Howdy again from deltacanine.net. Today’s dog training tip will cover the essential equipment needed to train your dog. Some owners go crazy and get way more equipment than is necessary.
So are you ready for the list?
- 6 ft lead
- Prong collar
Crazy right? With those two items alone, you can have an extremely well behaved, obedient canine companion. The other equipment out there that is touted as the best thing since sliced bread such as shock collars and halter leads are just not required.
With these two tools and patience, the sky is the limit in what you can do with your dog. Together, the lead and prong collar communicate to your dog feedback. It gently leads them in the direction you want and provides correction when they do something they know is wrong.
I prefer a leather lead in a six foot length. I like leather over nylon because of the feedback it provides. It seems like the leather is more responsive. You can’t beat the utility of a double snap lead however. So I am on the lookout for a six foot leather double snap lead. With a double snap lead and a flat collar, you can fashion an expedited harness for lowering and lifting, you can fasten the two snaps together and wear the lead when on the long line, or you can quickly clip the snap onto the floating ring around an object to hitch a dog to it. The double snap lead is very utilitarian.
The collar I use and recommend is the medium (3mm) prong collar made by Herm Sprenger. Now some people seem to think just because it looks scary it must be torture to use it on the dog but as I have mentioned previously, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The choke chain that most people is actually very harmful to the dog because every time you tighten it, you are in fact strangling the dog, breaking down the muscles of their throat. Whereas a correction with the prong collar mimics the nip that a dog would receive from its mother for doing something it shouldn’t. The prong collar provides more feedback to the dog with a minimum input than can be achieved with a choke chain.
The flat collar is ineffective for training unless you are doing agitation work in a protection dog. Now I am sure you have all seen the dog wearing a nice flat collar dragging its owner down the street on their “walk.” Give that owner a prong collar and proper instruction on using it and pulling will no longer be a problem.
A few quick tidbits about the prong collar. Use the same link every time you put the collar on the dog and remove it so you only have to replace that one link when it is finally time to replace it. I mark the one I use with red tape as you can see in the picture below so I don’t mix them up. Also, make sure you aren’t using the special links at each end, as they are much more expensive to replace.
Dead ring vs live ring
There are two rings on the prong collar, the dead one (in the middle of the chain) and the live ring which is attached to the chain with a swivel. When training, you should snap into both rings. To make this easier on myself, I bought a nifty little paracord tab from one of the handler’s son while training at Baden K9 in Ontario. A little bit of lost history they also taught us up there while talking about the prong collar was the dogmen of old flipping the prong inside out, and snapping into the swivel ring to hitch up the dog. Pretty neat huh?
So ladies and gentlemen, all you need to start training your dog is patience, a six foot lead, and a prong collar. Get out and there use every day for a training opportunity. Until next time.