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Dog Training: Different Gear Options for Your Pet

labs in training during day school at bayside pet resort of osprey

Retractable Leashes

Although retractable leashes are very popular and can let your pup explore, they pose many dangers to both you, your pet, and others. These leashes can malfunction by having the locking mechanism break allowing your pup to have free reign. Dogs the run all the way to the end of the leash can suffer from trachea damage as well as hurt their owner’s arm.

They also pose a risk if the owner is not paying attention to where their dog is. Their dog can get into a variety of dangerous situations including ingesting something that is poisonous, being attacked by a dog that is not good with other dogs, or overwhelming someone who is afraid of dogs. Just because your dog is friendly doesn’t mean everyone around you is as well.

Standard Leashes

A standard 4 or 6 foot leash is a much safer option when bringing your pup out in public. These leashes come in a variety of styles including nylon, leather, and rope . These leashes still give your pup a chance to sniff and safely explore without giving up safety and control if needed.

Collars

There are several types of collars on the market. The two basic types are the standard buckle collar and the martingale collar. These collars are great for ID tags to be on as these can stay on the dog at all times. These collars are good to use with a leash on a dog who is not a big puller otherwise they could damage their trachea. Small dogs tend to be at higher risk for trachea damage so a harness might be a better fit.

There are also two main training collars that can be used: prong collars and choke chains. Neither of these collars should be used without consulting a trainer first as they both can cause serious damage if fitted or used improperly. If you are currently using one and want to have a trainer check the fit, feel free to ask us!

Harnesses

As stated above, harnesses are a great option for small dogs to protect them from trachea damage, however they may not be a great option when it comes to a large dog that pulls a lot. We must remember that harnesses were creates to help dogs to pull sleds and other heavy loads. Harnesses also utilize what is known as opposition reflex, where if something pulls back against it they will push harder in the opposite direction.

There are some harnesses labeled as no pull harnesses. The most effective of these options will clip in the front which eliminates the opposition reflex as well as pull them slightly off balance.

Head Halters

Head halters are a great training tool but can be mistaken for a muzzle as first glance. Although they do have a loop that goes around the muzzle, it does not inhibit the dog from opening his mouth. He can still eat, drink, give kisses, and get mouthy while wearing one. The design was made to function the same way that a halter on a horse works, change the direction of the head and change where the dog goes.

The main issue many owners have with this is that you can’t just put it on a dog and go. At first the sensation of having something around the nose is uncomfortable to the dog so you have to desensitize them to the feeling of it. Some dogs will get used to it quickly, others need longer to adjust, and some might never get used to it. This product is gentle on the dogs and is a self correcting tool like a prong collar, where the pressure applied by it from the dog’s own pulling does the work of correcting that issue. Like all training tools, this is meant to be used to teach the dog how to walk nicely so the owner can then transition to a regular collar or harness.

For more information on our dog training classes and programs, click here.

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