Leash Training Your Dog

Training your dog to not pull on the leash… One of the most common problems people have with their dogs is pulling on the leash.

There are many reasons why this can occur, and quite often it is nothing more than excitement on the dogs part. If this is the case, allowing the dog a few minutes to simmer down before taking it on his/her walk can often stop it.

Once again, the dogs pack mentality can come to play with the dog assuming leadership over its owner as the leader of the pack. This comes back to the basics of dog training where the dog must be aware of who the master is.

Failure to get this basic dog training technique under control can lead to all sorts of problems, particularly if the dog gets off the leash. In the presence of other dogs, and sometimes young children this problem becomes pronounced.

One of the basics of dog training is for the owner to establish him or herself as the leader of the pack otherwise no training can be effective. Once this has been established you can start the process of getting your dog to walk calmly beside you with or without a leash. And that process can only start if you are able to get your dog to sit calmly while you put the leash around its neck.

That is the very first step of training your dog to walk without pulling in its leash. Once you succeed in that task, you can move on to the next step where you can get your dog to walk beside you without a leash and be assured that he/she won’t run away. And from there you will not be one of those people where the dog is taking them for a walk.

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

Online Pet Product Sales

Online Pet Product Sales… Every year billions of dollars are spent on dog food and veterinary care. It is a huge market and the people who are selling goods in this market are constantly trying to offer better products at better prices.

This is great for dog lovers like us as we benefit from the competition. The Internet has added to that competition to deliver the best dog products as more and more online pet stores compete for our dollars. With reduced overheads and the ability to source a bigger range of products in recent years, there has been a big increase in online sales of pet products.

Some of the biggest online pet stores offer prices that the local pet stores just can’t compete with any longer and they all offer the best guarantees and returns for products that you might not be satisfied with. Along with this they have regular overnight deliveries throughout the country and they can even deliver worldwide.

It is always good to check the prices of the online pet stores and compare with what you might be paying elsewhere as you can save quite a lot of money by doing so. While it is essential that you have a good relationship with your local veterinarian and they know the history and health of your dog, items such as dog toys are generally better to purchase from the Internet and there are also many people who will buy all their dog vitamins and food via the Internet due to the savings that they are able to achieve

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

Using Online Pet Stores for Convenience

We all seem to have less and less time to do the things that we want these days. Fortunately due to the convenience of the Internet we don’t need to forget our best friend simply because we haven’t got the time to get to the local pet shop for toys and supplies that will keep our dogs happy and healthy.

Some of the biggest distributors of dog supplies sell their wares on the Internet, which is great for busy people like us. Add to that the fact that more often than not the goods we are buying are cheaper than we would ever pay at the local pet shop and we’re winning on both counts. And it gets even better with the goods getting delivered to our door, generally overnight so we don’t even have to wait long to get our purchases.

The big online pet stores have all the latest items and the best dog foods and you can browse online and find out all the information you need before buying. Best of all, you can do it 24 hours a day at your own convenience and when you have a spare moment to place your orders. Shopping online is both safe and convenient and there are money savings by buying online that can’t be gained by shopping at the malls.

This is especially good for people who live in areas where there are no suitable pet stores nearby, as door-to-door delivery will ensure you get the goods on time all the time without even having to leave the house.

If you are hesitant to make your first purchase online, just try buying something small to see how easy it is to order, but remember that there are often discounts for bigger purchases and some online stores offer free freight if you buy more than a specified amount from them.   

Please note: This article is from a contributor. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those of Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only.

Toys for Your Dog

Toys, Toys, Toys. Dogs are a lot like children. They love toys. And they love things to play with. Dogs grow older but they never really do grow up do they? And they will always get enjoyment out of having their own toys to play with.   

There are so many different varieties of toys on the market for dogs that it can often be quite difficult to know what to buy. All dogs love to chew, and you’ll find that most dogs’ toys are chewable. Toys are essential if your dog is going to be left on it’s own for extended periods of time as they can become bored quite easily.   

