Not all harnesses are created equal

I get a lot of dog parents asking me what equipment I use to train my own dog. Though it may not seem like it the collar, leash, and crate you use can make a big difference during training. In this article, I detail what I recommend and why. (If you use affiliate links below purchase the training tools it will help support my blog)

Collars and Harnesses

Buckle Collars

A buckle collar is best used to hold identification but it is worth it to invest in one that will last. Also, it helps to know this because if you need to quickly exit the collar will be strong enough to walk your dog with if a better collar is not available. Remember, a well-fitting collar will allow you to slip two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar. This will help prevent escape without being too tight.

Martingale Collar

If you prefer to use a neck collar when training and walking your dog a martingale collar is your best bet. These collars put pressure on the neck so that if a dog tries to pull it acts as a deterrent. A “limited choke” collar is far easier to use correctly than a traditional choke collar. Its limited nature also is less hard on the neck.


Headcollars work on the same principles that a bridle does for a horse. That is if you control the head you can control the animal. Head Collars are especially effective with large and strong dogs. There is a nose loop that turns the dog back toward the handler if it tries to pull. There one drawback, if a dog rushes forward too quickly they will knock themselves off their feet and jerk their neck. Consult the included DVD or a dog trainer to use it safely. Once you learn how to use it is an invaluable tool.

Front Clip Harness

Not all harnesses are appropriate for training and control. A harness must be clipped in the front to assist with pulling. A back clip harness encourages the dog to pull against it but a front clip will flip them around to face the handler if they try to pull. It can be used safely on any sized do



Braided 6 ft Leashes

Light cotton leashes make it harder to get control of your dog during unexpected problems. Braided leads are stronger and better for training as it assists you to hold back your dog until you get control of them again with commands. For this reason, I also recommend using a braided leash while walking your dog.

When walking your dog having a well-made leash is very important. A thin or cotton lead will not add to control in an unexpected situation that tempts your dog to run. A leash that has braids and it made of Nylon or leather is more long-lasting and sturdy. A lobster claw clasp is also far stronger than any other clip to attach to a collar or harness. It is well worth paying a little more than losing your pet if the leash or clasp should fail.

There are appropriate uses for cotton leads. Using them indoors or out when you need to keep your dog at arm’s length in teaching house or yard manners.

Long Lines

These leashes are longer than 6 feet. Use them in the house to assist in potty training and to help you keep an eye on your pup as they learn their manners. You can also use them to increase the reliability of off-lead training at a distance.



Crates, Barriers & Restraints

Crates are invaluable for a number of safety and training purposes, especially for housebreaking. If trained properly a dog will view its crate as a fun and safe place to hang out. You can use them to assist in house training and a safe place to be when you can’t watch them while they are learning manners. Crates are also invaluable if you have to evacuate your home. Most shelters will require your dog to be crated. Also, it gives your dog a place to feel safe in the chaos of an emergency.

Airline Crates

The Airline, or Hard-Sided, Crates are designed to be durable so it something falls on the carrier it wouldn’t collapse and hurt your pet. This makes them not only ideal for emergency transport but a safe place for your pet to hide and sleep in. The high sides with small windows make it feel like a cozy cave which is perfect for a nervous pet.

Wire Crates

These crates are ideal for spots for your pets to hang-out and are secure inside rooms in your house. They are not good for travel purposes so if you only plan to buy one crate from your pet get an Airline crate for its multiple uses.


If you use these tools properly while training your dog it will increase your success. Happy training!

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JLB is a woman who loves animals, art, comics and animation. When she isn't training animals she loves writing, drawing and producing content for fun and education on these subjects.

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