Training a dog, especially a young puppy, takes a lot of hard work and energy for both the owner and the animal. But in addition to putting in hours of work, owners need to purchase a variety of tools to ensure training goes smoothly and is as effective as possible.
In this week’s blog post, we’ll give you the rundown on some basic gear to purchase as you begin training your dog for competition.
Teaching your dog the basics requires patience and some simple tools. Here’s the gear you need to have on hand from day one:
- Pause Station: A pause station (sometimes known as a pause table) is a comfortable area where your dog can rest between training sessions. Having a pause station allows your dog to catch their breath and re-focus when they start to get distracted. A few of our favorite pause stations include the KLIMB Professional Grade Platform and the FitPAWS Trax Peanut, but something as simple as a mat or raised dog bed can also act as a pause station.
- Leashes: You may find that the leash you use to take your dog on a walk won’t meet your needs during training sessions. We recommend buying a variety of dog leashes to ensure each training session is a success. For example, buy a Standard Obedience Leash for everyday use and obedience training, a long line for distance work and recall training, and a short traffic lead for close control while you’re in public.
- Training Collar: Just like a leash, selecting the right dog collar can make a huge difference in your training success. A flat collar or martingale collar is a good starting point for most dogs, while head collars and no-pull harnesses can be helpful for stubborn dogs or those that tend to pull when they’re on a leash.
Some dogs don’t like training sessions as much as others. So to make it as enjoyable as possible for your dog (and easier for yourself), be sure to bring along these rewards to each training session:
- Treat Pouch & Treats: Sure, you can stuff treats inside your pockets. But digging around for a treat in the middle of a training session is tricky (not to mention messy). A dog treat pouch allows for easy access to treats, so you can reward your dog as soon as they perform the desired action. You should fill your pouch with a variety of small, high-value treats that your dog loves. Consider using soft treats because they allow for quick consumption and help keep training sessions moving smoothly.
- Balls & Toys: In addition to treats, you’ll want to have a variety of toys and tugs for rewarding and engaging your dog during training. Balls, tug toys, and squeaky toys can all serve as valuable rewards, helping to keep your dog motivated and excited about learning.
Take Your Training to the Next Level
Depending on what you’re looking to accomplish with your dog, you might be fine just purchasing the gear we mentioned above. But if you want to enter the world of dog competitions, you’ll need to purchase these items:
- Clickers: As the name suggests, a clicker is a small tool that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. The clicker allows you to precisely mark the exact moment your dog performs the desired behavior, making it an invaluable tool for shaping and reinforcing new skills. Consider the Gary Wilkes' Mega-Click or simple J&J Clicker if you’re going to dive into clicker training.
- Targets: Targets are useful for teaching your dog to touch, push, or follow an object with their nose or paw. They’re often used in one of the first steps for agility training. We sell training targets in our store, but if you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to making a purchase, you can make targets at home using plastic lids.
- Target Stick: A target stick is a retractable stick with a soft or colorful tip that helps guide your dog to perform specific actions or move to certain locations. This tool is particularly useful in teaching complex tricks, such as weaving through poles or jumping through hoops.
- Obedience Dumbbell: A dog obedience dumbbell is a training tool used in various dog sports, such as obedience and scent work. It’s a weighted object with a bar and two end pieces that your dog can comfortably hold in their mouth. You can use the obedience dumbbell to teach your dog to retrieve, hold, and carry items on command.
J&J Dog Supplies Has Everything You Need to Succeed
If you want the best for your dog, be sure to buy all of your training tools from J&J Dog Supplies. We only carry top-of-the-line equipment that’s guaranteed to last for years and help ensure you have the best-trained dog on the block!