11.) Training tools.

The list of tools required for positive reinforcement training is short. All you really need is something as a reward. This could be a food-treat or a toy. There are however some other items that can be helpful:

Markers: You can either use your voice to mark a reward or a clicker (more about clicker training on Wikipedia).

Restrains: A leash and a collar can be very useful if your dog tends to take off with his reward. You can use a plain snap collar and 6 foot leash. My dogs always wear their metal “fursaver” chain collars since this is the only collar permitted in Schutzhund trials and competitions. In my opinion, and unless of course your dog shows aggression towards you, pinch collars don’t belong in basic obedience training sessions…

Rewards: Food and toys are considered primary reinforcer. They both tap into drives that satisfy our dog’s primary urge for survival (food drive and prey drive). Use small pieces of soft treats or a ball attached to a string. When your dog gets it right, don’t forget to praise. Even though considered a secondary motivator, praise is the most basic type of motivation and always something you should have in abundance.

(Note: This post belongs to a series of multiple articles about the fundamentals of positive dog training.
Click here to go to the overview page that allows you to easily navigate to each article in this series.)

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