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Doggie Handshake

 Training Recommendations

You and your dog lead the learning.
Can you do what the trainer is asking right now?
Can your dog do what the trainer is asking right now? 
If not - we do something to make those things possible.

I'm a fan of tools, treats, and props which can be used to help achieve what we want
(please see the lists below),
but paraphrasing Andrew Hale:
The more we focus on achieving tasks, 
the less empathy we tend to have. 

Research also shows that:
when we're in a hurry, we lose empathy.

Be mindful of these things. 

Hold the task goals lightly. Stretch comfort zones by all means, (learning involves stretch), but don't snap them.

Stay aware of what's going on in the learning process, not just the progress towards achieving the task.


Halti Style Head Collars

Head collars give you control of the dog's head, ideal for a heavy puller or reactive dog.


Ensure there is a back up strap to attach to the collar and that the head collar fits comfortably.


Some dogs need time and patience to learn to tolerate head collars.


CAUTIONS: Take care not to yank on  the halti. It risks damaging your dog's neck muscles. 


They often don't fit short faced breeds well. 


Body Harnesses

These prevent pressure on the dog's throat and can give you a bit more control than just a neck collar.


Choose a harness which doesn't restrict the dog's shoulder movement. 

You may have to take time to build your dog's tolerance of the harness. 

Long Lines

Critical to prevent dogs making wrong choices yet having some freedom. Any long rope will do, but I am now a fan of biothane long lines. They're lightweight and easily cleaned (also colourful!)


Some businesses will custom make these for you.


I prefer a handle, so you may have to request one is added.

Long Leash

I like my leashes to be quite long, so I have the option of giving my dogs space to investigate and not be stuck close to me.


Ideally leashes will be at least 1.5 m (5 feet), although I like them longer than this. 


Some businesses will custom make leashes for you.


Any dehydrated natural product

My training rewards are a mix of proper dog food, not processed treats.

Dehydrated meats are dry and easily broken up. I include things like

K9 Natural dried meats/ tripe, Ziwipeak, dried liver.

Kibbles and Rolls

These are also part of my training mix. 

Kibbles - I experiment with new options as well as known ones. I buy small bags of anything that takes my fancy and I think my dogs might like.

Rolls - Possyum and Chunky.  Dogs like them and they're easy to cut up, but high in sugar, so use sparingly.

Raw Meaty Bones

Lamb, veal, pork, goat, chicken are softer and more bone can be swallowed. This can be a concern for some dogs for blockages.

Beef bones are harder, and can be hard on teeth. I avoid very fatty bones as excess fat can lead to health issues.

Dried Animal Ears and Chicken Neck Bones

These are my chew of choice for puppies.



I crate train my dogs as soon as I get them. 


I believe it's important for all dogs to learn to be comfortable with confinement.


It's necessary for safety at home, when travelling  and at the vets. 

A crate provides a safe space for the dog and for others to keep safe from the dog.


I wouldn't want to sleep on a bare floor so I provide bedding for my dogs; warm in winter, cooler in summer. 

I use purpose made beds e.g wool filled beds, vet bed, cool mats as well as op shop blankets and duvets.

Bed chewers often benefit from heavy weight bedding like wool filled canvas or jute sacks. 


Choose toys which fit your dog's interest. Some like to chew. Some like to chase. Some like to tug.

My dogs have favourites such as holee roller balls which are good for chase and tug.


Personally I leave toys around and they don't get destroyed or even played with much. They become fun when I am involved in the play. 

If your dog is a toy destroyer you will need to choose toys with safety in mind.

Grooming tools

I often see dogs with excessively long nails and coats with knots or a great deal of dead undercoat.


Groomers will wash, brush and clip coats and cut nails if you don't want to, but expecting your dog to wait 6 weeks with no coat or nail maintenance is bad for them.


Long nails affect how dogs stand and move. Knots and dead coat are hot and uncomfortable. Please get your baby puppy used to grooming and nail trimming and do both regularly. (Note: vet nurses will also do nail trims.) 

You can use nail clippers or battery powered files e.g. casfuy (Amazon).

For grooming I use a slicker brush on my long coated dog and a rubber brush and hand grooming for my rough coated terrier.

For more thoughts, opinions, and suggestions, head on over to the blog!
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