Collars should be snug enough that only two fingers will fit underneath with the collar as far up behind your dog’s ears as possible (to avoid pressure on their trachea). There should be no gaps between the collar and your dog when the leash is tightened. A loose collar is uncomfortable for your dog when the leash tightens because there is only one point of pressure. It is also dangerous because they can easily slip out of a loose collar. Your dog’s collar should fit the way you would want your parachute fitted if you were jumping out of a plane.
Recommended: Gentle Leader Head Collar
Required if your dog has ever shown aggression or pulls hard toward other dogs or people.
Other Options: Extra Wide Martingale, Perfect Pace No Pull Halter Leash, Holt Head Collar
Harnesses are not recommended because they make it easier for your dog to pull (even those designated as "no-pull") and make it difficult to keep your dog beside you in close quarters with other dogs. They work fine when out walking with your dog in open spaces, but are ill-suited for being close to other dogs such as in class, at a pet store, or at the vet clinic. Dogs under 15 pounds and dogs with an injury requiring it may use a harness in class successfully. We recommend the Freedom Harness.
Prong, choke, or shock collars are not allowed in class.
Cotton, Leather, or Nylon - 6' L, 1/2" W
Some of the exercises require your dog to go out to the end of the leash. A 6’ leash is needed for these exercises. 4’ leashes are not sufficient. ½” width is ideal for when it is necessary to fold the leash accordion style in your hand. Wider leashes are uncomfortable and unwieldy to handle. Cotton and leather are softer than nylon. They may be harder to find, but worth it!
Please remove poop bags from your dog's leash so it isn't hitting them in the head during training. If your dog likes to chew on their leash, look for a chew proof leash. Or, buy the shortest choke chain available and attach one end to their collar and the other to the leash.
Retractable leashes and chain leashes are not allowed in class.
Poop Bags and Paper Towels
Accidents happen. It's no big deal. But, please clean up after your pet.
Do not attach poop bags to your dog's leash.
Soft, smelly treats in pea-sized pieces
The reward for correct responses
Test different options somewhere other than home before class. Fido may LOVE pupperoni at home but turn his nose at it outside where there are competing rewards. Make sure he loves your treat more than the distractions. Use lower value treats at home and save the really good stuff for class. Nothing crunchy so it doesn't crumble.
Recommendations: Red Barn Naturals dog food roll, string cheese, PureBite liver, Stella & Chewy treats, cooked chicken or liver, beef hot dog
Wearable Treat Pouch
Easy to grab treats from
It doesn't have to be fancy. Anything that you can tie or clip on to you and easily grab treats from works. Nail aprons from the hardware store are cheap and work great. Kitchen aprons, scrub tops, fanny packs, and cargo pants are other good options. Or, you can get a nice treat bag from the pet store.
Zip lock bags are great for storing the treats between classes, but something wearable is needed for class.
"Home Base" for your dog
The mat is used for certain exercises and as "home base" for your dog in between exercises. A cheap bathroom rug with rubber backing works well or a yoga mat folded in half. Rubber floor tile or carpet remnants are other options.
Towels and blankets don't work because they slide.
Frozen water doesn't spill!
Your dog may get thirsty from working and from the treats. Water in a dish is almost guaranteed to spill. Frozen water in a plastic container will melt slowly and last an entire class.
Dogs crunching on ice disturbs the class, so please don't bring it.