HEAD COLLAR'S & HARNESS'S
#1
Question 
hi all, so i have a nine month old pup baloo, we were going to a kennel club traaining school, which we both LOVE but they usse half choke collars which they highly recommend for everything!! ( i never saw an issue with them until recently, a lab i trained worked very well with a half choke)  my dog lunges at people in public and when i asked how i should go about this i got told to use the collar which clearly isnt working and just making him worse... so thats when i went off to find someone who could help me (behaviourist)  after much thought and research and being in contact with behaviourist (due to come see us soon) we decided against the collar currently just using a flat collar and have a dogmatic headcollar on order and a perfect fit harness on order. my question is what does everyone else use? and other peoples training methods? 
many thanks 
sami
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#2
I have used many different types of collars and harnesses in my years of training. Not every tool works with all dogs. The same as you wouldn't wear flip flops hiking in the snow you would probably choose boots. 

Martingale collars can be good for pups so they can't back out of the collar. Then a no pull type harnesses might be best for a dog who is a real go getter. 
I think you need to see what works best for your situation at that time. In a dogs life you could change what you are using many times during the dogs development. 

I use a flat collar on all 3 most days. If we are going to the vet then I use a harness that has a hand grip on the back. I have more control over my dog should there be an issue with another dog that is under stress. It's my tool of choice when going to the vet.

Training methods are as diverse as there are differences in collars and harnesses. What works with one dog might not work for the second dog. IMO laying a good foundation in the first months of having a pup/dog is the most important.
NILIF can be a good place to start. A few different sites to check it out. 

https://shibashake.com/dog/nothing-in-li...g-training

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dog..._free.html
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

[Image: P1160337-800x600_zps7nxqmgvy.jpg]

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#3
^^^^^^^^^

I only use a flat collar or simple harness. Like what OB said different collars and harness can be used for different things, there is no one size fits all.

Good luck with your training! Big Grin
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#4
When you say half check collar I am assuming it is a martingale, which is as OB said a safety equipment for dogs that back out of a collar. But I get the impression that it was being used as a correction.

Correction in an reactive dog is only going to make things worse.
Unfortunately it appeals because. It lets the handler release their frustration, let's the handler show others that they are "dealing" with the unwanted behaviour. Sadly this is about the owner's ego.
Haha I had a stud horse who taught me about my ego several years ago.
For the dog to be reacting it is stressed, AlWAYS ! Be it lacks confidence, be it forced into situations it shouldn't or not ready for, be it frustrated because of lack of impulse control, be it conflicted because it does want to meet but lacks confidence OR when he now sees another dog the owner has lost control and has become tense this is scary to the dog. Then to make things worse it gets punished. So seeing another dog is not working out well for him.

Head collars do give you great control BUT they are dangerous if not handled correctly. You could seriously damage the dogs neck. I have used them in training BUT I have a light double click leash one clipped on the collar one clipped on the head collar. The dog is walked with my hand placed so I am leading by the collar. If I need extra control or to redirect my dog, I ask the dog then gently slide my other hand to have control of the head and with a very GENTLE pressure I slowly bring the dogs head to face me. However if you have had to manually do this you are over the dogs threshold, but it is a good safety net.
Another point with head collars is that we are drastically affecting the dogs body language which could create a problem.

Harness a back clipped harness are allowing dogs to pull you will have little control.
Front clipped harnesses be careful many work by severely restricting the front legs and shoulders shoulders this will have a damaging effect to the dogs movement and long term physical soundness.
Personally I have used a rear clipped harness where the front parts join by an "O" ring, not stititched. By clipping your leash in the "O" at the chest you have better control but the "y" looking structure over the dogs front does not restrict leg or shoulder movement.

I like flat collars. I use a harness when my dog is working in Scent Detection, I have used a martingale on May if I am taking her somewhere where I know she is going to get stressed like the vet, just in case she tries to backout of her collar.
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#5
(09-04-2017, 10:27 AM)Quirkydog Wrote: When you say half check collar I am assuming it is a martingale, which is as OB said a safety equipment for dogs that back out of a collar.   But I get the impression that it was being used as a correction.

Correction in an reactive dog is only going to make things worse.  
Unfortunately it appeals because.  It lets the handler release their frustration, let's the handler show others that they are "dealing" with the unwanted behaviour.  Sadly this is about the owner's ego.
Haha I had a stud horse who taught me about my ego several years ago.
For the dog to be reacting it is stressed, AlWAYS !   Be it lacks confidence, be it forced into situations it shouldn't or not ready for,  be it frustrated because of lack of impulse control, be it conflicted because it does want to meet but lacks confidence OR when he now sees another dog the owner has lost control and has become tense this is scary to the dog.  Then to make things worse it gets punished.  So seeing another dog is not working out well for him.

Head collars do give you great control BUT they are dangerous if not handled correctly. You could seriously damage the dogs neck.  I have used them in training BUT I have a light double click leash one clipped on the collar one clipped on the head collar. The dog is walked with my hand placed so I am leading by the collar.  If I need extra control or to redirect my dog,  I ask the dog then gently slide my other hand to have control of the head and with a very GENTLE pressure I slowly bring the dogs head to face me. However if you have had to manually do this you are over the dogs threshold, but it is a good safety net.
Another point with head collars is that we are drastically affecting the dogs body language which could create a problem.

Harness a back clipped harness are allowing dogs to pull you will have little control.
Front clipped harnesses be careful many work by severely restricting the front legs and shoulders shoulders this will have a damaging effect to the dogs movement and long term physical soundness.
Personally I have used a rear clipped harness where the front parts join by an "O" ring, not stititched. By clipping your leash in the "O" at the chest you have better control but the "y" looking structure over the dogs front does not restrict leg or shoulder movement.