A good toy can keep a dog amused for hours when they are younger and as they grow older they will have learnt to spend time on their own without fretting or getting into mischief. Many dogs also like to have their own possessions and a good toy is ideal to keep them satisfied.  

The best places to look at a wide selection of toys for dogs are the online pet stores that have all you could dream of and ready to be delivered to your door overnight. Take a look and see what you think will keep your dog amused.  

Please note: This article is from a contributor. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those of Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only.

Toys That Keep Your Dog Entertained

Food cubes are great toys to buy for almost any dog as they make the dog think before they can be rewarded with the food.

This can keep a dog entertained for a long time and is a good remedy for a dog that gets bored while you are away. By solving a puzzle the dog will be able to get the food treat and dogs are usually very determined when they know that there will be a food reward for them if they can sort out the puzzle.

Other types of puzzle toys are the biscuit balls, which are equally good at keeping a bored dog entertained. If you are going to be away from home then it is worthwhile looking at buying some of these to keep your dog happy as they pass the hours until you return. Other good toys that don’t require a puzzle for the reward are the doggie potato chips. These come in a wide variety of styles from pig’s ears to hooves and they can last for a couple of days. They are also excellent for the dog that needs to be left alone while you are at work all day, as they will keep them entertained.

There are various different options for the dog that likes to chew and most of these are non-consumable items that your dog can chew on for hours. As they get older you can simply throw them away and replace them with another new one, as they are relatively inexpensive. Fortunately most of these toys are cheap so you can test and try them until you find one that your dog will remain contented with. It’s a great way to stop your dog from getting into trouble while you are away and also to help stop them whining and barking if they are missing you.  

Please note: This article is from a contributor. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those of Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only.

When to Use the Pinch Collar

SHARON WRITES: I have a prong collar / pinch collar, I’m just not sure how to use it. Do I leave it on him at all times or only when I take him out?

ADAM REPLIES: I cover this pretty extensively in my book, as it’s a pretty common question that comes up frequently for new dog owners. Here’s the deal:

We don’t want your dog to become collar-smart and learn that he can get away with nonsense behavior when the collar is off. So, the trick is to keep the pinch collar on your dog, anytime you’re with the dog, until he is conditioned and understands the rules of the house. When do you take the pinch collar off?

When you put the dog in his crate or kennel run.

Basically, the pinch collar is akin to using your mouth (if you were the mother dog) and nipping the dog on the neck. ]I don’t like to get hair in my teeth, so I use the dog training collar. There is nothing wrong with continuing to use the pinch collar for the life of the dog. It is a device that helps you to better communicate with your dog& and this is a good thing! Some dog owners — once the dog is conditioned — will switch to a flat collar, and only use the pinch collar once every three or four months to (in the words of writer E.B. White) tighten, brighten and sharpen the dog’s response to commands.

The Dog Training Collar Report: A Look At The Prong Collar, The Gentle Leader And The Clicker

The Dog Training Collar Report:
A Look At The
Prong Collar, The Gentle Leader & The Clicker!
(This report is a free bonus for all dog owners who are interested in dog training) 

Copyright 2011 by Browning Direct, Inc.

Also, please take a look at:
Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!

Dear Dog Owner…

In my dog training career, I’ve seen training strategies and concepts that have run the spectrum from highly effective to highly unlikely.  Some have been easy to apply and others have taken quite a bit of time and money to install and make work correctly…

I have been very lucky in the success I’ve attained in searching out the dog training techniques that work the fastest and produce both a happy and reliable pet. But every few years a new training technique or tool will pop up and people will start talking about it.   This report will dispel some of the common myth and facts surrounding three of the most talked about tools in the dog training community: The prong collar (commonly called a “pinch collar”), the Gentle Leader (also known as a “Halti”) and the Clicker.

Although the latter two aren’t technically training collars, I’ve included them in this report because most people will compare the pinch collar to the Gentle Leader or the Clicker when deciding how to train their dog.

