S.w.a.g Head Collar And "handy" Leash

Discussion in 'Dog Products' started by TiflovesBCs, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. mewzard Experienced Member

    The other trouble we had was that Oka has TONNES of energy and really just needs to run. But i can't let her off-lead as she only has good recall - when it suits her!
    She doesn't walk right next to us, her shoulder is just in front of my knee, but the lead is loose - so that is good enough for me.

  2. running_dog Honored Member

    I thought you had posted a video about something similar for one of your dogs but I couldn't find it again :rolleyes: , still that was what set me looking at the Blackdog halters. I saw a dog wearing what looked like an infin8 and I wanted to talk to the owner but as they were proceeding forwards with their dog and I was on the other side of the road proceeding backwards with Gus the moment passed... :ROFLMAO:

    Mewzard - I'm glad to hear someone backing up my gut feeling about trying to train things too early. Reminds me of trying to teach a 6 year old kid about perspective and us both getting very frustrated and feeling we were letting each other down, her brain just wasn't big enough to grasp the concept. 2 years later she understood the explanation instantly - and applied it brilliantly to her art work. I'm back to minus square 1 with Zac's recall at the moment as some idiots have been walking a female dog on heat all round the neighbourhood without even breaking the trail to their own house O_o. Today was our first day mostly just cycling on his walk to keep him fit because I can't let him off leash at all, recall from prey is easy compared to this one :ROFLMAO:.

    Thanks to everyone else for being encouraging as well!

    Wow I really did precipitate a thread derail :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
  3. mewzard Experienced Member

    I think this is an issue we had with Oka but us not really realising it at the time. I think that and her personality around other dogs is why her recall training has taken sooo long.
    She will now stop when she sees a dog and doesn't try to approach and will run to me with any pressure on her long line. I've stopped calling her, i just pick up her line and put a little tension on, when she comes to me; be that straight away or when the dog has left her sight (E.g when she chooses), we 'push' aka NDT style, and have a party -running, tug etc. It's making a difference.

    We are getting 2 foster puppies (they are 4 1/2 months ish ) at the weekend (unless they are adopted before then) and our plan is to play! play! play! Also to take them to school so they get to meet more people...as it's believed they have had little socailisation.
    running_dog likes this.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    yeah, it probably varies from puppy to puppy. I mean, look at Sara + Hero, he is a border collie puppy, yet, somehow, Sara has found a way to teach him things. There are other puppies on DTA as well, who are able to be taught things.
    but, maybe, not all puppies can be taught things.

    but def if a person is not feeling good about a lesson, or about teaching a certain thing, then definitely it seems shelving the lesson, or passing it over to someone else, IS probably the very best solution in that situation.

    I do this with Buddy now and then, if he is "not getting it" then i just shelve entire trick or cue, and re-introduce it later on.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    lol, Rdog, about Zac's newest distraction there!:ROFLMAO::rolleyes::eek::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::LOL: btw, neutering does not help with that, Buddy is neutered, but apparently does NOT know it....he also obsesses on females in heat.....and follows them around nonstop, the entire rest of the world can disappear, and Buddy would not realize it, he is that focused on that female, sniffing at them, and trying to mount them if they will allow it....:rolleyes:

    for *my* particular dog, i was bummed to notice, AFTER i'd taught him recall, had it razor sharp (except for bunnies:rolleyes: ) that Buddy's recall got all sloppy when i quit practicing it all the time.
    i did not know that would happen:eek: . I had sort of thought, like all his other cues, once he learned it, he had it forever.

    but that was not the case with recall for *my* dog...:(

    so then, i sorta had to reteach it all over again, sort of,
    and now, for *my* dog, i have to practice daily, or almost daily, to keep it sharp.
    and this is not around like distractions like Zac has this week.........i just mean just plain ol recall, my dog had become real sloppy about it, without daily practice...:(
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    LOL Tigerlily I do practice recall with Zac every day normally - not so much to be boring and lots of recall games. Practice is not the answer in this case, nor running in the opposite direction, nor long line, nor recall games, nor better treats, nor better rewards, nor trick training, nor ping pong dog, nor anything else I've used for chasing prey or general recall training. He even stands in our yard with his nose pointing in the direction of her house looking wistful (even though it is 1/4 of a mile away and the wind is blowing the other way).

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean about Sara and Hero. I'm sure Mewzard is going to train the pups, she won't be able to stop herself :ROFLMAO: but this time she won't be expecting them to go to college before they are out of playschool/kindergarten, it isn't just that lessons are shorter, the level of the work is different, and you don't qualify to study a college course just by when your vaccinations take effect.

    We all know that puppies can be trained lots of things. Sure you can teach a puppy to come and sit and spin and roll over and chase a ball and so on but that doesn't mean it is going to learn to walk loose leash in a real world environment any time soon. Most tricks are performed in a controlled environment without scuttling leaves and birds and a whole new world to explore, most dogs (let alone puppies) would struggle to perform more than the most basic tricks in distracting environment, for a puppy every new twig is a distracting environment, they need time to become blasé and go "duh, just another boring old twig", "just another two-leg", "just another grass stalk".

    I wouldn't ask a 5 month old puppy to recall in the midst of distractions it had never met before so why am I asking him to walk loose leash in the midst of distractions he has never seen before (well not since last time anyway :rolleyes:) ? Once I started loose leash training I was trapped into constantly preventing him from pulling so there is never any respite for any of us and no opportunity for him just to be a puppy while he is on the lead and to be able to forget everything in his excitement to rush and sit in front of a new two-leg, or sniff a beetle, or follow the smell-story of a hedgehog in the hedge by the path.

    I put loose leash up there with recall as being too tough for puppies to perform (or for me to teach :LOL:) in a "real world" context. I can have Gus walk perfectly either loose leash or to heel with me with contact even but the mental strain on all of us to sustain that on our walks everyday is just counterproductive.
    mewzard likes this.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    yeah, i realized, Zac following a dog in heat was not caused by lack of recall training, didn't mean to imply that, if i did. (?) cuz, like i said, my dog does same thing, and he IS neutered!!:ROFLMAO: I was just talking about my particular dog and his recall issues, i even highlighted the word *my* with lil stars, to point out, that is how *my* dog is.

    I will msg Sara to ask her if her BC puppy can walk loose leash, (maybe he can't) as i kinda get impression, like i said, it might vary a bit from puppy to puppy. (?) That was all i said.
    Maybe some puppies can learn loose leash, and maybe some puppies can not. Seems a reasonable guess to make, from looking around at the various puppies here on DTA.

    like i said //"but, maybe, not all puppies can be taught things."// <---and by things, that'd probably include how to walk on a leash.


    but yeah, like i said, i totally agree, //but def if a person is not feeling good about a lesson, or about teaching a certain thing, then definitely it seems shelving the lesson, or passing it over to someone else, IS probably the very best solution in that situation.//
  8. running_dog Honored Member

    Sorry, I must have skimmed the post too quickly.

    Sure, I taught Zac to walk reasonably on the lead without ever being driven to brink of my self control. But even for "easy" puppies there are many practical factors that affect leash training, for instance how many times have I recommended backing away from a pulling puppy? I didn't know that if you try to back away from some sizes/shapes of puppy when they are pulling they can easily flip onto their backs - especially if jumping at a person or powering up against the lead.

    Sorry again if I misunderstood but "maybe not all puppies can be taught things" sounds, particularly when taken along with the comments about Hero being "taught things", like you think we are saying that some puppies can't be taught anything but because Hero has been taught "things" we must be wrong. Perhaps "maybe not all puppies can be taught all things" might have been closer to what you meant?

    If I ever couldn't avoid training another puppy I would do loose leash/heel groundwork but I would not attempt leash training on walks until the pup had got over its initial "awe and wonder" - and that IS different for each puppy. If the pup is over noticing every leaf/twig/beetle then that means the number of distractions you are dealing with has been vastly reduced. From what Mewzard said it also follows that puppies have some right to explore their world on walks without constantly being encouraged to be "grown up" and sensible.

    I've only held out in this discussion because I think it has raised some interesting ideas. Not long ago I'd have been agreeing with you Tigerlily...

