What to bring to training class:

Updated: Nov 8

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.

Treats

Bait Bag/Treat Pouch

Dog Harness

Dog Collars

Leash

Mat


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. If you can try to pull your dog's harness or collar off over their head like a T-shirt and 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.

Harnesses

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.




Collars

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.




Mat/Bed

When it comes to your dog's mat or place bed you've got a few options. It's nice to have some padding for elbows, and it'll help us frame our "settle" behavior.


Mats

  • Bathmat: https://amzn.to/3p949Ul

  • Foam Mat: https://amzn.to/3JZIDLz

  • The microfiber bits also do a wonder to absorb mud and dust on a dog when in a crate. You can always use a towel, but they slide around some.

  • You can buy nearly the same thing but labeled for dogs for a greater price.


  • Raised Beds: Using a raised bed in training can be very helpful in teaching dogs to stay, because it's clear when they're "off" and when they're "on" it. If you have an ottoman, or a storage box that can work too! I'm a big fan of using what you have. In the past I've even modified an Ikea side table to meet my needs, but I'm weird like that.

  • Cooleroo: https://amzn.to/3A96ipo

  • Kuranda Bed: https://amzn.to/3Qjoq5I (This is what professionals use in shelters and boarding facilities) Your dog will not destroy this.

  • Klimb - https://amzn.to/3SICiI0 This is what I use in classes, because the height helps owners reach their short dogs

Treats

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 mozzerella 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

Bonus Favorites:


Food Stuffable Toys:

Toppl: https://amzn.to/3vV00Hq

King Chew https://amzn.to/3QeuCvv

Orbee Snoop: https://amzn.to/3C4HQGS


Tug Toys:

West Paw Judith: https://amzn.to/3JMPbg5

Clean Run Tug https://amzn.to/3A6NJkD

https://amzn.to/3Pfw3bN

Ball on Rope https://amzn.to/3dlAVPv

Add your own rope: https://amzn.to/3vUDn5O

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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