Use the tools

Sometimes we can get caught up in the awesome stuff out dogs are doing after going through training. We can get so comfortable that we start to take the tools off to early. The idea behind using the tools is to create habits. We want to train the dog over time to default to the behaviors we want. In order for us to accomplish this we must always be able to communicate at any given moment. Every time that moment comes when your thinking "I should have had the collar on" is a missed opportunity to show your dog what the correct behavior is. This inability to show your dog what is expected is telling them psychologically that your not consistent. This then brings your leadership in question. 

Another fallout from not using the tools consistently is that you can create a collar wise dog. What that means is that the dog will know when the collar is on and the collar is off. Hence you may have heard people say "my dog listens when the collar is on, but when I take it off they go nuts!". This is becasue the dog might only wear it on the walks or when people come over, only in those really high distraction situations. 

if you have been reading some of the things I post on Facebook you may have seen me post things about the little moments. It is the moments inbetween the big ones that really count. Think about all that time in a day that you may be missing key moments because you can't hold them accountable. 

Point is don't rush to take off the tools, it takes what two seconds to clip the collar on or put on the prong collar. Think of your tools as a seat belt, Just because you have not been in a car wreck in a long time does not mean your not going to wear a seatbelt. The same goes for your training tools, remember dog training is all the time, and you may not need it most of the time but you'll be glad you had it when you needed it.