There are an unlimited supply of ‘training’ tools on the market. We’ve tried many and found a handful of basic’s provide all we need for the majority of dogs. Here we discuss those that we use for day-to-day use as well as when your dog is acting out or out of control.
I prefer 6′ soy leashes. They’re soft but strong. Dogs can’t chew through them quickly and they’re easy on your hands. There’s also only one piece of metal, the clip. During training I will often shorten my leash so the dog is walking and working closer to me but I prefer the 6′ one so that if i need to use a belly band I can or if I want to give the dog some room for whatever reason, it’s available.
Dogs who lunge or bark or act out of control needed to be reigned in. A Gentle Leader is the perfect tool for that. Offering more control than other Head Halters, the Gentle Leader allows the dogs mouth to open completely, until they pull, then it’s closed completely. By taking a dogs mouth out of the equation, we’re giving them a chance to find and try another strategy – something most dogs won’t do when their mouth works so well.
Note: If a dog bites to get their way, then a basket muzzle is necessary. I’ve used them on these dogs with great results.
The martingale collars we use are made of all cloth and ensure no dog slips their collar. We love these for all their versatility and dependability.
Harness? It depends! Many people ask me about using a harness on their pups. A harness can be a great tool but if your dog is more than 25# be sure to get a front-clip one (I use Easy Walks). The dogs front shoulders are often the strongest part of their body so it’s not a good idea to hook a leash up to them unless you like to get pulled. Instead, clip your leash to the dogs chest where you’re not providing counter-pressure.
A Walkie Talkie is a terrific way to throw your voice, when working with your dog. Here in the Rocky Mountains where we’re located, we are often working in wind, on mountain sides and in gullies. A verbal cue cannot be heard when a dog has their head stuck in a hole.
A walkie talkie (I just connect one to an extra collar and drop it in the charger at the end of the walk) puts your voice right next to their ears and communicates clearly what you’re asking of them.
Other common items we use are
- Belly bands – a method of circling the leash around the dog to take pressure off the throat
- Backpacks – a dog backpack provides a terrific distraction to over-the-top dogs, it gets them in their head and gives them a better work out than we could typically do.
- Bells – I use bells on dogs when we are working on off-leash work. I use them in the yard, on the trail and anytime I need to ‘keep an eye’ on my dog, without necessarily seeing them.
- 20′ leash if necessary when working distant work
- Citronella collars – these collars spray a bit of citrus in your dogs face when either they bark or you remotely activate it. They’re great at correcting over-barkey dogs without pain.
- Puppy Pacifiers – we use toddler, stroller toys to give our dogs an outlet for their anxiety or excitement. Clipping directly to the dogs collar, these toys soon become the dogs wobbie.
- Thunder shirts – used for anxious and nervous dogs (be sure to smooth out their hair)
We don’t use pain in our training and rehab, therefore we don’t use pinch or prong collars. We instead work to build a relationship based on trust and communication, which is hard to do when pain is in the equation, as it is with these collars.
Dogs respect these collars quickly due to what they bring to the table. Our goal at pranaDOGS is for your pup to respect you, not a piece of metal and to do that through relationship-building.