With an abundance of information and a seemingly endless supply of puppy training supplies available, training your puppy can seem quite overwhelming. It is best to start training him at the earliest possible stage so he learns his good habits right from the start. As the old saying goes, it is easier to teach new habits than it is to break old ones.
In order to make the most of your relationship with your dog, you need to teach him the manners and important skills that will help him live in harmony with the humans and other animals in your household. Nothing is more annoying than a poorly behaved pup that jumps all over, barks uncontrollably and chews up your stuff.
Proper training will not only enrich your dog's life, but it will significantly improve yours as well.
Remember to be patient and gentle with the young dog, and never reprimand your puppy for not understanding things straight away. Dogs are clever, social animals and rarely act out once they are trained properly. Dog training equipment varies, and your expectations and approach will determine which dog products you'll require. However, you will need certain puppy training supplies no matter which training method you select.
Puppy Training Supplies You Will Need for Success
Puppy collars and leads
Dog collars and leads are the most common training tools you will use when training your puppy. They are used for a variety of purposes including identification, as a fashion statement and most importantly for the control of your canine. Collars and leads help keep him safe and out of harm's way. The types of collars vary, from flat collars to slip chains and martingale collars, which are a newly developed combination of the first two.
Flat collars are typically made form nylon or leather and sit quite loosely around your puppy’s neck; not tight enough for him to be able to choke. A good way to determine if his collar is too tight is to stick two of your fingers under the collar. If there is room for your fingers, the collar is not too tight. Flat collars attach with a buckle that is very similar to a belt buckle. There is usually another metal loop attached for an ID tag of some sort, and one for a lead to be attached.
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Slip chains are a length of chain with two large loops at each end that can be formed into a collar when one end is dropped into the other. A lead can be attached to either one of the loops. If the lead is attached to the dead ring and pulled, the chain will not move, but if the lead is attached to the live ring and pulled, the chain will slip tighter around your dog’s neck, pressing against his esophagus, which restricts breathing.
This is a common tool used for training puppies, but is very highly criticized for its inhumane technique. Short, sharp pulls correct your puppy’s behavior almost immediately, but it can be very physically harmful to your dog. I would recommend doing a lot of research and speaking with your veterinarian before using this type of collar. And even then, positive reinforcement will always be a better way to train your Fido in a human, safe and effective way.
Martingale collars are quickly becoming the most popular collars, as they combine the best of both worlds. The collar is made of a nylon or leather material, and is joined together by a chain through two loops that is attached to the actual material. When you attach a lead to the martingale collar and pull on it, the chain tightens, but the soft fabric of the collar adjusts around your puppy’s neck, so as not to cause any damage to his fur or disrupt his breathing.
Deciding on the best collar for your puppy can take a bit of trial and error. If it is possible to take your puppy to the store, that would be ideal as you could then try on a variety of different collars to see which one suits him the best and feels the most comfortable.
Leads can be attached to most collars by a D ring on the collar, and both come in a variety of different materials and colors. There is no definitive hard or fast rule about choosing a lead. Just be sure that the one you choose is strong enough to hold your dog and that it is comfortable to hold in your hand. Nylon or leather, for example, would be preferable to tugging on a lead that is made of chain or rope, as they will be gentler on your hands.
A halter, or a harness, can be one of those invaluable puppy training supplies, especially if your pooch is highly excitable. A harness will give you better control and help keep your puppy safe and secure. With any new and exciting things that enter your puppy’s world, it is a good idea to let them familiarize themselves with the object, to take the mystery out of it, but you must keep your puppy under your control at all times. A harness is the perfect piece of puppy training supplies to help you with that.
I've written articles on a few no-pull harnesses that have gotten great responses from consumers. You can watch the videos and read the articles on these no-pull options:
A harness may seem like a daunting contraption, especially if you try to place it on your puppy without him knowing what it is. You might stress him out and that will have a detrimental effect on future endeavors with the harness. What you should do is ease him into the dog harness so that he can see that wearing it is actually a fun experience and not scary or intimidating.
Put the harness on the floor and let your puppy investigate it. He might just sniff it and lose interest straight away, or be a little more curious. Don’t let him chew on it, as it’s not a puppy toy, but let him sniff and nuzzle the harness in order to get used to it. Reward him with a dog treat for doing such a good job checking it out. When he has familiarized himself with it, place the harness on him.
Be enthusiastic and make a big fuss out of what a good puppy he is for putting on the harness. Reward him with a treat. Leave the harness on him for five minutes, and watch how he reacts. If he starts to stress, take it off, but your puppy should be fine. Give him another treat.
