The basics are a collar, leash, treats, and usually your dog. For more detail, see the information below.
Collar: During class, the dog should be wearing a flat collar, Martingale collar, or a harness; instructors can advise which is the best once they meet the dog, see its structure and behaviour. No choke chains, prong collars or electronic collars are permitted in classes. Head halters are not used for safety reasons, but instructors can show you how to introduce your dog to one and how to use it outside of class, on walks, for example. Prong collars are a management tool rather than a training tool. They may be needed in certain situations to ensure safety. If you think you need a prong collar, contact the training secretary who will put you in touch with an instructor or the training director to discuss your needs.
Leash: Dogs should be on six-foot leather or nylon leashes (four-foot leashes are too short for on-leash recalls and stand-for-exam exercises). Thinner leashes are more manageable during class, but if your dog is a forger (a dog who pulls) make sure the leash is strong enough to restrain him/her. Flexible/retractable leashes are not to be used during classes.
Treats: For treats, we recommend something small and soft that you know your dog likes and is not too messy. Small, because you may be giving lots of them; soft because they are easier to swallow, especially while moving; not too messy for obvious reasons. These can be small cheese cubes, sliced hot-dogs or other meats cut into small chunks, commercial treats such as Ziwi Peak, Rollover or Natural Balance training bits, or anything else you know your dog likes and will be motivated to work for. Crumbly biscuits are not encouraged, as pieces fall on the floor and then all the dogs start sniffing and snacking.
Your Dog: Our classes are for you and your dog. There may be times however when your dog is not up to attending (i.e., tummy troubles, after spaying or other surgery, when a female dog is in heat – intact males may be in our classes). In these cases, we recommend that you come to class without your dog. This way you will know what was covered and can practice at home, thereby not falling behind your classmates when you return with your dog.