What do I bring to classes?

I often get asked what people should bring to classes so I thought I would post here a general post for the classes that I run what you should bring each week:

Equipment for the Dog

Water

The most important item to bring from home is water. You can get a variety of water carriers that are designed for dogs but a flask and a bowl is all that is really required. Water from home will far surpass anything a trainer can provide.

Settle Mat

If you are training outdoors or on a hall floor your dog may be more comfortable sitting on a cushion or bed that smells of them and of home. It will also lessen any anxiety they may feel about being in a strange environment.

For outdoor classes I always recommend vet bed with a waterproof backing.

Collar

This should be a flat collar either Leather or material in nature. It should fit the dogs neck and allow 2 fingers underneath for comfort.

I do not recommend and will refuse to train anyone who uses a check chain, e-collar,prong/pinch collar as these tools have been proven to be very dangerous when used incorrectly and I believe them to be inhumane.

Lead

We do not use Retractable/extendable leads in dog training due to the accidents that can happen with them.

You should have a flat lead that is comfortable for you and your dog so that you can stand with a dip in the lead that resembles a smiley face(normally around 4ft). There should be a clip that is suitable for your size of dog and should be able to securely clip onto the collar or the harness.

If using a harness, you may wish to use a double ended training lead such as the ones that are made by Perfect Fit.

For Recall training you may also want to look into a Long Line – I prefer to use Biothane long lines and use 10m ones for recall training and walking dogs with high prey drive, low recall. These should only be used attached to a harness and not attached to the collar as could damage the dogs neck if they should pick up speed and you stop them.

Harness

A 2 point harness is a harness with a loop on the back and on the front. These are my preferred type of harness and I recommend Perfect Fit to all my clients. I also sell them so if anyone would like a free fitting or some advice please contact me. There are many types of harness out there, Ruffwear and True Love are also great brands.

ID TAG

In the UK it is a legal requirement that your dog should be microchipped. It is also a legal requirement to have an ID tag displayed.

The ID tag stipulates the owners surname, postcode and telephone number. I also put on my tags that the dog is microchipped, so if they ever were to get lost the person who finds them can contact me. It doesn’t matter if the ID tag is attached to the harness or the collar but it does need to be displayed.

Training Equipment

Food

– Before the start of training I would recommend taking your dog out and seeing what treats they will work hard for. For example, it may be that at home your dog will look at you really quickly for some kibble, however, where there are sights, sounds, people and dogs, the distractions will outweigh the level of reward.

I always recommend testing with: chicken, ham, sausage, frankfurters, cheese and Primula cheese can be a lifesaver. Trust me on that one unless your dog is intolerant to dairy.

You may also wish to bring a chew to class for your dog in case we want to talk and let them settle for a bit – Pizzle sticks and hairy rabbit ears are awesome for this.

Toys

– I love training with toys, especially tugs, such as Tug-e-nuff tuggies, balls and frisbees. As a reward or a way to arouse your dog and get them focussed. It is worth having a range of toys that are specifically used for training and not left lying around at home for the dog to play with when they want to as they will loose their value.

Most Important

I train pet dogs, we are not looking for gold standard obedience, we are looking for a loving bond between the dog and their family. The most important thing to bring to training is the right attitude. Training is fun, it is also repetitive and results come when you are consistent so does need patience.

A sense of humour is a must. Your dog should feel loved and will work extremely hard for you even if they don’t always understand what we want from them. We just need to learn how to communicate effectively which is the best part of my role as your dog trainer.

Thank you for reading this post on what to bring to classes. I hope it has helped you in some small way.

Please find links below for the brands and equipment I have mentioned in the above post:

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