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Equipment for Out & About

What are the essentials I should have with me when I’m out and about with my dog?

  • Travel mat (lightweight and portable)
  • For your dog’s comfort if you’re at a café or catching up with friends. The mat also provides a familiar space where your dog can go and relax in busy environments.
  • Yummy Treats (better than what they normally get at home)
  • Don’t forget to reward behaviour you want to see more of, especially relaxation.
  • Food Dispensing Toy
  • To help them learn to be calm and settle on their mat amongst distractions.
  • Toys (chew toys and toys for play)
  • For short breaks in training or relaxing, and in case they lose interest in their enrichment toy/food
  • Portable water bowl
  • Always have water on hand. No one can concentrate when they’re thirsty!
  • Dog poo bags (In many Australian states, it is a legal requirement to carry a poo bag with you when out and about with your dog.)
  • Lead, and collar/harness (In many Australian states, it is a legal requirement to have your dog on a lead whenever in a public place unless otherwise signed).

While there is currently little available research on the impact of different equipment on dogs from a behavioural perspective, some equipment does appear to be better than others in terms of reducing risk of injury and aiding in polite leash walking skills.

Excessive pulling can increase intra-ocular pressure in dogs (Pauli et al, 2006, DOI: 10.5326/0420207), among other potential injuries to the sensitive tissue in the neck and throat.

Regardless of whether excessive pulling bothers you or not (perhaps you have a small dog), PPGA recommends you invest time into training loose lead walking skills or into a harness that takes the pressure off the throat.

Many trainers are now recommending the use of Front Attach Harnesses to aid in loose lead walking training. These are harnesses that allow the lead to clip onto the front breast-plate and appear to reduce how much dogs can pull, but also turn them around. Front attach harnesses work well for all dogs (regardless of size), and most dogs tend to accept them incredibly easily, unlike other pieces of equipment like head halters.

Take the time to ensure your dog loves the equipment you use by pairing putting it on with treats, attention and games. It’s also important to ensure your equipment is appropriately fitted, AND that it grows as your dog grows. Many training clubs will now fit equipment they recommend for you.

Equipment will never replace training, but it can assist in making your training more efficient.

There are lots of types of equipment available to assist in training, for more information on equipment to avoid – see here: Equipment to avoid

We want to encourage you to swap great discounts on pet training and care services for your choke, prong or shock collars or any other qualifying pet gear. By participating in Project Trade you can earn up to 15% off participating member services simply by giving them old pet gear you have laying around. It couldn’t be easier!

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