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What to bring to training class:

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

If you're starting a puppy class or manners class with Wiserdog or if you're getting prepared for your new addition, this is the list for you! Here's what to pack in your dog's bag for class. You don't have to buy everything at once, I'm just providing some options for you. Disclaimer: I receive a fraction of a penny if you choose to use the Amazon Links below to purchase, the program does not change your price.

Black dog at foreground, laying down at owners feet in background small dog receives treat from owner, sitting
Puppy Juni models a martingale collar and a "down" at his human's feet.

A note on equipment fitting:

When it comes to management/containment equipment such as collars, leashes, and harnesses, my rule is that it should be fitted so that they absolutely cannot escape it. Try to pull your dog's harness or collar off over their head like a T-shirt and if you can slip it off then it's possible for them to back out of it. It needs to be adjusted tight enough that the elbows cannot get under the girth.

If you are in my classes and loose leash walking is important to you I encourage you to enforce these two rules:

1) If the leash is attached to the dog's collar, pulling will NEVER work.

2) If you don't have the time or patience to train in that moment use the dog's harness.

I start my puppies in harnesses and when I'm ready and committed to training a loose leash walk I will switch to a collar. This allows the collar pressure to be learned as important information, and not something to ignore.


Typically I start young puppies in a Y style or "Roman"style harness (I don't recommend the type that clips behind the shoulder blades). I suggest using a price effective option as the first purchase since puppies will grow. We will teach them how to behave in a collar later, but we don't want to let them practice pulling in a collar until we're ready to teach them not to do it. My suggestions with links for harnesses are below. Be sure to measure the girth and compare it to the size chart.


The collar needs to be adjusted so that it cannot be slipped over the ears. I frequently suggest a martingale collar as it loosens and tightens when needed. Dogs should wear collars with identification (a tag with your phone number).

For dogs that will grow to 60 lbs or more I recommend a head halter like the Gentle Leader. If you are using a head halter such as the Gentle Leader, the neck strap needs to be fitted as a snug fitting collar, but the snout strap should be loose enough to be comfortable (at least after it's been trained and conditioned).

Leads & Leashes

When it comes to the best leash, I suggest doubling the leash over in your hand and having a friend pull hard. Is it comfortable in your hand? My personal preference is Biothane or Leather. For classes, I recommend a 6 foot leash or a 4 foot leash (for taller dogs).

Find something that you like to touch, especially if you like walking your dog. Soft leather is always a favorite, but a 1" wide nylon lead is too wide to double over and grip, at least in my medium sized hands. Find something you like. If we will be working on “Come When Called” or Fetch, you will definitely need a long line. (I recommend between 13 and 20 feet)

Treat Pouch:

I really like a treat pouch that goes around my waist. I have 2 that I adore. My personal preference is pouches that have a hinge type closure. I've spilled so many treats in my life that's on my required list. I also tend to like an extra pocket or two. You will fumble with the drawstring style. I also use the waist belt to clip the dog's leash to sometimes.


We will use quite a few treats in class. I usually find that I can use a high value "Treat Kibble" supplemented with a couple mozzarella cheese sticks is plenty for a puppy class. Older dogs might need something more. See my article here for more detail. Here are some of my favorites from Amazon. All Sizes of Dog:

Treats for Small Dogs

Treats for Large Dogs


You'll thank your past self if you prepared a long lasting chew for your dog in advance. Sometimes there's a little downtime during lecture and being able to provide something for your puppy or dog to chew on can help lower both your stress level and theirs. We never recommend rawhides for your pet and always consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns.

Here are some of my favorites:

Bonus Favorites:

Food Stuffable Toys:

Tug Toys:

West Paw Judith:

Clean Run Tug

Redline K9 Shaggy Puppy Tug

Add your own rope:

Your dog is always learning from you so set yourself up for success, have the right stuff to learn together, and have fun! We're looking forward to seeing you in classes.

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