    ... But then I met Gus... :rolleyes:
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  9. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly can loose leash walk and she is nearly 7 months old. She is a Pug x FoxyBichon but acts and looks a lot like a terrier.

    At first she would pull and I didn't know how to teach her to loose leash but then I watched Kikopup. We started in the kitchen, then the backyard (during this time she didn't go on any other walks, although I realise this is not possible for people without a backyard or for larger puppy's that really need exercise) and then for about a week we only went down the same boring street every walk and it was a fairly short walk so neither of us got frustrated. Then I slowly increased the length of the walk but they are still not too long (Holly is a small dog, 5kg). She walks using a back clipping harness.

    Now at nearly 7 months old she walks next to me (not ahead of me on a loose leash like some dogs) most of the time (about 85-90% of the time) unless she sees another dog or really wants to sniff something, I just stop so that the thing is just out of her reach (she sometimes goes up on her back legs pulling) and just stand there until the leash is loose and then we continue walking, she is starting to figure out that if she doesn't pull then she will get to sniff what she wants and sometimes I just stop and let her sniff stuff. I still take the treat bag and clicker on walks and probably will for a long time. Sometimes I practice some of her tricks on leash at the park (there usually isn't anyone else there to distract her).

    Also, I stopped everyone else walking her when I started training her (I thought they would have different standards of loose leash walking to me) and I'm still the only one her walks her until I feel everyone else wont disrupt her training (probably when she no longer needs any treats during the walk).

    I know not all puppies are the same and Holly is generally very bad at things that require self control (eg, stay, toilet training) and she learns more active tricks better (which tend to look more impressive - spin, weave around by legs, jump over my leg etc). So I guess every puppy has its strengths and weaknesses so maybe try to remember what the puppy is good at when it is being a pain. At dog class Holly is the best at most things until we get to stay and secretly she still isn't fully toilet trained, won't "leave it" and is really anoying in the evening (if all the other puppy owners knew about these major weaknesses they probably wouldn't be so impressed with her tricks, and she always performs better in class then at home).

    So... maybe lot's of short walks would be better as you wont get as frustrated and it might make the puppy learn better because it doesn't have to concentrate for as long and I think all puppy's have there strengths and weaknesses in training and behaviour.
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  10. running_dog Honored Member

    I'm glad Holly is trained loose leash. It must make life a lot easier. Zac walked nicely on leash from almost as soon as I got him a 5 months old so I agree that puppies are all different.

    Gus is a lab/collie about 5 1/2 months old with a tremendous amount of energy and he already weighs 18 -20kg. He was never allowed to pull from his first introduction to the lead. Only in the last week or so he has been allowed to pull because we are just so past ourselves with walking backwards, walking in circles, changing direction and feeding him treats, etc without seeing any improvement that we quite simply can't face doing it anymore. We have run out of time to teach him loose leash on daily walks using a flat collar and lead because by the end of next week there will be only me left who is physically able to walk him and mentally I just can't! If I walk him all the time it makes Zac exceedingly insecure. I've insisted on the head halter for Gus but the rest of the family will get a choke chain if this doesn't work.

    Gus's strong point at the moment is his recall - absolutely fabulous from dogs, geese, people, and that helps because we don't have to have him on leash all the time. Recall is always fragile though so next week he might be abysmal!
  11. 648117 Honored Member

    3 out of the 7 dogs in Holly's intermediate puppy class had head halters so it is pretty common.
    The german shepherd, black lab and schnauzer used them.
    Holly, Holly's sister, a spaniel cross and a staffi cross (I think that's what it was) didn't use them.
    Holly was the only one who used a harness.

    I just noticed that all the pure bred dogs used head halters whereas the mixed breeds didn't... interesting.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. mewzard Experienced Member

    Oka would walk loose lead from about 5/6 months (when not near dogs!) Her walking is brill, when i had a trainer out when Oka was 8 months she told me that for her age/breed that she was the best lead walker she'd seen - and she wasn't brilliant at that time.

    I see alot with head halters i have considered it too at times, becuase i found her hard to control around dogs. but now we don't need it -Oka is alot better.

