I started clicker training Archer from day 1. He’s the first puppy in training I’m exclusively using clicker training for teaching new behaviors.
Over the years we’ve used many different tools for training our puppies, but clicker training is a little different as it requires a few more pieces to the puzzle. Fortunately, these pieces are still very easy to carry around during any puppy training exercise. So, what are these 6 essential tools I use when training my puppy?
Check out the picture above and see if you can identify all 6 before moving on.
6 Essential Tools I Use When Training My Puppy
Okay, so maybe you couldn’t see all the tools in the first pic, but you could see 5 out of 6 and I bet you can guess #6…hint: check out the pic below 🙂
Maybe I should change the title to 6 Essential Tools I Use When “Clicker” Training My Puppy since this list is specific to clicker training. That being said I bet you were able to guess number 1 on my list pretty easily…
#1 Clicker – There’s more than one type of clicker available, but we go simple and use the standard box clicker (aff link) for training our puppies. If you plan on clicker training your puppy then do some research and find a clicker you like. They even have quiet clickers just in case your puppy is noise sensitive.
#2 Treats – There are thousands of treats available to use during training. We feed our dogs Wellness and either use kibble as treats or Wellness Core Air Dried (aff link). We like the Wellness Core Air Dried for several reasons. A few traits we really like about Wellness Core Air Dried for clicker training are:#1. treats are soft, #2. small, and #3 you get a lot rather than your normal tiny bag of treats.
Warning: If you use the Wellness Air Dry Ocean Formula they are stinky! Which is great for motivating your puppy, but not so much for the fishy smell left on your hands.
#3 Treat Pouch – The hinge recently broke on our treat pouch after a few years of use. Besides the durability we really liked our Premiere (now PetSafe) TreatPouch (aff link). The hinge would keep the pouch open for easy access to treats or closed when not in use. Update: the plastic clip broke off the back…now it’s really time for a new treat pouch. I’m going to do a little research and you’ll probably see a blog post on dog treat bags really soon 🙂
This is the updated version of the treat pouch we’ve been using for the last few years. We checked it out at our local PetSmart and it appears to be pretty much the same pouch we have at home.
#4 Leather Leash – Sorry folks, but we don’t have a link to a recommended leash for training your puppy. Our leather leash is 10 years old, warn in, and soft as can be. We love the leather leashes over the nylon as they are much softer on your hands. If you can find a good leather leash let me know in the comment section below.
#5 Martingale Collar – We recently changed to a Martingale Collar (aff link) based on suggestions from trainers at Canine Support Teams and Wags and Wiggles. We heard these were originally designed for Greyhounds (heads the same size as their necks) so their head wouldn’t slip out. After an incident we had with Linus slipping his flat collar to chase a coyote across the golf course 🙁 we’ve found the martingale to be a good choice when out and about as it will tighten, but not choke your dog (make sure and have it adjusted properly).
#6 Easy Walk Harness – We really like the Easy Walk Harness used in conjunction with our Martingale Collar. While it doesn’t totally deter pulling it does help by turning your dog slightly when he tries to pull forward. If you look at our pictures we like to attach our leash to the martingale collar and easy walk harness simultaneously. We’ve found this to be the best setup when working with Archer.
So what do you guys think? That’s not everything we use when clicker training our puppies, but I would consider these the “Essential Tools”. However, if you look closely at the pictures you might see another tool we use with our puppies (not really a training tool).
Did you guys catch the other tool in the pics? What are your essential tools when training your puppy. Tell us about your experiences training your puppy in the comment section below.