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Leerburg Dog Training Blog

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

Equipment Used in Basic Dog Obedience

Training Equipment

Our Communication Tools

Let me make some things clear about this segment on our training course.  The goal of Leerburg from day one has been to only offer the highest quality training equipment in the world (not just America). Quality equipment and quality training advice is what we stand for.

This segment is not intended as an advertisement.  That’s what our web site is for. The equipment in this segment is what we use with the dogs in our home.

Take from this information what benefits your family and your dog.

1 min 22 sec

Here is what you absolutely need

1 – Good 6 foot leather leash

2 – A training collar that fits your dogs temperament

3 – Touch Pad

4 – Raised dog bed

5- Long Line

6- High Value Food Rewards

A good 6 Foot Leather Leash

The most important tool that any dog handler can have is a good collar and a good Leerburg leather leash.  If you want the finest leather leash in the world take a look at the video advertising below. A good leash is sewn and pop-riveted, with a stainless steel clasp. Our leashes are meant to last the lifetime of the owner, not the dog.

We are not fans of nylon leashes, they will burn and slip in the handlers hands when the dog pulls. 

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Leerburg’s 6 Foot Amish Leather Leash

We make ALL of our Leather

See how below

Leerburg’s Amish Leather  – we make all of our own leather products. The video below is the story of how we have worked with the same  Amish family for over 20 years. 

7 minutes


High Value Food Rewards for Your Dog

We use food rewards as motivators in our training system. The key to using food is to learn what your dogs high-value food reward is. No one can tell you what your dogs high-value food reward is. You need to figure this out yourself.

The most important thing is your food needs to be soft, pliable, and easy to chew. They should not be big pieces of food. If the food reward is high enough the small pieces of steak go down at the exact same speed as large chunks of steak.

The important thing to know is every dog is different. One dog may like small pieces of cheese, another dog may like hot dogs or small pieces of left over steak. 

What are not high-value food rewards are warehouse dog biscuits and dog kibble.


Touch Pads

Touch pads are also one of the training items we will use when we split various exercises. You will learn how to teach your dog to go to a touch pad and stand on it.  We prefer using a raised touch pad because it’s easier for our dogs to relate to when we train with them. 

In training, the raised pads will eventually be phased out to a flat touch pad. But when a dog needs help we will go back to using the raised pads.

You will use touch pads in many many parts of your training program.

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Rubber Feed Pan / Touch Pad


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Leerburg flat Leather Targets

Once a dog has generalized touch pads in different locations, dog owners can carry one of these flat leather touch pads on their walks. If they find themselves in  a distracting environment they simply drop the leather touch pad in the ground and ask their dog to touch. We cover touch pad and bed training in our intermediate course.



Harness’s have a place in managing the lives of our dogs. (For example walking small puppies before they learn loose leash walking) For practical reasons harnesses are not often used as training tools.

48 seconds

Nylon Adjustable Harness


Training Bait Pouches 

57 seconds

 View all Bait Bags

We call these bait bags or bait pouches. We like the models that have a spring loaded snap-open top. They stay open when we need food rewards and snap closed to be make storage clean and simple. Fact is these work better than keeping food rewards in our pockets, especially when we are using most or greasy food treats. Bait bags are easy to clean, some can even be put ion the dish washer.

While they serve the same purpose as a zip lock bag, they are just more functional.


Herm Sprenger Prong Collar

& Dominant Dog Collar backup

Not every dog needs a prong collar. My Rosie will never need one because her temperament is soft and a prong collar is way more than she would ever need.

But for those dog’s with temperaments that require a little more convincing, we believe in using prong collars. I call them power steering on dogs. They allow small people to safely walk and handle large dogs.

In this segment you will learn how to fit your dog for a prong and then how to use them in training throughout the course.

We recommend our German made Herm Sprenger Stainless Steel ProngsThey are much stronger than chrome collars and will last the life of your dog. They also don’t stain the dogs coat by turning it grey like chrome will.

Prong collars look like a mid-evil torture device. The fact is when used properly they are one of the best training tools there is. They allow a trainer to use far far less force in a correction than a flat collar or an old fashion choke collar.

The important thing about using prong collars is to learn how to use them correctly and to use a back-up collar while you do train with them.  Prong collars are made up of individual links, when the collar is not properly fit these links can come apart. If the dog does not have a backup collar the handler will find himself or herself with an off-leash dog.

While prong collars look intimidating, they are in fact far more human than a metal choke collar. The reason for this is they apply the force of a leash correction around the circumference of the dog’s neck. Correction given with a choke collar apply all of the force of that correction at one point on the dog’s neck.

New handlers that question my concerns should do a little demonstrate on themselves. Put a prong collar on your upper leg and have someone give a good pop on a leash. Then do the same with a choke collar. The normal choke collar will bruise the leg. The prong collar will not because the force of the correction is applied around the entire leg where as a choke collar has all the force at the point of the leash.

Herm Sprenger Prong Collars

While prong collars, like remote collars, are two of the greatest dog training tools ever invented they are also the most misunderstood and abused dog training tools on the market.  

The most important thing about using a prong collar is to fit them properly and to understand that they can come apart in training, which is why you should NEVER USE A PRONG WITHOUT USING A BACKUP COLLAR. We recommend Leerburg’s lightweight nylon dominant dog collar for your backup.

