dog training, dog behavior, dog health

Good Dog Training Equipment Comes at a High Price

Dogs are not only our favorite family pets – they are also big business.   As pet owners, many of us are quite good at justifying all those purchases we make for our canine friends.  No matter what it is, we can always label that purchase "dog training equipment".

Trainers of hunting and retriever dogs use retrieval dummies which may be plastic or made of cloth and stuffed with filling.  They come in different sizes but average is 10 inches long and 3 inches in diameter.  Canvas is the traditional material used but floating plastic dummies are used for training water dogs. These are not expensive items, but are often accompanied by other purchases such as launchers which can cost from $100-500 and other related equipment.

Dog agility equipment costs add up quickly.  To purchase retail equipment for a training area that includes all of the obstacles dogs must learn to complete a competition course, you will spend $1800.  If you moderately handy, you can create the same training equipment for about $300 yourself.

For some lessons, a trainer wants only the best.  This is true if you are training attack dogs.  Much of the equipment such as secure leather muzzles are inexpensive ($40) compared to some of the sport training products.  A good body protection suit, though, will cost about $1000 and a lighter scratch suit that protects to a lesser degree but allows full movement will be another $300 and a bite sleeve for use with the light suit adds another hundred.

For those training canines as household pets, the prices are thankfully not as high.  You will need a collar, perhaps a special training collar, a leash, training leads of various lengths, and maybe a harness depending on your dog.  Small training treats and ball for fetching are good purchases.

It is easy for pet owners to get carried away in a large pet supply store.  If you spend too much time browsing, you will find yourself buying designer food and water dishes, cute dog beds, stuffed toys and even doggie raincoats.  These are fun purchases – but definitely don't qualify as dog training equipment.