Here is my criteria for whether a training tool is worthy of being included in my bag of tricks:

  • It’s a tool or strategy that is easy to use and apply …
  • It incorporates a technique that works equally effective on all dogs and can be adapted to your dog’s individual temperament …
  • It is safe and humane and will work on difficult dogs as well as easy dogs …
  • It allows you to actually train your dog …

Ready?… Here we go…

The Prong Collar

It looks like this:

Basics of the Prong Collar: 

Yes… it looks like a medieval torture device.  But looks can be deceiving…

The prong collar is designed to replicate the way the mother would correct her pups in a litter.  Or similarly, how the Alpha dog in a pack would correct the subordinate dogs… that is, by giving a “nip” on the neck.

The prong collar (also frequently called the pinch collar) is made of a series of prongs that link together.

Most pinch collars are designed pretty much the same:  There is a safety ring which rides next to the dog’s neck and a “D” shaped ring that you hook your leash to.  Some pinch collar manufacturers have developed “quick release” mechanisms which may work somewhat differently.

A Safe Fit For the Pinch Collar: 

In order to properly size and fit the collar, you must do the following:

1.)  Understand that size and fit are two different issues.  The size is determined by the SIZE of the prong… not the diameter.  Sizes usually come in small, medium and large.  For dogs up to 30 pounds, a small prong usually works best as you’ll get more “pinch to the inch.”  Dogs 31 to 80 pounds will usually need a medium or sometimes a large size prong.

2.)  The fit of the collar is determined by adding or subtracting prongs to change the diameter.  Simply break the collar open at one of the looser prongs in the middle of the collar and pop off one or more of the individual prongs.

3.)  Properly fitted, you should only be able to fit approximately 1/2 finger space between the tip of the prong and the skin of the dog’s neck.  Trust me, you won’t be doing your dog any favor if it’s too loose and you have to give 10 times the number of corrections and it’s rubbing and chafing her neck because YOU weren’t using it correctly.  Make sure it’s a snug fit… 1/2 finger space!!!

Don’t Teach Your Dog To Be Collar-Smart!

If you put the pinch collar on your dog immediately before training, she’ll become COLLAR-SMART!  She’ll respond like a complete angel when the collar is on but like a real devil when the collar is off.  So, just like the Alpha dog who always has the ability to correct the subordinate dogs (with her mouth)… so must you!  In other words, leave the pinch collar and a tab (1 foot leash or longer) on your dog ANY TIME YOU’RE INTERACTING WITH HER.  You’ll know when she’s proofed when you can call me up and bet me $100 because you’re so confident that your dog is responding with 100% reliability.  If you take the pinch collar off sooner, you’re running the risk of making her collar-smart!

The prong collar is like power steering.  It is a phenomenal tool for teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash, as well as allowing you to give your dog a motivational correction in a manner that gets your point across.  (No pun intended).  Used by anyone other than a complete idiot, this training collar is safe and humane.

More “real world” professional dog trainers use the pinch collar than probably any other dog training tool.

May 1, 2002, Michelle C. adds:  “The prong collars with the quick snap release, work the same as the one you displayed. They are actually better for the novice or women, because removing the collar is very simple, just pinch the snap (the snap is on the chain). People using collars with out the snap release (that I have come across) tend to pull them off over the head instead of undoing a prong. Thus, they don’t have the collar fitted right if they can pull it off over the head and are risking injury to the eyes…. Herm Sprenger manufactures the ones with the snap. They are sold cheap at www.jbpet.com. “


(Adam says:) I recommend ordering a “Good Dog” collar.  It is– for all intent and purporses, a hard plastic pinch collar.  It’s functions pretty much the same way and works (almost) as well as the metal pinch collar.  It is a good substitute for people who live in jurisdictions that have wacky laws and have been coopted by the wing nuts.  Here’s a sample of the Good Dog collar:


From one of our readers in Australia (sent: March, 2003):”Adam, Finally got my prong collar. It is really amazing how slight of a correction is required to be motivational. It is terrific to have a dog that heels correctly.  I am writing back in regards to a supplier in Australia of the prong collars.  As I work in a vet clinic, I had to try all of my suppliers and finally found one that had the collars in a catalogue.  I have spoken to my supplier, Lyppard’s, who are Australia wide. They supply to a large number of vet clinics around the country.  Unfortunately, this supplier does not sell direct to the public.  The best I can do, is suggest that if someone is serious about getting a prong collar, contact their local vet, and if they deal with Lyppards, then the vets should be able to order it in for them from Lyppards, given a bit of time. It took just short of two weeks to get mine. Sorry I couldn’t do better, I certainly couldn’t find a public source of the collars. Also, the collars are only a cheap brand, not Herm Sprenger brand, so it could be worth just recommending ordering them online from the USA.
Hope this helps,

From Lynn Stockwell, 2009:
“In light of the fact that Australia has been a bit wonky with its views of such training collars as the pinch and the remote e-collar, here are a few links containing information about bans, laws, and where to find products within the country (since apparently the RSPCA is banning imports in some areas).
Something to keep in mind is that it’s more commonly called either the Pressure Point collar (hence why you see a lot of “PP collar” references in some places), or a Behavior Modification collar. Anyone with additional links or information, please post a thread in the forum so we can add to it!

The case of Innotek Australia (Orion Pet Products) vs RSPCA

private blog keeping up-to-date (though not anymore, sadly) of the laws regarding the pinch collar in Australia

Some Aussies with working dogs have had success ordering equipment (including pinch collars) from Euro Joe, but again, I’m not sure about the import situation.

K9 Force is located in Australia and has prong collars available for any size within the country. PLEASE NOTE there is no order form, as you must email in an order as specified on this page. I recommend looking around this site if you are in need of some hands-on help in Australia; is has some great information.

letter to the Victorian government to lift the ban on prong collars. This site is full of working dog owners in Australia. It’s a good look-around too. Be warned that links are hidden unless you are a registered member.

Chris Flegler has a Sit Means Sit satellite in Brisbane. If you are near that area, I highly recommend checking him out. He even has some videos up, among other SMS trainers nationwide. Sit Means Sit is a highly respected organization of trainers who use the e-collar, and their results are fantastic. It’s quite the opposite of what the RSPCA wants you to believe regarding dogs who’ve been trained with an e-collar!

Posted May 31,2010 5:07 AM DPTrainer4

Pinch collars are illegal only in certain areas, but they still can run kind of expensive, depending on where you go for them. I did a blog post awhile ago on the various laws and places where you can still buy them within the country which I think Adam included in the book under the Training Collar Report.

Please note that the K9 Force website has changed, they are now K9 Pro, but the policy is still the same: you must email Steve directly in order to get a pinch collar if you choose to go with him. He is an awesome guy and generally responds to his emails within a day. I am not in Oz, but I do quite a bit of emailing, so naturally I had to send one off to him complimenting him on his site and asking him for more information about the ban. According to him, they ARE banned only in Victoria, but the pressure from the RSPCA and the pure-positive crowd makes them pretty much stigmatized throughout the country. In order to really import them legally, one has to have a sort of lisence to import them, kind of like “I’ll say the magic word ($$) and you look the other way,” as it goes in so much of government…except this is actualy for the benefit of many dogs and their owners, and it’s a lot better than having NO pinch collars!

If all else fails and you are unable to get one within the country, there are options for importing one, but getting them through customs is a doozy (according to Steve, it is actually a federal offense to import one, I cannot verify this at the time)…sometimes you can get the prongs and chain shipped separately, but more often than not you will probably have to go with the Starmark Good Dog Collar, which is essentially a plastic pinch collar. It has the same mechanism of action and feeling to the dog, but I’ve heard throughout the grapevine that it can have a bit of a “muddy” feel to it, ie the correction isn’t as quick to engage or release. However, if used with appropriate timing (which, honestly, most dog owners have better than they think), it can be used with success.

