Watch “Training Tools” Video
Here is an overview of my recommended training tools.
*Disclaimer: I do receive a small affiliate commission for items purchased through the links on Amazon.
Six Foot Leather Leash
Six foot leashes are recommended for training because they offer the right balance between flexibility and control. The leather is softer and easier on your hands than nylon leashes, and will only gets better with time. Shorter leashes create more tension and can exacerbate pulling or reactivity (lunging or barking) with distractions. Avoid leashes made of heavy / thick material or that have bulbous handles. Do not use retractable leashes for training. Do not attach bag holder or baggies to end of leash as this can interfere with training.
For dogs under 30 lbs get a leash that is 1/2 inch wide.
For dogs 30-75 lbs get a leash that is 5/8 inch wide.
For dogs 75 + get a leash that is 3/4 inch wide.
The Wonder Walker Body Harness
This product is particularly useful for dogs that pull, lunge or bark on leash. Be sure harness fits snuggly, and double clip the leash onto both the collar and harness (this will make the harness work more effectively, and will ensure that your dog is unable to slip out of the harness). The Wonder Walker adjusts and fits better than other comparable products. I also like the fact that you can clip a leash on the dog’s back when hiking, and clip on the dog’s chest on daily walks. It is also a better fit for dogs with a deep chest.
This is a kitchen mat that is ideal for training because it has a rubber bottom so it won’t slide on hardwood or tile floors. Non-slip is important. Other benefits include:
- Rolls up for when you’re ready to take training “on the road”
- It’s rigid so that it doesn’t bunch
- No exposed threads (puppies or young adult dogs that are easily distracted will fixate on pulling threads)
High Value Training Food
This roll is ideal for training because it is moist, meaty and easy to break into small pieces without crumbling. It is also a nutritious food that can supplement a well balanced diet.
Try rotating through Happy Howie’s: Turkey, Beef and Lamb
Recommended for ALL training, but particularly useful for puppy training, potty training, leash training or training for dogs that are sound sensitive, leash reactive or pull on leash. This pouch is very well made. It snaps open and closed with a magnet for easy accessibility AND has a strap that wraps around your waist to make sure that your treat pouch isn’t constantly falling and jack potting your dog at inopportune moments. Good training is all about good timing, which is why the right training pouch is critical.
(For small to large breed dogs 25 lbs and up)
This is a great tool for training recalls (“come” when called) or for advanced training with small to large breed dogs. This long line comes in two sizes, 15 feet and 33 feet. If you only buy one, go with the 15 foot line as it will be easier to manage in most environments. Width: the 3/8 inch is best for training because it is light weight.
Light Long Line
(For small breed dogs less than 25 lbs.)
This is an essential tool when training small breed dogs to “come” on cue or for more advanced training. The twenty five foot line is best for most training environments.
An “iclick” is recommended for puppies, sound sensitive dogs, or for training basic obedience in your home or at a quiet park. Louder “box clickers” are recommended for training on high traffic streets where there is a lot of noise pollution. If you are in one of my group classes I will have you use a verbal marker at class “good!” and clicker at home to avoid “blazing” clickers. A click is synonymous with “good” or “yes” but more significant because it offers a distinct sound and is more consistently paired with high value reinforcement, one click = one reward.
Giving a puppy free range of the house can be disastrous. They are likely to be destructive, mouthy (tugging on pant legs and shoe laces) and have frequent accidents. Confining your puppy to a safe space will expedite their training by setting them up to succeed in an environment where they are unable to practice these bad habits. Gates are also useful for separation training or for managing dogs that are anxious, fearful, impulsive or territorial.
Skineeez Stuffingless Fox Toy
This training toy is ideal for structured games of tug. It is furry, easy for dogs to grip, and has squeakies – which means that most dogs will go wild for it! ONLY use training toys during training, put it away when not training (do not leave this toy out with dog all the time, as it will lose value and/or be destroyed). The 15″ length is ideal for small and large breeds.
Ball on a String
This training toy is ideal for medium to large breed dogs with high toy drive, and for owners that want to incorporate toys as reinforcement in training exercises. ONLY use training toys during training, put it away when not training, as it will lose value and/or be destroyed.
Nylabone Double Action Chew – this is a great product for powerful chewers.