I like flat collars.  I use a harness when my dog is working in Scent Detection, I have used a martingale on May if I am taking her somewhere where I know she is going to get stressed like the vet, just in case she tries to backout of her collar.

thank you everyones advice has been helpful but this piece especially, i wasnt originally aware of just how damaging it was to my pup the half choke or its original use yes i was taught to use it as a correction which if anythink just made him worse he's had it off for a while now and i can see a difference in him already. we're currently just using a flat collar but he chokes himself silly so trying to find other alternatives Smilehank you
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#6
Baloo's perfect fit harness turned up not long after this post Smile we tired it out and i could barley get it on him he was very reaactive (we done the whole high value treats whilst putting it on) but once on he was fine and happy we had a walk up the road (its private no one around) and he was happy and not dragging me Smile so just a lot more happy reinforcements with the harness and it may just work Smile
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#7
At the end of the day dogs keep pulling because we keep following them so they never learn what we are actually expecting of them. I have a museum of different collars and harnesses but there is no substitute or short cuts for doing the foundation work as frustrating as it may seem at times. It is so easy to inadvertently teach them that pulling is OK because us humans are desirous of certain things. For example- I want to enjoy walking in the forrest with both of my dogs so even though I knew better I allowed Jasper to get away with pulling far too much. Why ? Because Max has great leash manners so I didn't want to confuse him when he is walking nicely by going through the necessary procedures to teach Jasper that pulling will stop that which we are enjoying. Totally my fault that he learned to pull really.
I went back to basics which of course took longer because he had to un-learn that which I allowed him to learn due to my desire to enjoy outings with "both" dogs at the same time. My fault that I had to spend more time walking both dogs separately Aghhh !
Max got his lovely, comfortable adventures on his own and then Jasper and I would go out again and do training walks. Walks that would take just as long but actually only cover a fraction of the distance. As soon as there is tension on the lead STOP and/or change direction. Moving forward 10m, tension, turn around and back 6 mt, tension, turn again and forward, so on and so on. I also use the little country cemetary that is nearby, walking between the grave sites, turning left, right, left right constantly. They learn that there is no direction other than with me. Constantly rewarding for the correct behaviour. It helps to tire them out before a walk during this training because they are less excited and full of anticipation which can override what they have already learned. A ball game for physical needs, some trick training or scent games for the mind and then off on a training walk. I went back to basics with Jasper a few months back and only now am I starting to walk them together again.
For me the objective is for the dog to know how to walk nicely on leash irrespective of what they are wearing, harness or collar etc. I don't want the equipment to be the thing that does the job but instead for the dog to know what the job entails and enjoy doing it correctly.
Until you have the desired behaviour "set in concrete" it is so easy to mess it up again. e.g.: Jasper has had to go to the vet a lot lately and he absolutely loves going to the vet and gets so excited. I park the car only about 30mt away and when we set off he straight away starts to pull due to anxiousness to get there. It would be so easy to just go with it thinking it is only a short distance and the mission after all is to get into the vet on time. No, no, no, in spite of the odd looks from others in the street I MUST still stick to the routine. Consistency is key !
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#8
Totally agree Trifan, it is very difficult to be consistent. Sometimes we are on a time schedule.
I also find if a dog pulls the owner has to be pulling back. The dog has to learn what a release of tension is and how to do it. A dog is at some point going to hit the end of the leash he just needs to know how to release that tension.
I have suggested to people working on this, that they use the flat collar while working on leash manners and a harness when not. On a single walk you can switch. This gives dog and owners a break as it is very hard and frustrating with a hard core puller. Also if you are on a time restraint walk you can just use the harness. So basically you are teaching the dog when on the flat collar you expect consistently no pulling when you can't do this using the harness does not undo the training if that makes sense.
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#9
(09-04-2017, 11:15 PM)Quirkydog Wrote: Totally agree Trifan, it is very difficult to be consistent.  Sometimes we are on a time schedule.
I also find if a dog pulls the owner has to be pulling back.  The dog has to learn what a release of tension is and how to do it.  A dog is at some point going to hit the end of the leash he just needs to know how to release that tension.
I have suggested to people working on this, that they use the flat collar while working on leash manners and a harness when not. On a single  walk you can switch. This gives dog and owners a break as it is very hard and frustrating with a hard core puller. Also if you are on a time restraint walk you can just use the harness.  So basically you are teaching the dog when on the flat collar you expect consistently no pulling when you can't do this using the harness does not undo the training if that makes sense.
Yes absolutely makes sense and is pretty much what I do in respect to walks verses tracking (work) Harness on and active with the long line and the dog is in the lead, out front and pretty much in charge. There is tension on the line but due to the job they are doing there is consistency in that tension. When I walk up to a start flag they are on flat collar with the tracking line already attached to the harness but not active then unleash from flat collar and activate longline and things switch.
I often use a double ended leash on walks with one end attached to flat collar and other on harness. If they get on a track I can quickly switch and practice the cue to track. They are very, very capable of understanding that different equipment mean different expectations and as you say it provides an opportunity to give both you and the dog a break without actually losing the consistency of training that flat collar means soft leash.
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#10
My dogs have always worn different collars, harnesses and vests for different things we do. They know as soon as their vest is put on how they are expected to act. We do therapy work at retirement communities and all the dogs wear vests with their names on them. When the vests go on my dogs they know they have to stay calm.

Flat collar with all tags is for walks and off leash runs. Harness is used at the vet and some other places they need to remain calm. 
You can see it in their body and face when the different tools are used. We also use different leads, long lines and ropes for different activities. 

Of course we have messed up and not changed their collars on one or more occasions but the dogs are fine after we let them know we messed up.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

[Image: P1160337-800x600_zps7nxqmgvy.jpg]

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