Collars and Training Tools

Here are a few quick notes on a couple of common issues we assist customers with in regards to collars, leash walking, and the various training tools involved.  There are many more areas we could cover for sure, but the following topics seem to be the ones our customers ask about most often.

  • Harnesses and Pulling

    One of the most popular items in our store, harnesses are great for a number of applications.  Depending on the style of harness you buy, it can aid you in lifting your dog during hikes and climbs (see the Ruff Wear DoubleBack for the penultimate example), assisting older or injured dogs with their mobility, or as an alternative restraint for dogs with sensitive or injured necks.

    But the main issue, in our experience, that customers seek out harnesses for is to stop pulling.  Unfortunately, a harness only encourages pulling.  One need only look at what sled dogs wear to pull their masters in a race to understand this.  The harness makes pulling more comfortable, and can even psychologically suggest that pulling is precisely what you want.

    Sure, a harness can prevent your dog from constantly choking from pulling on its own neck, but it won't stop the behavior.  Choking is hardly the only danger with a dog who pulls on the leash.  Pulling on the leash is a behavior that expresses leadership in the pack:  the dog leads the human.  Traffic, confrontations with other dogs or humans, and injuries to either the owner or others nearby are just some of the dangers involved with leash pulling.

    Read More »
  • Head Collars

    If you'd prefer to address pulling on your own, a head collar is one option.  The two most prominent brands are the Halti, and the Gentle Leader.  Both products provide more leverage over the dog's head, allowing the handler to more easily redirect the dog in the handler's preferred direction, rather than simply being dragged wherever the dog wants to go.

    Dogs have a lower center of gravity, and muscular, strong necks, which provide them all the advantage for winning a pulling battle with even the most able-bodied handlers.  Even if you can out-muscle your dog, this usually does not correct the behavior.

    Keep in mind that head collars are still only an aid to help win the strengh battle with your dog.  They are not a magic bullet for leash pulling.  The handler cannot simply attach a head collar and then passively stroll with their dog; corrective behavior modification must still be employed.

    Read More »
  • The best training tool

    The best thing one can do for leash pulling, collar escapees, poor manners, or any other adverse behaviors, is establish yourself as the leader of your dog.  Proper training with a certified professional is the safest, most effective investment you can make in order to ensure you achieve leadership status.

    Remember, a well behaved dog is not a dog with a broken spirit:  it's a dog with a purpose, a role to play in the world, and a balanced state of mind.  Good dogs are happy dogs!

    Read More »