Back to Basics: Dog training tools and needs.
Basics needs of training.
We wrote an article some time back on picking out your new puppy and what all we look for when doing so. So, now that we have him or her home we realize that this little ball of fur is full of energy, always on the go, and is becoming much attached to us quickly. So what kind of tools or supplies do we need to start the training process for our future hunting buddy, what kind of food, tools etc.
First of all food choices are pretty simple at the puppy age. A good puppy formula fed twice a day while they are very young will do just fine. Don’t leave food in a bowl constantly for the pup to have access to though. This can lead to over eating feed just enough in the morning and again in the evening. Once your pup reaches about 6 months of age you can begin to switch them over to an adult food. I recommend a performance type food. Any brand food with a fat and protein balance of 30/20 having either chicken or salmon as the #1 ingredient for its protein is great. Try to steer clear of lots of fillers in the food. They are like junk food and won’t do the pup much good.
Tools and supplies
The list of equipment can be lengthy for training gear. Let’s just go over the basics of what you need. Unless you are going to send your pup off to a pro to train you will need just a handful of things to get started.
First item for me is a good whistle, easy to buy and inexpensive. Just try to not get the “coaches” type whistles. There are lots of whistles available on the market and your choices are endless. Bumpers, mostly smaller ones at first and maybe even canvass while the pup is young. Having about 4-6 small canvass bumpers will work great at first. Make sure they are white though since bumpers do come in various colors. White is easy for the pup to see as opposed to the orange ones. Orange will be used much later when the pup is older and we are running blinds with them. A good lead preferably a slip lead will work great, a longer check cord for when we start to teach our sit and here commands and play fetch with the pup since they don’t automatically return to us every time. You will want to invest in a dog crate it will come in handy if you intend to keep the pup indoors for house breaking or just carrying the pup around with you in the vehicle. A simple door mat that you use to wipe your feet on is a great tool as well when we teach sit or the place command early on. Other items such as a heel stick, E collar, dog stands, more and larger bumpers, eventually if you want even the investment of launchers or such.
Training your own pup is very rewarding and enjoyable. You can do it pretty simply and with basic gear. The biggest tool though to invest in is patience! This is not a race and we are working today for greatness in years to come with your pup so keep it fun and you will be amazed what that new chewing machine of a puppy you have at home will be able to do one day in the woods on a hunt with you.