Hope this helps, and best of luck with that little ball of gray fuzz…she’ll be growing quickly!

Again, if anyone has any other link submissions or information regarding the laws of training collars in the general Oceania area, create a thread for it for the forum. ”

” K9 Pro and Pro K9 Supplies (two different companies, even with the same words!) are two sources within the country that might be able to supply you with one if you haven’t yet been able to find any.”

(Adam adds: Remote e-collar is mentioned in Lynn’s response, which is different from the pinch collar).

My Rating for the prong collar (5 Stars Is The Best):

  • It’s a tool or strategy that is easy to use and apply …

***** (Five stars)

  • It incorporates a technique that works equally effective on all dogs and can be adapted to your dog’s individual temperament.  

***** (Five stars)

  • It is safe and humane and will work on difficult dogs as well as easy dogs …

***** (Five stars)

  • It allows you to actually train your dog …

***** (Five stars)

The Halti and the Gentle Leader

It looks like this:

The Halti is similar in appearance to the head halter used by horse riders.

It’s fairly easy to use.  It’s cheap.  And it will stop your dog from pulling.

So why don’t I like it?

Because it doesn’t actually teach your dog anything!

The Halti is a restraint mechanism.  There is a huge difference between restraining an animal andtraining an animal.

Yes, these dog halters work.  But the lingering question in my mind is: Why would anyone use one of these to restrain their dog when they can teach their dog not to pull in less than 10 minutes using the pinch collar?

Anyway… back to the Halti.

How does it work, you ask?  The premise is that the halter controls the dog’s head.  And where the head goes, the body must follow.

The main problem is that– in addition to restraining the dog from pulling– the dog also becomes “equipment smart” to the fact that he’s wearing the Halti.  The Halti can only be used for taking the dog for a walk on the leash.  You cannot correct your dog for unwanted behavior with a Halti.

I have heard unconfirmed reports that the Halti can cause harm to a dog’s spine, as many owners strolling through an outdoor market will turn unexpectedly and yank the dog around at a funny angle.  Probably more of an urban myth…

My original review equated the Halti with the Gentle Leader.  The two are similar.  Here is the e-mail I received from the folks from the Gentle Leader Company:

“Dear Mr. Katz — 

My name is Jason Hart and I am the Director of Marketing and Sales for Premier Pet Products.  We are the manufacturer of the Gentle Leader Head Collar and recently came across the report referenced in the subject line (and referenced below).  I am writing to inform you that you need to immediately remove all reference to Gentle Leader in this report for the simple reason that you did not review a Gentle Leader.  You reviewed a Halti based on the picture in the report.

While both Gentle Leader and Halti are both headcollars, they are not the same product marketed under different names as you state in your report.  They do share some of the same principles, but also have significant differences.  You can gather more information on the Gentle Leader by going to our website (www.premier.com) and you can find more information on Halti on Coastal Pet’s website which makes the product.  


We believe that the Gentle Leader is the most effective and humane training collar on the market today.  We are obviously biased, but we also know it is the number 1 vet and trainer recommended head collar on the market and has very strong support in the professional market as a training tool.  In fact the product comes with a training DVD showing how people can use it to help with a number of behavior related issues from jumping and pulling to controlling barking to basic commands such as sit, down and stay.  In addition, we have case studies and video showing how professionals can use the Gentle Leader to manage aggression and desensitization issues.


We realize that there are different points of view on training products and welcome critical review of it and suggestions for improvements as the goal of the product and our company is to provide humane solutions and improve the relationship between people and their pets.  We would be happy to provide information and product for you to do a full review of it with both positive and negatives, but until that is done, you need to remove all mention of Gentle Leader from your report as it is invalid and misinformed.


