Chances are you are reading this post on one of my favorite dog training tools- the smart phone or tablet (ok, really iPhone or iPad- why would you want any other brand?) Don’t believe me? Here’s an example of how much less “stuff” I have in my training bag because I can depend on my phone.
- Notebook/ training journal. You do keep training notes and make lesson plans, right? If your notes are on your phone, your notebook is always with you, so no excuses. You can use note taking apps, but the regular note function has worked fine for me. Each month I set up lesson plans and use my phone to keep notes on training, exercise, grooming and competition for everyone.
- Calendar/ reminders- To help you follow that lesson plan.
- Video camera- It’s pretty common to record competition runs, especially in agility, but recording training sessions can have even more benefits. The camera allows you to see a different angle and to see what you are doing, which might be why the dog is doing what she is doing. There are plenty of low cost tripod adapters and remote starters for the camera function on your phone if you train alone. You may not keep every video forever, and will definitely need some kind of backup drive if you do, but even just watching the video right after the session can give a lot of information. The regular camera comes in hand when you want a photo of that important win or your dog doing something adorable too. If you run multiple dogs in agility, apps like Coaches Eye that allow you to watch side by side video can be a cool way to see where you are losing time and how consistent your handling is or isn’t.
- Timer- Especially when you are shaping or working on body awareness or fitness training it can be a huge benefit to set a timer to keep sessions short.
- Sound recorder- Need to desensitize your dog to trial noise or just play some music for background noise? No problem. There are also apps that can serve as your clicker.
- Books- If you are using a training plan from a book, you can keep in on your device and always have it to refer to during a training session.
- Internet access- If you are an online class junkie like me, taking the classroom to the training field can be a big help- no need to ever print anything.
- Course map storage/ trial records- Instead of keeping stacks of course maps and exhibitor copies of scribe sheets, I use a journaling app to keep my trial records.