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Dog Training Tools

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Choosing the right dog training tools is very important. Every dog responds differently to different training methods. When choosing the right tools for training make sure you will dog will enjoy the training and will be happy to learn.

Let start off with the clicker. I use the clicker with almost every one of my clients. I do have some clients that say they do not want to use the clicker at all and that is fine. We work around it. When you do use the clicker, your dog will learn faster and understand what is expected of them better.

To start using the clicker, you need to "charge" it to your dogs mind. By doing that, you have about 5 treats in one hand and the clicker in the other had. You click the clicker and then give your dog a treat. It teaches them that when they hear the click, something good is coming. The point of the clicker is it takes a picture in your dog's mind of the behavior they are doing and then you follow with a treat. You are using primary and secondary reinforcers. The clicker is the primary and the treat is the secondary. Now if you have a dog that is not treat motivated, your secondary reinforcer can be their favorite toy or praise.

For example, when you teach sit, you put the treat up to the dogs nose, raise it up, the dog looks up and the butt goes down. You click and follow with a treat. The click takes place right as the dog sits.

Another training tool I use is the easy walk harness also know as a no pull harness. I love this harness because it helps you control your dog that pulls. When you hook your dog to the neck or back, they tend to pull more. If you hook your dog to the front of their chest, they tend to pull less. How it works is when they start to pull, they feel pressure on their chest and it just swings them around toward you.

How I teach this is you start off with the dog on your left side with the leash in your right hand and treats in your left hand. The leash goes across your body. As you start to walk, you feed your dog consistently. If your dog starts to pull forward, you change your direction which changes the dogs direction. They will figure out that if they walk nicely next to you they get food. If they pull ahead, they get pulled in another direction. Eventually, you won't have to treat as much and the dog will follow your hand waiting for treats.

Now for leashes. You can use a standard 6 foot leash for heeling and training but please stay away from retractable leashes. They don't do you any good and hard to handle. The leash that I love to use is called a Kurgo 6 in 1 leash. This leash has 6 different functions. You can wear it around your waist, wear it cross body, use it as a regular leash, walk two dogs with with, use it as a tether, and it has a bottle opener on it. I mainly use it by wearing it around your waist. Once you get used to it, it is very easy to walk a dog that way. It gives you both your hands, so you can pick up dog poop easily and give your dogs treats easier while walking. I will say this, if you have a hard time with coordination, this will help you a lot. I have had several clients who have a hard time holding on to the leash and treats, then try to give their dog a treat for walking nicely. They usually end up dropping the treats, so the dog has to stop and get the treat, then they stumble and practicing heeling just stops. So wearing the leash around your waist eliminates one thing you have to worry about. Once you get used to wearing your dog, it becomes second nature.

Here are the links to the products that I mentioned above.

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