Picture your impulsive, excitable, energetic dog. Now picture your dog, but he comes when called even in the dog park, has a perfect sit, and can roll-over, play dead, or sit pretty on cue—also, you’ve taught him to ring a bell when he needs to go out for a bathroom break. It doesn’t need to be a total fantasy: a few training tools, time to research training techniques, and a lot (like, really a lot!) of practice will have you and your pooch learning, bonding, and having fun. Here, the tools you’ll need to get the job done.
COMES IN MULTIPLE COLORS
Will help you mark and reward your canine. Press the button when rewarding your pooch and teach them to associate the sound with good behavior. Amazon
Clickers are a cheap, easy, effective way to mark your dog’s good behavior—they’re the ideal companion for positive reinforcement training, which involves rewarding your pooch whenever they do something you like: sit, lie down, looking at you instead of lunging at the squirrel. This multi-pack will let you give one to every member of the family—they come with wrist straps, so they won’t get lost in pockets, and make that iconic click sound that signals to your pup: good job. It’s treat time.
BIG RED BALL
This retractable training tool is 15cm at its shortest, but 70cm fully extended—it easily fits in your pocket to take with you on walks or on the go. Amazon
The concept of a target stick is straightforward: when you teach your pup the “touch” command, he’ll touch the target with his nose. In reality, it can be a big helper in your training—and has an obvious foam red ball at its tip as a target. You can use it to get your dog’s attention on walks, or just make it easier on yourself when teaching tricks. Instead of contorting yourself with a food lure, just point and spin, instead. (Also, it’s super cheap, no reason not to let it benefit your training).
ALL IN ONE SET
A shoulder strap and items that break down make this kit easy to carry and continue your training anywhere. Amazon
For the trainer who wants it all, grab this treat pouch, which you can keep strapped to your waist for easy access in your training sessions. It comes in black, gray, or blue with contrasting, fluorescent-colored mesh. It’s got two pockets, a big compartment, and a poop bag dispenser. Bonus: it comes with a clicker and a collapsible food or water bowl, so you can take your training across long walks. And the shoulder straps for the pouch (it can also be clipped to a belt) has reflective straps for safety at night.