Dog Training Items I Recommend all the time!

I have been on boarding some day training clients.  I decided it was time I put onto paper all the things I use.  I am not paid to promote any of these products. This is just a list of products I have put together after a decade of observations and hundreds of clients and myself using dog training stuff.

Some of each and every appointment either at the pool or in a park is a general coaching conversation about how to help the client have a better interaction with their pet.  Some of my clients only have a vet to reach out to, so I am their life line to ask general questions.  There is so much information out in the world, most people need help to filter the information.  My team at 4 Paws Adrift strives to provide resources and information to guide our clients to good, reputable resources.

The spectrum of questions we receive is wide, but today I will focus on items to setup a productive training session for any dog owner and their beloved dog.  I also do give a recommendation for an economical option to raw dog food.  We will not have a nutrition discussion here, but again one of the single most questions I get asked is "Where do you get your budget friendly and safe raw dog food?"

  1. Training Treats
  • You are going to need a ton of training treats.
  • Whatever you use, it needs to be the size of kibble or smaller. You may need to spend time cutting up treats before you train.
  • Big changes, change big feelings
  • Depending on the weight of your dog, you can either use high in nutrition treats or their kibble.
  • Examples of nutritious training treats: Grilled Chicken, Real Meat Brand Treats, Real Meat Brand Dog Food, Ziwi Peaks, Dehydrated Meats in general, Vita Essentials Nibblets, Happy Howies, Fresh Pet Bag (not roll and only this variety) Vital Beef.

  • You may need to use part of their daily caloric intake during their training sessions.
  • If you want to use your dog’s kibble for their training session treat we need to add value to it. Although you can soak it in chicken stock, I recommend soaking in a high in nutrition product to get much needed vitamins and minerals.  I would use Answers Turkey Stock. 

  • Here is the soaking procedure for 3 cups of Kibble:
    • Put kibble in a gallon storage bag
    • Put ¼ c of stock for each 1.5 c of kibble. You can adjust this if too wet or dry.
    • Flatten on counter and turn over several times to get everything distributed
    • Put in refrigerator over night or for at least several hours
    • Try to rotate if possible, but works fine if doesn’t happen.
  1. Training Pouch
  • Although this can be an optional item, if you fill it in the morning and leave on counter near crate or door to go out, you will be more likely to reinforce your dog outside, in crate, and through out the day.
  • The training pouch becomes a human visual cue to reward and train your dog. You can leave poop bags and clicker in it as well so that you are always prepared.  Filling it in the morning has really helped me to remember to reward throughout the day. I do not have to always find treats, they are always in the bag.
  • You can put treats in your pockets as well. I have noticed not everything I wear around the house (especially in summer) has pockets, but I can always grab my pouch and go outside.
  • Also leaving bowls of treats around the home is helpful if that is a method that works in your environment.
  • The treat pouch should be a magnetic opening, no draw string! It should be easy to get your hand in and out.  Here are my two favorites:

  1. Clicker
  • Although this is not an optional item, you will not use it all the time.
  • Some of the exercises I suggest in my programs are much more effective using a clicker rather than a verbal marker.
  • Some exercises you will be able to choose to use a verbal marker instead of a clicker, if you are more comfortable.
  • Some exercises I recommend for my clients will not use any marker just classical conditioning techniques.
  • Here are the two most common types. A box clicker is louder, i-click is softer.

  1. Toys
  • I highly recommend a food stuffed toy for some of my training exercises
  • A food stuffed toy can encourage a dog to put their mouth on something
  • A food stuffed toy can be used to reward away from owner and bridge a food reward to a toy reward
  • Here are the two I use in the water.

5. Budget Friendly Raw Food Provider

  • Many people in my tribe use this provider.  It is a co-op so you have to go to a specific place and time a month.  This is why is it cheaper, you have to plan and cannot run down to a retail store and get it last minute.  This is the most economical and quality option I have currently found and use to feed my Newfoundlands twice a day most of the year.

  • This is the other co-op raw food option I used for many years.  The price started increasing and the delivery schedule did not work with my work schedule so that is when I had to find a new provider.  This is a good company with good product.

  • I am not a vet or a nutritionist so do your research if you would like to start a raw food diet.  This information is hard for people to find without being in the know so I am just giving you a place to start so you do not struggle.
  • Please make sure you are feeding a balanced diet to your animal.  For example, half of my dog's food is the Blue Ridge Complete product.
  • I also use supplements and see an integrative vet,
  • Seek out a professional to make sure you are satisfying all of your dog's daily nutritional needs

I hope this list of resources help each and every one of you to enhance your journey with your beloved canine!

Check out my website to get a free training video, join my email list, see our swim options, join our first on-line mini course, or see all my blog entries.

Remember the 4 Paws Mantra:

P - Plan to train one thing at a time

A - Always use choice based training

W - Work the dog in front of you even if not your "P"

S - Strategic Reinforcement will get you to your goal faster 

Now get off the couch and train your dog!

Erica Etchason BS, CPDT-KA

Canine Swim Coach and Newfoundland Dog Fancier


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