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Brandon McMillan’s 10 Essential Dog Training Tools

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 3 min read

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Brandon McMillan Teaches Dog Training

Successfully training a pet or service dog can take more than just a few treats and a positive attitude. Certain training accessories can make it easier to help your dog learn new tricks. With a few key training supplies, you can effectively teach your dog how to behave and respond to commands like “come,” “sit,” “go potty,” and “stay.”



Brandon McMillan Teaches Dog TrainingBrandon McMillan Teaches Dog Training

Expert animal trainer Brandon McMillan teaches you his simple, effective training system to build trust and control with your dog.

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A Brief Introduction to Brandon McMillan

Brandon McMillan is a renowned animal trainer who has spent most of his life working with domesticated and wild animals. The Emmy Award-winning host of the critically acclaimed CBS series Lucky Dogs comes from a family of wild animal trainers—Brandon began helping raise tigers by the age of four. The animals he’s trained have appeared in countless television commercials and motion pictures, including the comedy blockbuster, The Hangover (2009). After spending a year training a service dog for an injured combat veteran, Brandon realized his calling was in training dogs to change people’s lives. To further his goals, Brandon co-founded the Argus Service Dog Foundation, an organization that trains service dogs to assist veterans with disabilities.

Brandon McMillan’s 10 Essential Dog Training Tools

Dog training aids make it easier for pet owners to perform outdoor and house training on their own, without the help of an expensive dog trainer. To help teach your dog obedience and curb bad behavior, check out Brandon’s essential dog training tools:

  1. Leash. Dog leashes come in a wide variety of colors, lengths, and materials. For effective leash training, you’ll want to make sure you have both a shorter leash and a longer leash. Short leashes are about six feet long, and long leashes are about 25 to 30 feet. Leather leashes are more comfortable, but nylon leashes are more durable.
  2. Penny bottle. Take an empty water bottle, remove the cap, insert a handful of loose change, and recap the bottle. This training method is useful when teaching the off command and for bark control.
  3. Dog training clicker. Training clickers emit a distinctive clicking sound when pressed. By triggering a click while simultaneously teaching a technique or offering a treat, you can condition your dog to associate the sound with the command or reward. This, in turn, can help reinforce their training. Clicker training can be especially useful for the come command.
  4. Lure stick. These dog supplies are adjustable rods with a clip at the end for holding treats. They’re particularly helpful for training dogs that are smaller in size.
  5. Martingale collar. Martingale collars use two connected loops to progressively decrease the size of the opening around your dog’s neck. When your dog’s not pulling, the collar fits nice and loose. As they pull, the collar tightens to prevent their heads from slipping out. Martingales are considered more humane than choke and prong collars.
  6. Gentle Leader headcollar. The Gentle Leader is an alternative to a traditional dog collar. Designed to attach to the dog’s snout, the collar sits high on your dog’s neck and spares painful yanking on their trachea.
  7. Easy walk harness. Harnesses attach around your dog’s body rather than around their neck. This dog harness can be especially useful with small dogs, whose necks can be susceptible to whiplash.
  8. Plastic cones. Simple plastic cones can help direct a dog’s walk and be useful for teaching the heel command.
  9. Treat bag. Dog treat bags are specifically designed to hold your dog’s favorite treat. Try attaching a treat pouch to your belt or wearing it over your shoulder for easy access. Having easy access to training treats can make it easier to reward your dog for performing tasks or good behavior.
  10. Notebook. While pet training, use a notebook to keep track of your dog’s training progress. Draw out a simple chart to keep track of your dog’s success with each command day after day.
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Want to Learn More About Training the Goodest Boy or Girl?

Your dream of having a dog who understands words like “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and—crucially—”no” is just a MasterClass Annual Membership away. The only things you’ll need to train up a well-behaved pup are your laptop, a big bag of treats, and our exclusive instructional videos from superstar animal trainer Brandon McMillan.