May 18th was my first day of obedience class with Jasmine. This is different than other beginner obedience classes because the dogs already know sit, down, stay, and heel (for the most part haha), and this class is geared toward building the correct drive to be successful in protection work whether it be to compete in sport, or real life applications.

My class has a diverse set of people. One is a country singer, one is a popo, there’s me, and a small family. So there’s an array of people representin’. And the dogs all have different skills with the exception of one that just wants to sleep.

Today, we did introductions, went one at a time and demonstrated obedience (Jasmine was a rockstar!!), and then we evaluated the dogs to see what each needed work on.

As for Jasmine, she has the drive, but she prefers kisses and snuggles over being rewarded with a toy. Soooo…that’s what I’m working on with her. Essentially, we transition from a rag, to a jute toy, to a bite pillow, then a bite sleeve. Jasmine is at the jute stage (I’ll attach links to all the equipment I have for her), and I guess she likes it?

I mean, her and I are at the stage where she’ll do what I ask because it’ll please me…but at the end of class, the instructor said that we will start using the toys as rewards in lieu of food or anything else. I trust this fellow, so I will do as he says!

Below is a list of gear and what I use each item for.

Ball Tug

I only use this at home with Jasmine to play tug. And playing tug doesn’t encourage your dog to be aggressive, people!! It instills drive to go after an object, and then you can channel this energy into other objects like getting a beer from the fridge for you, bringing you the paper, etc. In my opinion, tug allows my dog(s) to focus on ME when we’re around huge distractions. These are baby steps toward some more advanced training.

Jute Tug

Ugg. The jute. Jasmine doesn’t like the jute. She’ll go after it if I tell her to, but she doesn’t necessarily want to. I think it’s me, though…I swear this obedience class is more for me than her. These come in a variety of different materials. We don’t like the synthetic ones, so I have the jute material for Jasmine. Looking back, I’m happy I got the tug with (2) handles, but my jute is 15″ long and that’s wayyy too big.


Jasmine is currently 65lbs and wears a size 2. This harness was recommended to me by my trainer. So far, it’s been a great and it’s easy to use.


I just use a regular leather collar for Jasmine. Nothing fancy. For the leash, I have a 1/2″ wide, 6′ long, leather lead. I have some other cloth leashes, but I use the leather ones when I’m training.

Leather Tab

I use this when I’m training Jasmine off leash. They come with rings or no rings at the end. I like the one with a ring so I have an additional 1′-0″ of lead when I need it.