TRAINING EQUIPMENT ADVICE AND SALES.

 

I am in the process of building a second web site purely for advice and equipment and sales. It is not live yet but it will be www.thetopdog.net

 

I have all of the equipment I need with me when I come out to train a dog.

 

I always carry with me and have for sale a variety of  harnesses, clickers, whistles, training leads, long lines etc. If I haven't got the colour or size you require I can order it for you.

 

The following information is my personal opinion, but I would love to have feed back on other people's opinion on equipment that is on the market. If you have seen something new that is interesting and want me to investigate it to see if it works before you buy it please email me with the details and if it seems to work, I then might be able to negotiate a cheaper price for you. Or, if you need something special or have a good idea I maybe able to have it made for you.

Nearly all of the equipment I sell is for practical, training purposes eg I don't sell "fluffy" stuff or designer dogs coats etc

I will NEVER use or sell any aggressive type of equipment for example choke chains, pinch collars, electric collars etc.

 

I strive to find the best training equipment on the market and where possible offer it for sale at affordable prices. Often, I can offer for sale equipment cheaper than the R.R.P. and often even cheaper than Ebay as I can buy in bulk and pass on the savings.

I have friends with eg  big German Shepherds, Bull Terriers etc that test drive all of the equipment for me so I can honestly advise people on the "pros and cons" of each product.

 

Also, I may be able to visit your home if you live in Bideford or surrounding area and bring the equipment to you so you can see the quality of the product and for example with the harnesses I will try them on your dog to see what type, size and colour you would prefer.  Some of the products I sell I have made especially for me and much of the equipment is not normally found in  pet shops.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST CLICKER?

Some old style clickers are very loud and clacky ( please note, care must be taken not to click near your dogs ears especially when training nervous dogs.)

I use the "I" clicker which is a much improved design, it  has a raised button that is easy to use and can be easily muffled for dogs like rescue dogs that might be a bit noise sensitive.

I sell "I" clickers for £3 each.

 

TRAINING LIGHTS FOR DEAF DOGS (OR DOGS NERVOUS OF THE CLICKER)

I have searched for months to find a suitable light especially for deaf dogs. I have finally found one ! It's a small silver metal one that has a strong metal clip. It is strong and robust and ideal for the job. It is very bright so you must never shine it into the dogs eyes but just point it towards your own body and it gives off a quick flash of light. Very comfortable, easy & quick to use, rubberised "one press" button. I sell these for £4.50 each.

 

WHISTLES.

I really believe all dogs should be whistle trained. A whistle has no emotion, doesn't get angry, scared, fed up and is much more likely to cut through the wind !! The dog needs to be trained to understand what the whistle means. So many owners just expect a dog to just come when they blow a whistle without actually doing any work with it. My personal preference is an ordinary metal referees style whistles ( I prefer not to use the "silent" dog whistles) I play the whistle game and get the dog to run between 2 people, so ideally you will need 2 whistles , then the whistle needs " proofing" but I explain about that when I come out to the home.

I buy in bulk so can sell these for £2 each

 

 

                     HARNESSES.

Why use a harness instead of just attaching a collar and lead?

I always uses harnesses where possible on dogs I train especially when I am doing long line training for safety reasons.  I especially think that harnesses should always be used on puppys or young growing dogs to protect the possibility of pulling on their delicate necks.

 

I prefer fleece harness which I can sell in various colours from £12 to approx £18 depending on size. I buy direct from the manufacturer in bulk so can offer these at affordable prices. They are made by "Cosy Dogs" . I carry a number of my stock items from Cosy Dogs eg fleece harnesses in a variety of colours and sizes but if there is anything you would like from their web site please let me know and I can order if for you, normally at special prices.

These harnesses are lovely, soft and very comfortable. You may find some cheaper fleece harnesses on the market but you may find they are not of the same design as they may not have fleece on the straps that go underneath the dog.

I also have a limited number of "stop pull" harnesses for sale at approx £10 each.

 

                                     LEADS & TRAINING LINES

 

CANVAS TRAINING LEADS 

These are especially made for me to my specifications. They are approx 6 feet long with a strong dog clip at each end and strong metal rings along the length so you can adjust the length or have it across your body so you dont loose it or you can attach on a long line to it. I sell these in red or black in 2 different widths. Thinner ones are £8 each and the thicker ones are £10 each. They are available in red and black.