Take the harness off and repeat the following day, and the next, leaving it on for longer periods of time. Within a week your puppy should be quite comfortable wearing a halter or harness.
Puppy indoor kennels and beds
Your dog needs a place to call his own. Every puppy wishes to have something where can retreat when he wants his own space. For this reason, you may choose to purchase a kennel or a dog bed for your puppy to sleep on. Both come in a variety of sizes and are made from different materials; choose one that you think your dog will find comfortable, after all you want him to enjoy it.
Kennels can also be handy if your dog is going to be spending a lot of time alone. A kennel will help you house train your puppy much faster. Depending on the breed and expected size of your puppy you will determine the size of the kennel you should buy. The inside of the dog kennel must be laid out with a comfortable bed since your pooch will be spending a fair amount of time in there.
Dog beds also come in a large variety of colors, fabrics, and materials. As your puppy is growing quickly, it is better for you to purchase a pet bed that is a little big for him, as he will surely grow into it in no time at all.
Comfort is important as your puppy will sleep a lot as he starts his growth spurt, so make sure to invest in a good quality mattress with plenty of cushioning and support. Dog beds made from cheap, poorly constructed materials and stuffed with hay, straw or newspaper will not be good for your puppy’s growing bones.
You want your puppy to treat his bed or kennel as a safe space, somewhere he can go to rest. Encourage him to spend time there by putting his favorite dog toys in there, and feeding him some of his meals there, so he creates good memories on his bed.
Let your young canine inspect his new kennel or bed for a little while; maybe give him a treat if he gets close enough. He will instinctively want to hide a little when you first take him home, and if he goes for the kennel or bed first, leave him there to get a bearing on his new surroundings.
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Puppy grooming aids and bowls
Getting your puppy used to being brushed is essential, as a healthy coat and skin are very important. Let your puppy familiarize himself with the brush; leave it somewhere he can sniff it and investigate. The first time you brush him, reward him with a treat and soon he will love to be brushed.
Specifically designed shampoos for dogs are great for keeping their coats healthy and shiny as well, and they will make his fur easier to brush. These grooming products also help get rid of any nasty bugs like fleas or ticks which may try to make a home in your puppy’s fur. There are a variety of dog shampoos you can purchase for puppy’s bath time.
Take your dog's first few encounters with water slowly. Whether or not he takes to water will depend entirely on how you expose him to it. Some dogs love water and swimming, others will put up a fight when it’s time for their monthly or weekly bath. Keep calm and don’t force him to do anything that stresses him or causes him discomfort. Dogs are sensitive to human emotion and if he sees you having a great time he just may be inclined to investigate a little further.
Other puppy grooming supplies you may want to purchase for your puppy could be:
- Pet nail clippers
- Dog ear cleaner
- Dog toothpaste and tooth brush
- Dog clippers or grooming scissors (if your puppy is a long-haired breed)
Like those dog grooming products, there are a lot of different pet bowls on the market as well. Plastic dog bowls can contain toxins that will leech through the bowl into your pet's food or water and then they will ingest the toxic chemicals. Stainless steel water and food bowls are the safest for your puppy, and even for an adult dog.
Likewise, harmful bacteria can breed on plastic bowls and make your dog ill. Stainless steel metal bowls do not harbor bacteria. Not only are they safer, but metal bowls are also heavier and not as easy to tip over, so you are less likely to have your boisterous puppy upturning his dinner in all his excitement.
Puppy treats and toys
The final puppy training supplies that you will undoubtedly need are dog treats and chew toys. Treats and chews are both great training tools for your puppy. Feeding your pup a treat when he does something you approve of is the fastest way to teach him the things that he is supposed to do. You can buy a variety of different flavored and textured treats or even make your own. Whether you are teaching your dog a new trick or command, or encouraging him to learn a new behavior, treats are a great way to reward your puppy.
Everyone knows that puppies chew, and the best way to save your belongings from your fur baby's razor-sharp teeth is to get him some chew toys of his own. Toys are another great way to not only reward your puppy, but to encourage healthy development.
Chew toys are great for your puppy’s developing teeth and teething. These toys will keep your dog's teeth strong and healthy by removing the build-up of plaque.
There are many interactive toys and treat dispensing toys on the market as well, such as balls or rubber toys that you can put some dog food into and then your pet has to try to get it out. This type of dog toy keeps your dog entertained and sharpens his mind. Other toys include rope pulls, balls, stuffed toys, and Frisbees. Really you can use anything that allows him to use up his excessive amounts of energy and get some oral stimulation at the same time.