There are a number of tools that you can use to help make training your dog easier. Here we have collected a number of dog training tools that you might find useful. Discloser: we are part of the affiliate program on Amazon. That means we earn a small commission from the products listed here from Amazon should you decide to buy any of them at no expense to you. This helps us keep our site up and maintained so we can continue to help people help their dogs. We never recommend anything that we don’t believe will be of value to you.
Do not use any remote collars, containment systems or fences that deliver chock and vibrations as this can backfire and cause you dog to develop anxiety and aggression.
Dog Training Aids
Gentle Leader Head Halter – view on Amazon Head-halters can provide you with a lot of control without causing damage to the tracheal area like many collars do. Your dog should be desensitized to wearing one first so they can get used to it. Although they don’t prevent biting, they are very useful tools for dealing with aggressive dogs because they can prevent lunging and you can close their mouth by gently pulling upwards. The Gentle Leader is probably the most popular and recommended head halter by certified behaviorists and veterinarians. The fit is very important so you might want to check out the video fitting the Gentle Leader like a Pro. Halti and Snoot Loops are other popular brands – although they all vary slightly in their design. They are like a horse halter that straps around the nose and neck. With all head-halters, muzzles, and harnesses, using shaping through clicker training can be really helpful to encourage the dog to willingly put their head or legs in and desensitize them to wearing it. Head-halters are not appropriate for every dog or every situation.
There are lost of different dog harnesses, but we really like this one. It’s easy to put on and it doesn’t cause very much chaffing. It does not take to long for your dog to get used to either. Unlike traditional harnesses, the chest strap rests low across the breastbone, not on the delicate tracheal area, so your dog does not choke or gag.
Here is a YouTube video demonstrating how to put it on that was online as of the time of writing this: http://youtu.be/69rPBfh8GIA
Remote control treat dispenser
These are on the pricey side, but come highly recommended by a number of trainers and behaviorists. The Manners Minder is a remote control feeding tray for dogs and includes a training DVD. This can be used to teach a dog to run to a remote location or reward them when they are away from you. This can valuable for those dogs who tend to bark at people coming through the door. One creative trainer used the manners minder to help people her dog not to bark in her apartment building even when she wasn’t there! You can read about it here: A Creative Way to Improve Dog Barking. Genius!
Using a sound marker, such as a whistle or a clicker has a long history in being used to train marine animals – after all, you can’t put a collar around a dolphin. It is one of the most effective ways to train dogs in a way that is fun and stimulating for both dog and owner. Now the practice is being used to train horses, cats, birds, and even wild animals in captivity in order to get them to accept medical injections. Clickers are inexpensive and can be found in many pet shops now. To learn how they’re used check out an introduction to clicker training.
Any clicker will probably do, but if you have a dog that is sound sensitive and they tend to startle easily with the clicker, you might want to try a quiet clicker, such as the i-Click – Training Clicker.
Food Training Tubes
Feeding tubes are similar to a toothpaste tube, except you can fill it with your own choice of food for your dog such as spreadable cheese, ground meat and gravy, etc. When you need to reward the dog, simply let the dog lick the end. We’ve used these for dogs that snatch treats and tend to bite fingers accidentally (especially those excitable dogs). It also is good for those of you who work with your dogs in colder climates and prefer to keep your gloves on! If anyone comes across a feeding tube with a longer “spout” let us know in the Contact Us section, because this would be great for using with basket muzzles.
One of the challenges dog owners face is keeping people and their dogs away from their own when they are working with them.
We sell these in the shop.
We have never used these but we think these are a great idea, too. A colored leash gets people’s attention. There is actually a number of leashes on Amazon that you might consider such the “no dogs” leash or the “working” dog leash (even green “Friendly” leashes and collars for those of you who own friendly pit-bulls, German Shepherds, Doberman’s etc.). You can find a number of them on Amazon here: Colored leashes that communicate to people There are also harnesses, too, but we can’t vouch for these yet as we don’t know anyone who has used them.
These are great. When you are using a clicker and holding a leash, you may find that you need to have a treat pouch that is easy to get treats out of. We’ve tried a few different ones and so far the kind that have a stay-open hinge top that allows easy access for treats, yet at the same time snaps easily closed when your dog wants to dig his nose right in comes out on top for easy of use and convenience. Simply snap it around your waist and you are ready to go. But be careful your dog doesn’t learn to pay attention only when you are wearing it. It helps to stash treat around the house so your dog never learns when he or she can ignore you.
Target stick are not essential, but they can be used to train many things, including loose leash walking. It works by teaching the dog to “target”, i.e. touch the end of the pole. This way you can teach your dog to follow it, and as they learn you can slowly fade out the stick by making it shorter and shorter. Here is a video example of using a target stick with a dog.
There are a variety of them around, so have a look. This one allows you carry it around easily.
Now you can do dog agility training at home! One of the challenges owners of aggressive dogs have is how to exercise their dogs when their dogs don’t like other dogs. Agility can be both great exercise for both body and mind while increasing the bond between owner and dog. In addition agility can be a great activity for older tweens and teens to participate in. There are a number of different pieces you can get on Amazon. You can also build some of these things yourself. There is a how-to on wikiHow How to Build a Dog Agility Course
You might find this book The Beginner’s Guide to Dog Agility helpful as well.
You might also be interested in:
- Our favourite dog training books and videos
- Our 4 favourite dog books for aggression
- Dog aggression management tools
- Therapeutic aids for treating dog anxiety and aggression
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