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Essential Dog Training Supplies

May 2, 2008
There is nothing as effective in training your dog as an ongoing, personal, hands-on relationship between you and your pet. That said, you may find some of the many available dog training supplies helpful in adding variety, excitement, and enjoyment to the training process. There seem to be endless possibilities among these supplies and devices, for novice trainers as well as experts. Let's look at just a few of them.

Before you begin any training program with your dog, be sure to check him carefully to make certain he is in good physical condition. If, for example, your dog has a twisted claw or an open skin sore, even the gentlest devices or collars can hurt him. It's best to have your dog looked over by a veterinarian at least yearly. The annual checkup should give you an indication of your pet's readiness for a training program.

The first device you may want to consider is the clicker. This is a small metal or plastic hand-held device that produces a loud clicking sound when it is squeezed and released. It is ideal for attracting your pet's attention, and makes it unnecessary for you to keep calling to him for this purpose. Most clickers are sufficiently audible that they can be heard even above loud background noise.

Leashes and collars come in many varieties. Since you want your dog to remember, always, that you are the "Alpha Creature" of his "pack," dog leashes and dog collars are helpful to keep him under control. Both collars and leashes are available in leather and in heavy-duty nylon or nylon/polypropylene webbing; some models are available in a metal chain. Leashes can range from a two-foot control length (useful for close work, like teaching the commands "sit" or "stay") to a 35-foot retractable nylon model.

Leashes also come in combinations of nylon and leather. Fasteners for leashes may be snaps or buckles. Remember to adjust the snaps or buckles carefully when putting your dog on the leash to ensure that they will not come open. Buy nylon and snaps of good quality to avoid slips and rips!

Spike collars are no longer recommended by trainers. Smaller dogs can easily be injured by these. Choke collars are not recommended either. Although dogs do have powerful neck muscles, choke collars can still damage the throat with a sudden jerk.

If you have an unruly or destructive dog, or one that is given to excessive barking or biting, you may need to use a muzzle on him. In fact, it is difficult to teach a dog to curb barking without a muzzle. Muzzles come in a chrome wire basket style, woven leather or plastic styles, and soft nylon or nylon mesh styles.

Other dog training supplies that are sometimes used are electric fences, chemical sprays, head collars, and no-bark collars. All of these can cause harm to a dog, and so are best used only as a last resort.

Although dog training supplies can be useful when you are training your dog, never forget that you yourself are the best possible training tool. Make your dog feel loved and respected, and he will want to please you by learning whatever you want him to learn. The power of an affectionate human touch is more effective than anything else in training a dog.
About the Author
Increase the happy years of your dog by checking out my free e-book. In it I reveal all the secrets I've used to develop a happy, healthier dog. Visit Dr. Alfonso's dog training blog right now...
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