Training your dog with a training collar and leash

 The leash and training collar is the most basic piece of equipment used in training a dog.  Using the lead and training collar properly is vital to successful dog training.  The training collar is designed to apply a specific amount of pressure each time the leash is tightened.  The amount of pressure put on the leash controls the amount of pressure placed on the training collar, and the pressure can be adjusted according to how the dog responds.

How each dog responds to training with the leash and training collar is quite variable.  Some dogs barely react the first time they encounter a collar and leash, while others fight this strange contraption with all their might.  It is important to recognize how your own dog reacts, and to adapt your training program as needed.

The first part of training with collar and leash, of course, is to purchase a quality, well made training collar that will fit your dog properly.  There are many types of training collars and leashes on the market.  The most important thing is to choose one that is sturdy and well made.  The last thing you want to do is chase your dog down after he has broken his collar.

The length of the collar should be approximately two inches longer than the circumference of the dog’s neck.  It is important to accurately measure the dog’s neck using a measuring tape.  In order to get an accurate measurement, you must make sure that the tape is not tight around the dog’s neck.

Most training collars come in even sizes, so you should round up to the next size if your dog’s neck is an odd number.  It is important that the chain that attaches to the collar be placed at the top of the dog’s neck.  That is where the training collar is designed to apply the best pressure.

The ability to apply varying degrees of pressure, and to relieve that pressure instantly, is what makes a training collar such an effective tool. It usually takes new users a little while to get used to using the training collar, and some styles of training collar require more finesse than others.  If you are unsure which collar to choose, be sure to ask a professional dog trainer, or the management staff at your local pet store, for help.

After you have become familiar with the way the training collar works, it is time to begin using it to train your dog to walk properly on a lead.  The well trained dog is one who will walk at his owner’s side on a loose lead, neither dropping behind nor charging ahead.

The well trained dog will also vary his pace to meet that of his handler.  Under no circumstances should the handler be forced to change his or her pace to match that of the dog.

If the dog does begin to charge ahead, it is important to correct the dog promptly by giving a quick tug on the leash.  This will give the dog a good reminder that he needs to change his pace.  It is important to quickly relieve the pressure as soon as the dog responds.  The training collar is designed to relieve pressure as soon as the leash is loosened.

Most dogs will immediately respond to corrections by a good, properly used training collar.  If the dog does not respond as directed, it may be necessary to apply greater pressure.  This can be especially true of large dogs or those who have preexisting behavior or control problems.  If you are still unable to get a response from your dog, it is possible that you are using a training collar that is not large enough for your dog.  If you think this may be the case, be sure to ask for expert advice before proceeding.