Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Five Resources for Dog Training

Is your dog the kind that jumps on grandma , pulls on the leash and barks non-stop? If you said yes then now is the time to start investing in a training program for your dog. Effective dog training involves having the right equipment and knowledge.

Here are some tools that you can use during dog training that will help you train your dog.

1. Choke Collar
For dog training, a good steel choke collar should be used to enforce corrections. It works by allowing you to get your dog to pay attention when you snap the leash. Tip: Don't leave a choke collar on a dog when unattended, only use during training sessions.

2. Prong Collar for Large Dogs

For dogs that are difficult to handle or aggressive, a prong collar might be in order. They look harsh, but in truth a prong collar is safe for your dog if its fitted properly. A prong collar is in order if you have a large dog that is hard to control. The prongs provide some pinch when enforcing corrections during training. I've heard some dog trainers refer to prong collars as “power steering”. If you have a large dog like a Doberman, German Shepherd, or Retriever that doesn't listen, a prong collar might be what you're looking for. Made of individual links, this type of dog collar can be adjusted for size easily. The risk of injury from a prong collar is not from the collar around the neck itself, but rather having it set too loose so that the dog can pull out of the collar and perhaps get poked in the eye. This means that you should fit the collar so its snug enough that it can't be pulled over the head. For the past 15 years I've used prong collars while training my large dogs and have never had a problem.

3. Leather Leash
A good 6 foot leather lead that is one inch wide is essential for dog training. Leather is sturdy and soft on the hands. Nylon leads are strong, but can be harsh on the hands if the dog is pulling or breaks away.

4. A long training lead
So far I haven't been able to track down a long leather training lead, but this is the best one I could find. A long training lead is useful in teaching your dog two things:

  • To sit/stay or down/stay while you move off at a distance.
  • Teaching your dog to come.
By having the long training lead, you can give a correction to a dog that breaks a stay while you're 10, 12 feet away. Use this tool and soon enough your dog will be in a down/stay every time you ask him no matter where you are or what you're doing.

5. Good Training Resources
Don't just get a dog and hope for the best. A dogs natural inclination is to jump on people, run all over the place, and chew up the furniture. Its up to you to teach him how to behave when living with humans. Instead of groping in the dark or relying solely on experts educate yourself on dog training techniques. A book I heartily recommend and that I have read and used is sit-stay-fetch. This book covers:

  • Leash problems
  • Behavior problems like jumping and aggression
  • Barking problems
  • Teaching your dog basics like sit, down, stay, and come
  • "Dog whispering"
If you take the time to invest in your dog, it will pay off over a lifetime.

No comments: