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Dog Training Aids

There are many different types of dog training aids, and many retailers and websites make the case that you need them all. Actually, what sort of dog training aids you need is very closely related to what you want to accomplish with your dog training.

For basic dog training, you really only need two dog training aids--a leash and a collar. The leash or lead that you use for dog training should be made of leather and about six feet (or about two meters) long. Nylon or cotton leashes are cheaper, but when your dog-show-champion-in-training takes off without warning, the burn or cut in your hand will make you wish for leather. Leather leashes last longer, too.

The other must-have item in your dog training aids collection is a collar. Once again, your best bet is a thin leather collar. They're perfect for attaching licenses and ID tags as well as your leash. And they're more comfortable for your dog.

Other dog training aids that will really help out for basic training include a "clicker" and a generous supply of dog treats. A clicker is a noisemaker that helps your dog understand exactly which behavior earned him a treat. Trainers like to call these dog training aids "event markers" because they are used to "mark" precise behaviors. The dog treats will of course be used for rewards, along with generous amounts of verbal praise and petting.

A dog crate really qualifies for the short list of necessary dog training aids. Whether you choose the enclosed plastic style or an open metal design, the dog crate gives your dog a place of his own. When it comes to house training your dog, the crate is one of the most useful dog training aids you will own. As long as you make sure you get the right size (just big enough to stand up and turn around in), a crate will vastly simplify the entire house training process.

Speaking of house training, I suppose you could make the case that a collection of cleaning materials would be considered dog training aids. House training usually involves the occasional accident, especially if you're house training a puppy. So you'll need to have something around that will clean up the mess and completely eliminate the odor. Some pet suppliers sell a variety of spray repellents as dog training aids. You can use these to mark your own territory and discourage dogs from relieving themselves in a particular area.

If you plan to go into more advanced kinds of training, for example agility training, there are additional dog training aids that will be useful. Agility training involves the running of a timed obstacle course. Since the course always includes the same types of obstacles, then some training versions of those obstacles are very helpful dog training aids to have in your backyard.

When some people talk about dog training aids, they are referring to equipment like electric shock collars, bark collars, electronic pet fences, and similar items. These are popular mostly because pet owners have let their dog's behavior get out of hand and are now desperate for anything that might help. They are also in demand because many people prefer the promise of a quick, electronic, remote control solution, instead of the consistent, patient techniques of positive dog training.

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