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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

The MUST Haves for Training Your Puppy

Training a new puppy can be exciting and overwhelming at first, especially if you have never had a puppy. Whether you're training your a new puppy or a first time puppy parent, the most important tools for training are the same.

Having the right dog training gear will set you and your puppy up for success, and we're here to help. We'll cover the must have dog training equipment you’ll need to get started.

Back Clip Harness: Harnesses come in a wide variety however the idea is the same, to distribute any pressure caused by the leash across a large area of body. This will be more comfortable for your dog and prevent damage to their neck. You do want to avoid front clip harnesses, due to their design they can make it difficult for your dog to walk naturally which can lead to injuries. On top of that they will do nothing to teach your dog to not pull on leash.

Regular 6ft leash: A regular flat 6ft leash, starting your puppy off with a regular leash will make leash training easier. Avoid retractible leashes, they can cause injury to your or your dog and encourage pulling. The constant tension with retractible leashes, teach your dog that in order to move forward there needs to be tension. Meaning we are basically teaching them to pull when we use them.

Crate: You may feel guilty for crating your puppy but it is a necessity! Crate training keeps your puppy safe when you aren't able to supervise them and helps with potty training. Crate training also helps you prepare for the unknown, such as boarding at a kennel, or an overnight stay at the vet.

Clicker: The clicker is a marker, the click sound communicates to your puppy exactly what behavior earned them a reward. Your puppy can interpret the sound of the clicker 5 times faster than your spoken word. Clicker training is fun, more effective than aversive methods, helps build confidence, and strengthens the human dog bond.

Treat Pouch: Having treats on you and ready to dispense is a must, especially if you're training a puppy. Being able to dole out treats quickly is the best way to teach your puppy that good behavior is rewarded. While searching for a treat pouch look for one that is easy to get your hand in and out of, this will make it easier to deliver treats quickly.

Tasty Treats: When looking for the right treats for your pup you want to look for ones that are soft, smelling and small. Training treats should be no bigger than the size of a pea, a large treat will take your dog a while to chew. Small soft treats that don't require a lot of chewing are ideal for training and will allow you to get more reps in with your dog. Lastly smelly, lets face it dogs enjoy smelly things so when looking for a treat the smellier the better.

Puppies are a handful, but training is worthwhile and a rewarding investment not only for your dog, but for yourself as well.

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