not meant to be pulled on all the time! Only when correcting a dog.
A Good Leash is a Must Have.
I’ve mentioned leashes before, and here I will again. The right leash is the most valuable tool for dog training accessories. What constitutes as a good leash? Not the ones that pull out twenty feet! Stay away from those garbage leashes! If your dog gets twenty feet away from you at any time, then you haven’t trained your dog. So when they pounce on another dog, and that plastic thing rips right out of your hand, only you can blame yourself.
A good leash is around five to six feet in length. It’s made of your basic material, nylon. Controlling your dog at all times is your responsibility. A dog shouldn’t be that far from you at any given time. They should be within inches of your body. I’ve paid for dog training for Atlas and Muse because they are dangerous when they’re outside together. By themselves? They’re fine. But around other dogs right now? Nope, nope and nope. Seeing as how my dogs aren’t good out there, if your dog runs twenty feet to get to mine, we’re in trouble.
This goes for any dog out there. You should be cautious of them all, because you never know when a fight will break out. So, it’s important that you have tight control on your dog all the time when in public, and twenty feet is just too dangerous.
Treats! High Value Treats!
I say high value treats, because not all treats will train your dog. Especially if you have a stubborn freaking dog like both of mine are! Geez. Yesterday during our training session, my two would not do the Down command to save their life. Not until I put that high value treat down on the ground for them to sniff at. Then, I simply stood on the leash inches from their collars for them stay down. Then, they got the treat.
I can list a bunch of great treats by the way, but I used what dogs love the most, Hot Dogs. I tore them up into little chunks, and they did everything I asked! So, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on treats. Get some Hot Dogs and use those. Cut them into tiny bite sized pieces, and Bam! They’ll start doing what you ask them to do.
The List of Dog Training Accessories Will Continue.
Today, I listed just some basics. There’s going to be more, and I’ll list them out in a multi-part series. For now though? Get these basics first, and you’ll be on your way. You don’t need to run to the pet store and buy up everything you see in the training section by the way. Dog training really starts with these items, and it starts with you. Any dog can be trained to be a good dog, especially in public. But it takes a lot of time, patience and practice. Oh and consistency!
You have to be the same with your dog every single time. I know I’ve mentioned that in my past articles before, but it’s very important. See, I only have a tough time with mine, because my kids like to let them do whatever they want during walks. So, I made my kids go with me to a training session last night so they could see what NOT to do. After we were done, I asked what they learned. I was very happy to hear that they listened and actually paid attention. So, when they’re with the dogs, they know how important it is they don’t let the dogs do whatever they want.
Stay tuned for the next in this series. I’ll post it next week!