I would also like to comment on your statement that you “have heard unconfirmed reports that Gentle Leader can cause harm to a dog’s spine”.  While you note that is “probably an urban myth”, I find it concerning that as a trainer you would note it without gathering all the facts to confirm or deny it.  Dr. R. K. Anderson (the co-developer of the Gentle Leader) has investigated all the injury reports that have some to his attention.  There is only one case (which has just come up) where a neck or spine injury can be attributed to the Gentle Leader.  With over 3 million sold, there is only one documented and substantiated case showing it is an urban myth.


As I said, we would welcome the opportunity for you to test the product and provide an opinion on it, but until then respectfully request that all reference to our product in that report be removed.  Please confirm that this will be done.  If you have any questions, I can be reached at the above email and at the phone number below and would be happy to talk with you.”

So, it’s comforting to know that– according to the company– there’s only one neck or spine injury that can be attributed to their product.

Okay– we’re probably nit-picking.  Do I think that these type of head halter devices are dangerous?  No.  Do I think they will generally help train your dog?  No.

My Rating for the Halti and Other Head Halter-type restraint mechanisms
(5 Stars Is The Best, Zero Stars = The Worst):

  • It’s a tool or strategy that is easy to use and apply …

***** (Five stars)

  • It incorporates a technique that works equally effective on all dogs and can be adapted to your dog’s individual temperament.  

**** (Four stars)  

  • It is safe and humane and will work on difficult dogs as well as easy dogs …

** (Two stars)

  • It allows you to actually train your dog …

(No stars)

The Clicker

It looks like this:

Clicker training has become the New Age buzz word amongst the humanist-oriented dog training bunch as well as the “book and pet product” promoters eager to capitalize on this latest trend.

Based on theories of operant conditioning first expounded by psychologist B.F. Skinner, and later popularized by dolphin trainer Karen Pryor in books such as Don’t Shoot The Dog, clicker training involves attaching a positive, motivator (such as food) to an event marker (such as a clicking sound made by a child’s toy known as a ‘cricket’) in order to improve timing and allow the dog to more easily understand which behavior he did correctly.

One of the original uses for this type of training– if I’m remembering correctly– was to train dolphins.  Instead of using a clicker, they used a whistle.

Advocates of clicker training often argue that you can’t put a prong collar on a dolphin, and since this approach was developed to train a beast as large as a dolphin that it is also the best method for training a dog.

But let’s not forget:  Dolphins are kept in small containment areas, where they are surrounded by nothing but water.  Ever.

A dolphin can’t accidentally crap on your sofa.  A dolphin can’t chew through the electrical wiring at the observation park where it is kept.

So using clicker training to teach parlor tricks to a dolphin isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

The problem I have with clicker training is not inherent to the use of a small child’s toy to assist in training a dog (which, it could be argued, strays away from the natural way dog’s communicate with each other) but rather in the promotion and word of mouth associated with this behavioral approach.  An approach which closely resembles the ramblings of a college girl newly converted to Evangelism.

Furthermore, clicker training has quickly evolved into the poster child of those who view traditional dog training as something closer to torture for the dog, rather than as a method of training new behaviors.  (They refer to using a training collar and a leash as using “violence” against a dog.)

Get real.

The weak point of the clicker trainer’s argument is in the assumption that using compulsion (giving a dog a correction) is the same as punishment and/or force. In reality, a well timed motivational correction is merely a method of telling the dog that he did something wrong.

(I guess they think that the mother dog uses “violence” on the puppies, too?)


Imagine trying to learn how to drive a car with an instructor who only told you when you were doing something right.  And refused to tell you when you were doing something wrong. Sure, you might eventually learn how to drive (if you didn’t kill yourself first), but the fastest and easiest method of learning ANYTHING is to know when you are doing something right as well as when you are doing something wrong.

I feel there is a definite place for clicker training in a trainer’s bag of tricks… for movie and TV training for example… however, as a behavior modification tool… leave this one for the birds.  Or dolphins.