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 Dominant Dog Back-up Collars 

Knowing that prong collars will come apart when improperly fit on your dog, keep in mind the scenario that unfolds when they do come apart, that is, the dog gets a correction for doing something he should not be doing, the prong comes apart at a moment of high distraction, and the dog is all of a sudden off leash. That’s why you need a backup collar.


Leerburg’s Prong Collar Leash

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If you use a Prong Collar and a backup collar, you should consider a prong collar leash. I designed this leash to connect two collars on the dogs neck to one leash.


Prong Collar Vs Flat Collars

Prong collars are also more effective than a flat leather collar because the flat collar requires a much harder leash correction to get a change of behavior in our dogs.

I have heard of inexperienced handlers giving dogs a very hard correction on a flat collar that collapsed the dog’s wind pipe. That would never happen with a prong collar.

2 min 18 sec


Prong Collars will come apart when not fit correctly



If you are going to use a prong collar, even if you have a larger dog use the smaller link collar like you see above. It takes much less pressure to change behaviors with a small link collar.

As with ALL PRONG COLLARS  – ALWAYS USE A BACK-UP COLLAR because prong collars can accidentally come apart .

7 min 29 sec

How to Fit a Prong Collar (Article)



Dominant dog collars are the perfect collar to be used independently or as a backup collar. They are our collar of choice in dealing with dominant and aggressive dogs.

A dominant dog collar has a design that looks similar to a choke collar, but in fact it is very different.

It is not meant to be used with a sharp leash correction, rather it is more effective if used in the manner we explain in our DVD titled Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dog’s.

Review this web page to learn how to use the Dominant Dog Collars

1 min 57 sec


For dog owners who have aggressive or reactive dogs a dominant dog collars is he most effective collar to use. It is important to size these collars correctly and to learn how to use them.

How to measure your dog for a dominant dog collar

It is critical to properly size a dominant dog collar for your dog. The following video will teach you how to do this.

2 min 23 sec



There will always be an application in training for a 20 or 30  foot long line.  If untrained dogs are allowed to run around in a fenced yard (while the handler is with them) and they can decide to play “KEEP AWAY”. It is much easier for a handler to go to the end of a 20-foot long line than try and get close enough to grab the dog by the collar. Dogs don’t understand a personal space that is 20 or 30 feet away from them.

We recommend a cotton long line  or the smooth a nylon lines we sell. Some long lines can burn a handler had if the dog takes off at a run and the handler needs to stop them. The lines we sell really reduce the changes of this happening.

2 min 5 sec

All Leerburg Long Lines


FLEXI LEAD are not for Everyone

Flexi leads are functional for a trained dog but can be dangerous for inexperienced trainers and untrained dogs. We never recommend them as a training leash for beginning students.

They get tangled on things (i.e. peoples legs) to easily.  If the dog runs around a person’s leg the nylon line can result in a nasty burn or cut.

There are applications where Flexi leads are used in more advanced course material.

1 min 34 sec




collar-leash combination that is the perfect training aid when you need to just take your dog out for a bathroom break.

The martingale collar applies pressure evenly around the circumference of the dog’s neck. It’s a perfect collar to keep on a hook by your door to be used when you need to take the dog out for a potty break. It will also work well for taking compliant dogs on walks.

We do not use martingale collars during normal behavior training in basic obedience.

1 min 13 sec



1 min 18 sec

Leerburg Clicker


Klimb Training Table/Raised Dog Bed

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KURANDA Raised Dog Bed

Teaching your dog to go to his bed and stay there is one of the most important commands a dog can learn. Using a raised bed is covered in detail in this course.

Dog’s simply relate to the raised bed quicker than a bed laying flat on the floor. We sell a couple of excellent quality raised dog beds.

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It is important that new dog owners understand that dogs can potentially chew up almost every dog toy. So do not ever underestimate your dog’s ability to chew and EAT a dog toy.

Just for reference, it costs between $1,100.00 and $1,500.00 to have a Vet surgically remove pieces of a ball (or any other toy) from your dog’s gut. This happens WAY MORE than the average dog owner realizes.

For that reason we only allow our dogs to have toys when we are present.  We teach our dogs that dog toys are our toys. They learn we allow them to play with our toys. But when the play time is over we take our toys and put them away. This goes a long way towards establishing leadership with a dog.

When handlers have a dog that is an aggressive chewer, there are toys that are made specifically for those kinds of dogs. We sell them on our web site check them out here.

Many new owners think that tennis balls make great toys. Tennis balls are dangerous toys for two reasons.

1- Dog’s chew them up and swallow them – cost $1,100.00 to $1,500.00

2- The glue in tennis balls eats the enamel on dog’s teeth.

If there are multiple dogs in the home new dog owners must understand that toys can easily TRIGGER DOG FIGHTS.  If you see any signs of dominance between one dog over another dog (i.e. growling, snarling etc. ) then you need to stop allowing either dog to have toys while in the presence of the second dog. New dog owners think dogs MUST HAVE TOYS. They are dead wrong. Dogs need good management and leadership.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation where you are faced with a dog fight, here is an article I wrote on HOW TO BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT WITHOUT GETTING HURT  Dog fights are very dangerous events. Have a look at the photos people have sent me over the years of their wounds when they tried to break up a fight the wrong way.

The following short video talks about tough toys that are designed for dogs that chew.

2 min 31 sec

Check here to see Dog Toys we use and recommend

20% off Select Michael Ellis and Ed Frawley DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT