With thousands of dog products on the market, it can be difficult to determine which tools would be the best for your dog. Here are a few items every dog owner’s toolkit would benefit from having:
1. EZ Walk Harness
Walking to the leash section of your local pet store can be overwhelming. A typical store will stock collars, martingale collars, prong and choke collars, traditional harnesses, and gentle leaders. So which option is right for you? While each dog is different, the EZ Walk Harness by PetSafe is an excellent option for most dogs. The harness is designed with the leash attachment aligned with your dog’s chest. This helps to redirect any pulling on the leash while you’re on a walk. Instead of providing leverage for your dog’s pulling (as a traditional harness with a back-attachment would provide), the EZ Walk Harness will turn your dog’s body back toward you. While the harness is no substitution for training loose-leash walking with your dog, the EZ Walk harness can be a valuable tool for dogs that like to pull. With a variety of sizes available, the harness works well for dogs of any breed.
To learn more about the EZ Walk Harness and how it can help your dog on leash, check out PetSafe’s website here.
The foundation for “clicker” training was first applied while training dolphins. Marine mammal trainers would use a whistle to indicate that a correct action had been performed. A clicker is an adaptation of this theory. Modern dog trainers will use clickers to expedite the training process, and to help your dog understand the relationship between action and reward. The clicker is a small device, usually made of plastic or metal, that emits a loud “clicking” sound. While training, the click is used to “mark” a desired behavior – such as a sit, down, or stay – and signify to your dog that a reward is coming. After time and training, your dog will begin to associate the sound of the click with a desirable reward.
You can view a brief overview video of clicker training here.
3. Slow Feeder
If you’re concerned that your dog may be consuming breakfast and dinner too quickly you may want to invest in a slow feeder. A slow feeder is a dog food bowl designed to help your dog ingest his food at a slower pace. While slow feeders come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, the basic feeder will be a circular bowl with a raised segments in the center. The raised elements help to disperse the food throughout the bowl, and prevent your dog from picking up large amounts of food at one time. This can help prevent stomach upset and indigestion in your dog.
You can view an example of a slow feeder here.
4. Emergency Recall Whistle
Does your dog come to you each time you call him? What about if there is a squirrel running across the street and your dog is off-leash? We ask our dogs to come to us regularly, but that does not mean we have trained a 100% reliable recall. That’s why it’s crucial to develop an emergency recall with your dog. An emergency recall can be trained using a whistle or command that your dog will not hear regularly. The purpose is to create a recall which you can use in emergency scenarios – such as when your dog is off leash or is in a potentially dangerous situation.
Purchasing a whistle and training an emergency recall will help your dog stay safe. You can attach the whistle to your dog’s leash, your treat bag, or your keys to ensure it’s always handy. To learn more about training an emergency recall, click here.