My Rating for the Clicker: (5 Stars Is The Best, Zero Stars= The Worst):

  • It’s a tool or strategy that is easy to use and apply …

* (One star)

  • It incorporates a technique that works equally effective on all dogs and can be adapted to your dog’s individual temperament.  

(No stars)  

  • It is safe and humane and will work on difficult dogs as well as easy dogs …

(No stars)  

  • It allows you to actually train your dog …

** (Two stars)

This report is a work in progress.  If you’d like to add more information to this report, please e-mail me at: support@dogproblems.com and I’ll include it.  If it’s intelligently written.  🙂

Dog Backpacks

By Scott Campbell

There are many dogs that are abandoned or sent to the pound because they are too “hyper” or they are “too much” for the owner. Most of these problems come from lack of exercise. I believe obedience to be the best form of exercise for a dog but they also need physical exercise. Dogs were made to walk, it is what they do, either in a pack or by them selves they walk.

Dogs were also bred originally to work, either on a farm herding livestock, in a field fetching fowl or in a castle catching rats. Granted some dogs are made to walk much further than others and some are made to carry much more weight than others. In either aspect all dogs need some form of exercise and a job to be properly fulfilled. In our daily lives most people do not have enough minutes to properly take care of themselves much less walk a dog 2 or 3 miles.

Even I have a hard time finding enough minutes to properly exercise my dogs. This is why I purchased a dog backpack. Throw a couple of water bottles in the bags and a one mile walk turns into 2 or 3. Not only does the pack give the dog more exercise but it also gives him a job. Might not seem like much to you or me but in dog thinking he is doing a job. Dogs can carry up to ¼ of their body weight. This is not to be done at once but over a period of three months.

This will allow the dog to be accustomed to the pack and build up weight over time. The walks should also start out relatively short in the beginning. The reason for this is; one, the dog will not be used to the pack and it may rub sores on the dog. If the happens the pack needs to be adjusted properly. Two, the dog may get sores on its feet. More weight on the dogs back is going to put more weight on the dog’s feet; this could cause some minor sores. Build up your time and weight and the dog will be fine.

When purchasing a dog backpack one should do some research. Some have poor design that will not stay on your dogs back correctly and some have exposed buckles that can cause sore spots. There are many packs out there that have many different features. I like the ones where the pack can detach from the harness. This makes it easy during breaks to take the weight off the dog but you do not have to get all of the buckles undone.

It is also a good feature to have if one is making water crossings. The brands I recommend are Wenaha, Wolfpack and Eagle Creek When fitting a pack one should make sure

1) easy to put on and take off – look at the positioning and types of the buckles; mine has one that snaps in front of the shoulders and another that wraps under the chest and snaps on the dog’s side;

2) stays in position – without a good strapping system the packs can tend to shift from side to side; take the dog to the store with you, put one on, load it up, and take her for a short walk/jog;

3) drain holes in the bottom, if it doesn’t drain quickly; double bag the food in zip-locs to keep it dry;

4) cool – preferably with an open back. Scott Campbell Dogproblems.com Contributor On Command Dog Obedience Training Director Duluth GA 30097 email: scott@oc-dog.com cell: (404) 488-9499

Nine Tips For Choosing The Right Dog Toy

As a dog owner, you probably know from experience that the most expensive dogs toys are the ones your dog creates herself from your furniture, shoes and other stuff. You know that by correcting your dog for chewing on what is yours (and not hers) and then handing your dog a toy teaches your dog to chew on something more acceptable. And thus, dog toys are a bargain and a great way for your dog to relieve stress and frustration.

The last few years have seen an explosion in exciting toy design. Never before have such stimulating toys been commercially available for dogs. You can supplement those toys with equally stimulating homemade toys. Different dogs need different toys. Some dogs can only be trusted with the toughest toys on the market, whereas others will treasure fragile toys with utmost care. Gentle dogs can play with squeaky toys; soft latex tends to be more dog-resistant than hard plastic.

