5 Management Tools (for safer dog training)
Management is a crucial aspect of dog training for EVERY dog. With that said, not all management tools will be useful for all dogs. Ask to a certified trainer if you aren’t sure whether these tools are appropriate for your dog!
1️⃣ Crate - Crates and play pens can be very helpful for pups who are likely to engage in dangerous behaviors when unsupervised. A crate MUST be properly introduced to ensure that a dog is desensitized to them before use. Keep in mind that crates are often a POOR choice for dogs with separation anxiety; confinement can exacerbate their anxiety and risk the dog’s safety.
2️⃣ Window film - Window film is an inexpensive, easy tool to prevent a dog from rehearsing unwanted behaviors related to windows. Some dogs are triggered into reactivity or even obsessive behavior toward people, dogs, and other animals they see through the glass. We can use window film to allow natural light into the home while also blocking visual access to these triggers.
3️⃣ Long leash - There are SO many uses for a long leash! I love to bring them along on hikes and other outdoor trips as a management tool to provide dogs with extra freedom. I also love to use long leashes as a tether to help prevent door-darting in some households, or as a way to gradually introduce young puppies to more freedom inside the house. It’s critical that you ONLY attach long leashes to a harness, as they are unsafe when paired with a flat collar.
4️⃣ Muzzle - A muzzled dog is a good dog, too! Basket muzzles can be useful for bite prevention as well as for preventing dogs from ingesting things they find on the ground. It’s my opinion that ALL dogs can benefit from muzzle training. Injuries and emergencies can be terrifying, and scared dogs don’t always act like themselves. You can give your pup some muzzle training so that they will be able to feel comfortable with it even under frightening circumstances.
5️⃣ Baby gate - Baby gates are one of the most commonly-used and loved management tools! I truly think every dog owner could find a use for these at some point or another. We use them while working on safe door greetings, preventing door-dashing, for giving dogs a private area to eat/chew, for keeping dogs out of unsafe rooms, and for keeping kids out of a dog’s space. I prefer the style that can be mounted to the walls and has a swinging door like the one pictured.