You may have seen your favorite dog trainer working with a dog wearing a vest during training sessions, and wondered what it was. A dog training vest is one of the most effective tools that a dog trainer can use to help dogs understand commands better and respond more effectively. These vests are essentially harnesses that can be fitted over the dog’s regular collar and leash. Dog trainers use these vests when teaching new commands, encouraging desired behaviors, or spotting corrections for undesirable behaviors. But why? Keep reading to learn more!
How a dog training vest works
A dog training vest fits over the dog’s regular collar and leash. It has many different pockets or areas for the trainer to place treats or toys to encourage good behavior. The treats or toys are inaccessible to the dog unless the trainer “unlocks” them by opening the pocket. A dog can figure out how to get the treats and toys out of the pockets without too much trouble, so the trainer must have the ability to unlock the pockets at the appropriate times and in appropriate amounts. There are different types of vests, and some are meant to be unlocked manually while others are voice-activated.
How to use a dog training vest
Dog trainers use dog training vests for a variety of training and behavior modification purposes. The most common uses include:
- Reinforcing desirable behaviors
- Correcting undesirable behaviors
- Encouraging good behavior from dogs who are not yet trained
- Distracting dogs from situations they may be anxious about
- Rewarding good behavior
- Preventing dogs from engaging in unwanted behaviors
The type of vest you use and when you use it depends on your dog, the situation, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Most vests are meant to be used with treats and toys. If you’re trying to correct a behavior, you can use a correction pouch.
Tips for using a dog training vest
While they are an excellent tool, dog training vests are not a magical solution to all dog training issues. They should only be used when appropriate, and the trainer must have a good understanding of how the dog’s mind works and how he or she responds to positive and negative reinforcement. Some tips for using dog in training vest effectively include:
- Be careful not to use the treats or toys as bribes. If your dog is rewarded every time he does something, then he will think that he should be rewarded every time.
- Make sure that you’re only rewarding positive behaviors. If you reward your dog for something he shouldn’t be rewarded for, then he won’t know the difference between the two.
- Don’t rely on the treats or toys for too long. Dogs are easily bored, and a training method that worked once may not work again.
- Use the right size vest. If the vest is too large, then the dog won’t feel the treats or toys in the pockets, which defeats the purpose. If the vest is too small, then the dog may be injured.
- Know when the vest should be removed. If the vest is being used to reward good behavior, then it should be removed after a few minutes. If the vest is being used to correct or distract a dog, then it should stay on until the behavior stops.
A dog training vest is a tool that every dog trainer should have on hand. These vests are excellent for rewarding good behavior, distracting dogs from situations they may be uncomfortable with, and correcting undesirable behaviors. They can be used with treats or correction pouches, and can be manually or voice-activated. Dog trainers use dog training vests for a variety of training and behavior modification purposes. The most common uses include: reinforcing desirable behaviors, correcting undesirable behaviors, encouraging good behavior from dogs who are not yet trained, distracting dogs from situations they may be anxious about, and rewarding good behavior.