There is a sometimes bewildering array of equipment available to train dogs. The following is a guide to the types of equipment we use in the Savvy Canines training program, as well as the types of equipment we do not use. When choosing training equipment, we take into consideration the effectiveness of the tool, potential side effects of the tool, and whether or not the tool fits with our philosophy of training. A particular item may or may not be appropriate or effective in your situation – your instructor will help you determine the most helpful tools for you and your dog.
We aim to use equipment and methods that are dog-friendly and positive-reinforcement based. In this way, learning is efficient, the human/dog bond is strengthened, and the risk of adverse side effects is minimized.
Examples of equipment we use: clickers, food rewards, flat buckle collars, head collars (also known as head halters), harnesses, front-clip harnesses, limited-slip collars (also known as martingale collars or greyhound collars), leashes of varying lengths, long lines, crates, Thundershirts®, target sticks
Examples of equipment we do not use: choke chains (also known as slip collars), prong collars (also known as pinch collars), devices that deliver an electric shock, flexi leads, “no-jump” harnesses, slip leads, water squirts in the face
This list is not exhaustive. If you have questions about any item on the list, or about an item that does not appear on the list, feel free to check with your instructor. We’re always happy to discuss the pros and cons of any tool.