 

FLEECE /CANVAS TRAINING LEADS

I have recently had made some extra special leads. They are the same as above but have fleece attached to the length of the lead so they are very soft to handle but still very strong and especially really good for people who have sensitve hands or just need a very soft, kind lead.. Because of the extra work and materials used I have to charge £15 for these leads...but you are very unlikely to find anything like them elsewhere.

 

LEATHER TRAINING LEADS.

 These are fantastic quality, they are probably the best leads I have found. They are produced by a company called Dogmatic. I sell these at £25 each and should last years (if not chewed!) They are either brown or black top quality leather, approx 6 feet 8 inches long and have a "D" ring and dog clip at each end and a strong large ring along the length, all in brass.

 

RUBBER NON SLIP TRAINING LEADS.

 Also made by Dogmatic. Very similar to the above leather leads but have the leather where the dog clips and rings are attached and the rest of the lead is made of non slip rubber, ideal for wet weather. (very similar to horse riding reins)

 

 

FLEXIBLE LEADS.

My pet hate is the flexible type leads and I will not use them (however, I won't say never as there may be a special case for eg. disabled owners or deaf dogs) 

All dogs are programmed to pull. In the wild they don't go for a "walk" they go to hunt and to mate and its the one that gets there first gets all the goodies! so we need to teach them that the best place to be is beside the owner's left knee.

 

If you look at most people who use the flexible type leads, they let it out...they reel it in.... they let it out ..... they reel it in....there is no communication between dog and handler....in my experience it just teaches the dog to pull and be out in front of you (or under a car!) I also worry about the fact they can  get wrapped around the handlers legs where they easily fall over or get tangled around your fingers or hand causing injury especially the very thin lines as they are like "cheese wire"

 

Instead, I use long training lines (see below) I have one end across my body, I make a loop over my right shoulder and tied by my left hip, the other end is attached to the dog's harness by a dog clip and the rest of the line drags along the ground.  

 

 I don't use the term "heel" I find its an unnecessary extra term. Using a harness and long line I teach the dog "this way". The idea is that when you dog is loose when you call out "come on Daisy this way" the dog runs directly to your left side....and using a hand signal, the dog stays walking along beside you until you release the dog so it can go off and play again.  

At a later stage you can teach the dog to walk on your right side by using a different term eg "close" so if you are walking down a country lane you can have the dog on the safe side of you.

 

 

 

PADDED TRAINING LINES

(approx 25 feet long) I sell these for £10 each, in black or purple. They have a strong dog clip at one end (I use these and tie the other end around across my body for teaching the dog to walk nicely beside me.)

 

LIGHTER WEIGHT TRAINING LINES.

 

I also have a variety of different length lighter  long lines for puppies and small dogs. Prices start at £6.

SPECIFICALLY MADE TRAINING LONG LINES

 

I also have a different style available made to my specification by the person who makes my 6 feet training leads.

These are approx 25 feet long made of double canvas and has rings along the length and a strong dog clip at each end. I sell these for £15 each in red or black. You are unlikely to find these anywhere else as they are made specially for me.

 

                           HEAD COLLARS.

I prefer not to have to use them but we have a lot of rescue dogs rehomed in the North Devon area who have had  very little training (or absolutely no training !)  and the new owners just can't hold them. I would prefer to train them to walk beside the owner using a harness but often we haven't got the time as we need a fairly quick fix to ensure the safety of both owner and dog. There is a method of teaching a dog to accept a  headcollar as they rarely just accept it if you just put it on the dog. ...and there are some dogs that just refuse to accept them regardless of how they are introduced, eg my friends Bull Terrier, Twinkle..we have tried 4 different makes and she absolutely hates them all and runs her head along the ground and grazes her face (anybody who has owned a Bully , and I have had 3 of them, will know that they do have a tiny bit of a stubborn streak in them....and they do love to tank off !!!!!)

I do have a variety of different brands of head collars available for sale at very competitive prices. When I come out to your home to carry out a private session and feel that a head collar might help  then I often leave one with the owner for them to try it first to see if they can work with it, and then buy it afterwards if its suitable...if not, just give it back to me.  No point in buying equipment that just ends up hanging on a hook on your wall!