Training your dog requires a lot of patience and you have to turn it into a fun and rewarding experience for you and your dog. You should never punish your dog or use unpleasant correction methods. Instead, use only positive, reward-based training and make your dog eager to please. Repeat your training daily and remember that you must be constant, because if you are not, you will confuse your dog and he will not understand what you want. To help get a well-balanced, well-mannered dog that eagerly does what you want, when you want, there are a number of essential training accessories to give you a helping hand.
One of the most important pieces of training equipment you will ever have is the dog collar. Make sure the collar fits correctly. A correctly fitting collar allows you to slide two fingers comfortably underneath, without being so loose that your dog can pull it off over his head. The collar must not be too tight and should be wide enough not to hurt your dog when you pull on the lead to maintain control. Pull the loose skin, known as the dewlap, down past the collar so that it sits below the chin and up behind the ears when you are training, as this stance is a working stance and affords you greater control. After all, if you control the head, you control the rest of the body. For a strong, stubborn puller, invest in a head collar, such as a Halti.
Treats and Rewards
The backbone of positive, reward-based training, dog treats and rewards are the quickest way for your dog to learn, while remaining happy and healthy, without being afraid of you or your training sessions. Providing your dog with a healthy but tasty treat every time he performs a desirable action makes your dog want to repeat the action each time you give the command, whether verbal or visual. Ensure the treats are small and healthy, as excessive amounts of fatty treats cause obesity and an upset stomach. If your dog is not food oriented, switch the treats for a favourite dog toy that he only gets every time he performs the desired action. A tug toy, ball, or cuddly toy works well.
The lead needs to have a strong grip to stop it from slipping through your hands, and should be long enough for your dog to reach the floor with his nose. You can always shorten it by looping it around your wrist when training if you need to. For teaching recall or when getting your dog used to being at a distance from you, use a long line or a training line. These are available up to 15 metres long and allow you to train at a distance, get your dog comfortable with being off lead, and get you comfortable with having him off lead.