8 Essential Dog Training Supplies

8 Essential Dog Training Supplies
Whether you need dog training supplies for your recently adopted rescue, or you are shopping for a new puppy, there is a handful of dog gear you will need to implement an effective positive training program.

1. Delicious Dog Treats
The most important training tool of all: valuable dog treats. Treats are how you motivate a dog to do training exercises with you, and how you let them know they’re doing a good job. Choose a snack that is low-calorie, high-reward. A strong positive training program requires a lot of treats, so it is important to find a food that won’t cost you a fortune, isn’t a bother to carry around with you, your dog is highly interested in, and which won’t make your dog gain weight.
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2. Dog Crate
Dog crates play an important part in training a dog. Crate training is one of the quickest and easiest methods of housetraining a dog. Crates also allow you to confine your dog to a safe space when you are unable to supervise him. In this way, it prevents your dog from developing problem behaviors, such as inappropriate chewing and other destructive behaviors. Your dog's crate can and should be a happy place of comfort for your dog.
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3. Clicker
The decision to use a training clicker as a reinforcer when teaching your dog is entirely up to you, but developing your dog’s positive association with one can make training other behaviors a lot easier. Clickers for dog training are cheap and available at any pet supply store or online. If you don’t want to wait to obtain one, use any household object that you can use in one hand and which makes a distinct clicking noise. A loud pen or a baby toy could work; just keep in mind that clickers designed for dog training make a very sharp, recognizable sound which dogs can hear and identify easily. You want to find an object like that.
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4. A Nylon, Leather or Heavy Cotton Leash
When your dog has a positive association with his leash, it makes going out for walks or getting in the car a lot easier. Your dog might even let you know when it’s time to go out by grabbing his leash and bringing it to you! You will want a leash made of sturdy cotton, nylon, or leather that is between 4-6 feet in length. Build your dog’s positive feelings toward his leash by feeding lots of training treats whenever you clip it to his harness. If your dog is known to chew the leash, treats are also useful for redirecting his attention (and mouth) away from it.
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Even if you are fortunate enough to have a well-fenced or otherwise secure property where your dog can roam off-leash, you will want to consider leash training. Vet visits, the pet supply store – almost every public space will require your dog to be leashed. A dog who isn’t used to walking on a leash can make life quite difficult for their guardian, by being reactive when leashed or dragging their walker.

5. A Flat-Buckle or Breakaway Dog Collar
Collars are not the primary point of attachment for your leash. Collars are invaluable for carrying IDs, proof of vaccinations, and other licenses a dog might need if lost, A dog with perfect leash etiquette – who never strains, drags, or ducks out of their collar – is the exception to this rule. But even so, a harness is almost always the better choice for attaching your dog’s leash.
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Collars should be loose-fitting around a dog’s neck. You should be able to fit approximately 2 of your fingers between the collar and your dog’s skin; any tighter, and your dog may develop strain or chafe over prolonged wear. A collar that is loose enough for your dog’s comfort is simply not secure enough to be the main mechanism for controlling or restraining them on walks.

6. Treat Pouch
Dog supply stores have several treat pouches available. When you use treats for dog training, timing is everything. Treat pouches allow you to keep treats close at hand, as they usually hang on your belt loop. It also allows you to carry treats with you wherever you go, very important, especially in the early days of training. And if you've ever washed a pair of pants having forgotten to take dog treats out of your pocket, you're bound to appreciate having a treat pouch!
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7. Treat-Dispensing Toys
Some of the most common dog behavior problems, such as digging and destructive chewing, can be avoided by keeping your dog from getting bored. Treat dispensing toys, like Kongs and Buster Cubes, are perfect for this. You can fill these toys with a few treats or a little peanut butter, and your dog will be happy to spend time working on getting them out. Best of all, many of these toys are indestructible for even the strongest chewers. That means you can use them again and again to bust a dog's boredom.
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8. Chew Toys
Like treat-dispensing toys, chew toys provide entertainment and stimulation for your dog. They also provide something your dog is allowed to chew. Left to their own devices, many dogs will chew on furniture, shoes, toys, and anything else they can get their jaws around. By providing your dog with plenty of chew toys, you keep him from developing the bad habit of chewing on inappropriate items. Just be careful about the chew toys you select. Some chew toys and bones have been found to be harmful to dogs.
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