List of supplies needed for the course and which tools aren't allowed in the course. Spoiler alert - no flexi leads!
CORRECT FIT OF EQUIPMENT
Proper fit is necessary for the equipment to work as designed.
Think of your dog's collar or harness as their parachute. How would you want your parachute to fit if you were jumping out of a plane? Well-fitted and SNUG, no big gaps and not sliding around.
Gentle Leader Headcollar
The collar piece should clasp right behind the back of your dog's head - the highest part of their neck - and only 2 fingers will fit between the collar and your dog's neck.
The nose piece should slide down to the start of your dog's nose and no farther. It should not be so tight that your dog can't open their mouth and eat treats or drink water.
The leash connects to the ring under the dog's chin so there is nothing pressing on their trachea.
It should take a little bit of effort to slide it over your dog's head so that it is not too loose. It's one of the safest options because your dog can't slip out of it. They come in lots of fun colors and designs. Collars for a Cause has hundreds to choose from, and proceeds benefit rescue dogs.
Harness with leash ring between the shoulders
Only 2 flat fingers should fit between the harness and your dog. The harness should stay in place and not slide from side to side or rub under the dog's armpits. If the leash gets tight, there should not be a large gap between the harness and your dog.
CORRECT USE OF THE LEASH
A good leash and leash handling skills will keep you safe from being pulled off your feet or dragged and help you control an excited and untrained dog.
Keep your leash arm close to your body, like the kid in the cartoon, to maintain your center of gravity. If your leash arm comes out in front of you, it's easier for your dog to drag you and even pull you to the ground.
Hold the leash close to your dog when walking in close quarters with other dogs or people. Fold the extra accordion style in the palm of your hand. Do NOT wrap the leash around your wrist. You have less control and the leash becomes too rigid, making it easier for your dog to drag you down and even break bones!
The goal is to keep some slack in the leash as shown in the cartoon. If there is no slack in the leash, don't take another step forward. Walk in a wide circle until the leash is slack before proceeding forward.
Properly fitted training collar or harness from the allowed list (headcollar required for dogs who pull hard, lunge, or jump excessively)
Comfortable leash, 6' - 8' length and less than 1" wide
Small smelly treats your dog loves even when away from home
Wearable, hands-free treat bag
Frozen water or water in a non-spill bowl
Poop bags (not attached to the leash) and paper towels
PROPER FIT AND USE
Only 2 fingers will fit between your dog and their collar or leash
Collars are high on the neck and not down around the shoulders or sitting on the trachea
Harnesses clip between the shoulder blades and do not slide around or rub the dog under the armpits
Leash can be easily folded into the palm of your hand, not wrapped around the wrist, leash arm close to your body