Gentle dogs can also have stuffed animal toys, but be sure to remove any plastic eyes or noses. You can buy bunches of these toys at thrift stores and just bring out a few at a time. When evaluating the safety of any toy, consider:

1. The toy should not be small enough to be inhaled or swallowed whole.

2. The toy should not have parts that can be pulled off and swallowed.

3. The toy should not have any sharp parts.

4. Avoid linear toys such as pantyhose, strings, ribbons and rubber bands that can be swallowed; such toys can be particularly dangerous.

5. Use chewable toys with caution and under supervision. If your dog can swallow a big hunk of it, it’s probably not really safe. Bones and hooves are responsible for many cracked rear teeth, resulting in expensive dental bills.

6. If your dog is obsessed with dissecting toys to remove the squeakers, only give him squeaky toys when you can supervise.

7. Avoid children’s toys stuffed with unsafe fillings, such as beans.

8. Never give your dog a container in which the dog’s head could become lodged. Dogs cannot pull these containers off and have suffocated when they became stuck.

9. Never leave a dog unsupervised with a toy that contains a battery. Some toys require a person on the other end. Balls, tug toys and chase toys are some examples. Don’t think you can hand your dog a toy that requires a person and expect her to be entertained while you’re gone. She will turn to a toy that doesn’t require your presence in order to be fun, such as the arm of your sofa.

Dog Training Collars and Leashes

What dog training collar to use in training your dog is perhaps the most controversial subject in the dog training world. There is a variety to choose from. There are flat collars, and there are choke collars made from leather, nylon, or chain. Finally, there is the pinch collar, also known as the prong or spiked collar. At first glance, it might seem that the most humane collar to use is the flat collar or one of the light choke collars.

These look the least threatening and appear to be the most comfortable. However, if you really wanted to hurt a dog (not on purpose of course!), the thinner the choke collar, the more damage to his throat and neck you could inflict. Also, with a choke collar the dog has an instinctive reflex at his disposal to deal with the sensation of something tightening a grip around his neck. He may misinterpret the correction on the choke collar as a stranglehold and unnecessarily become rebellious or afraid. So things are not always what they seem.

For example, what kind of knife would a patient want his surgeon to operate with, a dull jackknife or a razor-sharp scalpel? Obviously the latter, even though its edge can send a shiver through us. While many handlers start every dog on a flat collar, it is only the first step on the training ladder. The next rung up is a choke collar and finally then to work up to the pinch collar. Remember, we’re not using the collar as an instrument of punishment; its function is to shock an inappropriate instinct and then arouse or stimulate an appropriate instinct. When the dog learns to be positively motivated by a light tug on a flat collar and then a stronger tug on the choke collar, he can be introduced to a light jerk on the pinch collar.

Training a dog with a pinch collar is consistent with the way a surgeon uses his scalpel. The doctor wants to cut out the tumor or damaged tissue and by doing so he arouses the patient’s healing powers. While the pinch collar may seem to be a menacing implement, when used properly it is very “clean” and therapeutic.

Finally, when a dog is shocked by the pinch collar in the correct manner he is aroused by the novelty of the sensation. It is a feeling he has never felt before, nor is there an instinct evolved to deal with it. It is a brand-new moment and the handler is free to train the dog how to deal with it.

3 Types Of Leashes

For proper dog training with leashes (as opposed to e-collar training) you will need three kinds of leashes.

  • One is six foot long and is for training your dog in close during his obedience work. Many prefer a light (but high quality) leather leash for its comfort and also because it won’t get twisted. Nevertheless, the features of the leash are irrelevant to the dog and his ability to learn.
  • Also, you will need a variety of long leashes for when you work the dog at a distance. You may like to use a fifty-foot nylon leash as it isn’t going to rot when exposed to harsh elements.
  • Finally, a tab leash is, as it suggests, a short length of rope or leather just long enough to dangle over the collar and be easy to grab. The dog can run freely with this leash without being able to trip himself.