we explored in Part 1 "Grooming Necessities"; we discovered
that we could maintain our dog with a minimum of expenditure.
The same premise holds true for training essentials. I could
not even count the newfangled, useless items on the market,
supposedly made to make it easier to train your dog. In
this article I will review the items needed to complete
a basic obedience course with your dog.
We will approach the equipment necessity list by directing
our training at basic obedience. Basic obedience is the
level that most people use. It encompasses heel, when you
stop heeling the dog must sit, sit stay, down, down stay,
a release word, and respect the word no. All basic obedience
work is done on lead.
only two pieces of equipment you need are a six-foot canvas
web lead and a nylon choke collar.
six-foot canvas web lead is the perfect lead for on-lead
obedience work because it is extremely light and very easy
to operate. It also has some other advantages. It is the
perfect lead to introduce your dog to the next level of
training which is off-lead (all obedience is done without
the lead) work. It is also less emotionally damaging than
a heavy lead because the dog does not feel he is being restricted.
Therefore, if the dog does not feel restricted he does not
fight the training. Approximate cost for this lead is $7.00.
have recommended a nylon choker versus a metal choker or
a prong (pinch) collar for a very important reason. First
of all "choker" is a misnomer. You are not supposed to choke
a dog but administer a light snap for a correction. A nylon
choker is less damaging physically and mentally on the dog.
If you are a good dog trainer, you can train the dog without
using force in your corrections. Therefore, if you don't
need force you don't need a collar that could damage the
dog. A metal choker when applied too hard can break a dog'
s windpipe, which will result in death. A metal choker telegraphs
corrections by the movement because the links rub together.
If a dog is being trained on a metal collar and he starts
to resist the correction, you are telling him through the
noise when it is coming. Therefore, he has time to prepare
and fight the correction harder. A metal choker can also
damage the hair around a dog's neck by the constant movement
of the metal links on the hair. I strongly recommend the
beginner not to use a metal choker.
a prong (pinch) collar is a horse of a different color.
This collar should only be used by somebody who knows what
he is doing. A prong collar is a fine honing collar and
should never be used for beginning training. What is fine-honing?
First, the dog that we are using it on must know the commands
and the routine. If the dog is having a problem, for example
with heeling, and he/she is a 1/2" out of heel, this is
the perfect time to use a prong collar. The prong collar
is placed on the dog and when the dog goes out 1/2", a gentle
snap on the collar will correct the problem. The dog is
not hurt physically or mentally and the problem is solved
very quickly. Therefore,a prong collar is a very useful
tool when used properly. Only as a fine-honing collar never,
ever for hard corrections or everyday use.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER ITEMS SUCH AS: Electric collars,
electric pads placed on furniture, throw-cans, shaker cans,
throw chains, harnesses that don't allow your dog to jump
up, bark collars, ad. infinitum. I only named a few items
here because the list of torture training items is just
to long. They all have one thing in common-it is not training
but abuse. With the proper training attitude and the proper
training knowledge it is rare (I have had three failures
out of 25,000 dogs) not to be able to solve a training problem.
I have never had to use abuse to solve a problem. Basic
psychological principals coupled with love, tenderness,
and caring always wins out. There are no shortcuts when
it comes to dog training but when done right the dog is
not afraid and suffers no psychological setbacks. Yes, it
takes much longer to train without fear but it is worth
it for the dog's sake.
Written by Neal Seaman