Keeping a Dog Is Serious Business
Keeping a dog is no small task! It takes a lot of time, money, attention, not to mention a series of doggy items and yet there are very few things that are as rewarding as caring for a small four-legged friend that sees you as the centre of their world.
They are companions we keep healthy and happy, and in return, they fill our days out with unconditional love. But as we all know, even the most lovable puppies have behavior issues sometimes. It’s not their fault for the most part, they’re acting out on prime instincts by barking at random guests or messing up the furniture.
If the problems persist, you can send them to a dog trainer for some harmless discipline lessons, but if your dog needs discipline, then why not just do it yourself? By acquiring some simple dog training accessories and reading a book or two on the subject, you can prevent bad behavior in your pets and even condition them to do some things they normally wouldn’t have from the comfort of your home. The added benefit of this is that your dogo will learn to respect you and not some random authority figure, which won’t put a strain on your bond. With all that in mind, what kind of items are you going to need?
A dog collar is one of the first things you think of buying when you firstly get a dog. However, a collar is more than just a place you attach your dog’s tag to. There’s a wide range of collars that go from aesthetical to practical, making dog collars one of the foremost dog training accessories out there.
These collars may be one of the best dog training tools you’ll ever get. The receiver is a small box that’s attached to the collar. It has 2 probes that rest against the dog’s skin and the collar will react when the dog enters the designated radio signal. It will give off an audible tone when the dog enters the “warning zone”. The receiver gives a static stimulation if the pup remains in the warning zone for over 20 seconds, same if the receiver enters the correction zone it will again produce a static stimulation. The settings on such a collar can be customized, depending on your dog training program.
These dog training products are considered the better, more humane alternative to electric shock collars. Mainly used for barking, these collars work by spraying a substance known as citronella in the dog’s face when they misbehave. The idea is that the dog will be discomforted by the citronella spray and will learn to stop barking to avoid being sprayed in the face. They have been proven to be more effective than shock collars and come with an audio sensor that can be customized to the frequency and loudness of barking you wish to remedy. A typical rechargeable collar lasts up to 12 days, has over a 700, range, while the can of citronella lasts up to 450 sprays per can.
This collar is another humane alternative to the shock collar. It contains a vibrating module which attaches to the collar and features a pair of rubber or metal prongs, which stay in contact with your dog’s neck. Many of these vibrating collars can also be used to trigger an audible tone or a static shock, but others only feature a vibration option. Most of them, especially the anti-bark are automatically controlled with customizable presets and some are operated via a hand held transmitter of a mobile app.
A clicker is a very effective dog training tool. The clicker is used for classical conditioning techniques called marker training. When you aptly “mark” a positive behavior with a familiar sound, the dog understands that he has done well and is conditioned to expect a reward after. This principle allows for efficiently communication with your dog about what exactly you liked in his behavior. Hence, this solves the problem of taking too long to find a treat or another positive reinforcement item to reward your dog with. Dogs don’t have the best memories, so if you are intent on training your dog to do what you want him to, always have a clicker at hand.
Most trainers also use verbal markers like “yes” and “good dog”, followed with a food reward. These are also conditioning factors that along with food, teach your dog what the click actually means. When you consider your dog to be catching up with the conditioning, you should also gradually phase out food rewards.
Like with the other dog training items, sprays come in a few different forms with different functions in mind. We’ve already mentioned the citronella spray as a way to detour your dog from misbehaving. The spray is harmless, non-toxic and will only irritate your dog enough to get his attention.
Another option is the anti-chew spray, which is used when you want to detour your dog from chewing and eating certain items. It has an odorless bitter taste that dogs find repulsive and anytime they come across something sprayed with such a spray, they will avoid it.
If your dog is a bit on the aggressive side and has a tendency to bite, muzzles are an important safety accessory for prevention. They are safe, invasive and come in a few varieties. A well-fitted basket muzzle is great for training and protection, while a simple fabric muzzle is best for when going to the vet, or the groomer.
A basket muzzle is basically a rigid cage made of metal or rubber that fits over the dog’s nose and mouth. They may look a bit harsher then soft muzzles, but they are in fact safer and more comfortable for dogs, once properly fitted that is. Basket muzzles design is effective and does not prevent a dog from opening his mouth, drinking, or breathing properly.