When it comes to training your dog, it can be hard to know what tools can push your training process forward, or stop progress completely in its tracks. As a trainer of 4 years, I'm here to tell you what training tools to avoid as you begin your training journey.
Retractable Leashes - a retractable leash is not only unsafe for your dog, but it also promotes bad leash manners. Retractable leashes have a weight inside the handle. This means your dog is always feeling tension. This constant tension then teaches your dog that walking with a tense leash is simply how he's supposed to. They never learn focus or healthy, reliable leash manners.
Prong Collars - prong collars use unnecessary force and inflict pain for your dog. While some dogs may respond well to the pressure that is applied when the prongs dig into their skin, there are healthier training tools you can use that apply pressure without harming your dog.
Choke Chains - choke chains are unsafe and will inflict pain (and even permanent damage) to your dog's neck. Many dogs will in fact completely ignore the chain, choking themselves to a point of rupturing the esophagus. Again, there are healthier training tools you can utilize that will apply pressure without causing pain or permanently affecting their health and well-being.
Electronic Shock Collars - Electronic collars are oftentimes used with "old school" training methods. But, using pain and fear tactics to train a dog can cause him to emotionally shut down to the point of being unwilling to learn completely or even having fear of human interaction.
I cannot express to you how many families have come to me in need of training because they took their dog to a trainer who used these methods - and could even pick up a standard collar around their dog due to immediate panic attacks, let alone teach their dog a single command due to fear of interaction in training situations.
Standard 4ft-6ft Leash - a standard leash is the best leash to use for training your dog in regards to results and safety.
Slip Lead - a slip lead is great for reactive dogs as it applies pressure only when your dog pulls or lunges. This will help reduce the feelings of anxiety and tension for your dog.
Standard Collar - a standard collar is best, but I do not recommend walking your dog on a collar alone until they no longer pull on a regular basis.
Martingale Collar - a martingale collar is another great collar to utilize if you have a reactive dog or a dog that responds well to pressure training. This collar will apply a gentle pressure when your dog is pulling (much like the slip lead would).
Easy-Walk Harness - the Easy-Walk harness is hands down one of my favorite training harnesses. Your leash clips to the front, which helps to correct pulling behaviors much like the slip lead and martingale collar would. It applies pressure on the chest to help reduce feelings of anxiety and tension in your dog.
Gentle Leader - the Gentle Leader is also another great training tool for walks. This is essentially a harness that sits on the face. This is NOT a muzzle (your dog can still bark, bite, lick, eat, drink, etc.). A Gentle Leader is typically used for dogs who cannot focus, pull too hard, and behave frantically (when a collar or harness is not enough).
With any specific training questions, don't be shy! Message Busy Dog today so we can help with all of your training needs.