5 Best Dog Training Tools

For any new dog owner, figuring out how to train a dog can be a real challenge.

Dec 7, 2023By Fabian Raemy
best dog training tools

Some might be easier to train than others, but no matter the breed of dog, using some dog training tools can help make life a lot easier.

To help you train Fido as quickly and efficiently as possible, let’s take a look at five of the best dog training tools that the market has to offer.

1. Clickers

Dog Clicker
Image Courtesy of Clicker Training for Dogs: How Does It Work? — Pumpkin®

If you’ve got a dog that needs some light training, then a simple clicker is always a go-to dog training tool. Clickers are just little handheld noisemakers that, as you can guess, make an audible clicking noise. The clicker is ideal for dogs that are relatively well-behaved and easy to train. This is a tool based on positive reinforcement.

Whenever your dog does something you approve of, such as follow a command, you make a clicking noise and provide them with a reward, and yes, that reward is usually food, although toys work as well. Whenever your dog hears the click and gets a treat, it reinforces their initial behavior that resulted in the reward.

Eventually, you can remove the treat from the equation, and then the clicker itself too. Something to be aware of however is that clickers generally don’t work well on super stubborn dog breeds that can be hard to train, with the Rottweiler coming to mind.

2. Food

Dog Eating
Photo by James Barker on Unsplash

Okay, so before we talk about other specific training tools for dogs, let’s take a minute to appreciate the power of food. The simple reality is that dogs are very food-driven, which is why so many become what are often referred to as kitchen dogs.

In nature, animals have to constantly fight for food. It’s a battle for survival. Although dogs may have been domesticated eons ago, the reality is that they still possess that same drive to always feed, just in case food is sparse in the future.

Unless there is something wrong with the dog, it will usually always accept food, and this makes food a great training tool, whether for basic training, tricks, or otherwise.

A dog that sees a treat or food item that it loves is much more inclined to follow your commands. However, although food is a great motivator, you do need to be careful. You don’t want to train your dog in such a way that it only responds when you have a treat for it but ignores you otherwise.

3. Martingale Collars

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Another great dog training tool is known as the Martingale collar. This is a special type of collar, that unlike a normal collar, tightens slightly if your dog pulls on it. Now, unlike a regular or prong collar, the main point of a Martingale collar is to prevent your dog’s head from slipping out.

As you may have experienced, some dogs can be really hard to leash-train, or in other words, they don’t like walking nicely on their leashes. Many dogs pull against you, try to find their own way, play with others when they aren’t supposed to, and even try to chase animals and people.

Sure, this might be manageable if you have asmall pug or something similar, but even a golden retriever can easily pull you around if it really wants to. The last thing you want is to be walking in a busy area and have your dog slip out of its collar, hence the Martingale. It’s a simple yet ingenious solution that will make leash training your dog much easier.

4. Prong Collars

Prong Collar
Image Courtesy of Prong Collar Placement in 1 Minute - YouTube

We did mention the prong collar above, and yes, this is another effective training too. That said, the prong collar is usually not something you would use on very young dogs, or on dogs that are well-behaved otherwise for that matter.

For those that don’t know, the prong collar consists of a metal loop that surrounds the dog’s neck, with small prongs that dig in slightly and exert a bit of pressure on your dog’s neck if it pulls. It may not necessarily be painful, but it certainly is not comfortable.

It’s designed to mimic the correction that a dog would usually get from its parent. This is something you would use on a hard-to-control and stubborn dog that hasn’t responded to other training methods or tools so far.

Just be careful, because if not used properly, a prong collar can cause harm and great discomfort to a dog. Therefore, this is something that you need to learn how to use under expert guidance.

5. E-Collars

Image Courtesy of The guardian Shock tactics: can electric dog collars ever be ethical? | Dogs | The Guardian

The fifth and final dog training tool on the list today is the e-collar, otherwise known as an electronic training collar. These are collars that can provide stimulation to your dog. They usually feature a combination of stimuli or correction methods, including sound, vibration, and static shock. Yes, here we are talking about the ever-controversial shock collar.

Now, in most cases, the sounds and vibrations are enough to train all breeds of dogs, and both of those are not painful at all. Only in the most extreme cases, such as for super stubborn or aggressive dogs, would you ever use the static shock function.

That said, although it may sound super painful, it’s not like being electrocuted by a socket. It’s just a very slight zap, enough to get the dog’s attention. When all else fails, the e-collar may be your only training option left. They also happen to be fantastic for off-leash training, because you can correct your dog from great distances using the remote.

Fabian Raemy
By Fabian Raemy

Fabian is an animal lover who has owned pets his whole life, from dogs and cats to tropical fish, songbirds, and lizards. He has two dogs, terriers, Yuma and Jethro, one wilder than the other! He’s happiest when fully immersed in the animal kingdom, and every creature has a place in his heart, whether cute and cuddly or fierce and ferocious!