    Out of the 12 that were at our puppy class I've only seen 4 (including Oka) that consistantly loose lead walk - almost 2 years on!!

    Hero is like 7 months? and knows lots of tricks...Though i did notice in her "all about dogs" video there where times when Hero was WAY more interested in the rest of the place - I'm still in awe though; at that age Oka wouldn't have even looked at me with just one of those dogs around.
    I think Tigerlily was trying to say that puppies can learn masses and not be distracted but that some dogs just can't do that. - Least i think thats what she was saying.

    The playschool/college thing is extactly what i am thinking! I think that in general people are now so worried about having unruly dogs that they over train thier puppies then wonder why it falls apart later on. We get many 8,9,10 month old 'puppies' in the rescue and i hazard a guess that it is becuase the dog is not as cute and has stopped seeing the owner as the center of it's world.

    If little puppies we able to be puppies and we realise that they can be just as easily trained out of bad habits later then we'd spend more time enjoying thier fun and making a better bond.
    Thats not so say i won't be doing any training with these little fluff balls, i just try to get the main things in; "sit", "come", "wait" (sometimes!) and not to jump up. Thats if i get enough time with the dogs, using front clip harnesses helps emmensely with lead walking.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //Sorry again if I misunderstood but "maybe not all puppies can be taught things" sounds, particularly when taken along with the comments about Hero being "taught things", like you think we are saying that some puppies can't be taught anything but because Hero has been taught "things" we must be wrong.//

    nope, sorry, i can't defend a remark that i never ever said....
    so i won't.:ROFLMAO:
    HERE is what i actually said:

    // like i said "but, maybe, not all puppies can be taught things." <---and by things, that'd probably include how to walk on a leash.//

    I myself dont' find the notion that all puppies might not be the just exactly the same, in their ability to be able to be trained to walk in a loose leash, as that controversial nor odd...(?)



    But Rdog, like i said, i totally, 100% support your decision to either shelve Gus's loose leash training for later on,--- or--- to hand it over to another person, i 100% support it. I totally understand your words on that, and totally think you are making the right decision for this situation!!!

    and again, nowhere do i ever say that head halters are 'bad', ever. I've often encouraged many many many ppl who are frustrated/having trouble with pulling dogs to try one. I even encouraged or asked Tif if she'd try one for her Zara, on Tif's very first day here!!!!!

    But, like i said, *some* of us :rolleyes: do fail to get *our* dogs to properly "like" the head halter....i did everything, still, i failed to get my dog to properly "like" his head halter.
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    AND I AM ALL "FOR"---100% "FOR" puppies playing!! I sure am!! 100%!!! (?) I'm also all "for" dogs getting chances to run free and explore every day. (some dogs would need large fenced-in areas for safety)

    i also don't think positive only training interferes with a bond to a dog, at least, it didn't for me and *my* dog. But i totally completely understand it when someone says they are not enjoying some aspect of some training, or feel the training is too soon, or generally ineffective, or whatever, when they identify they would do better to wait, give it over to someone else, or whatever, i so understand those words.
    I have shelved stuff Buddy was "not getting" to re-try it later on. I tell others this sometimes, too, to shelve something that the dog is "not getting" and try it again later.

    I've spent years now, training Buddy to stop reacting to unknown dogs (lemme tell ya, that is wayyy harder than loose leash training ever ever was, and Buddy was horrible puller, he even injured me a few times in his early days here...falls, my wrists, my elbows, more falls, my hands, i did get really injured now and then, he was THAT bad of a puller!!!:rolleyes:)

    and in all this training, even in that extremely difficult area of rehabbing an exxxtremely aggressive dog----- i do not feel i've done anything but increase our bond in those efforts. but, i'm using positive only methods.

    and i can also compare, on the dog-aggression boards, not everyone feels doing rehab is as rewarding as i feel it is. There are many ppl there on those boards who are ready to pull their hair out in frustration. Many of them think it is impossible. I once felt that way, too, til i gained a better understanding of it all, but now i don't feel that way at all, and even feel a sense of humor about it all!!:ROFLMAO: It's no longer a big deal to me, even if my dog DOES react, so what. We win some, we lose some. I've come full circle on my attitude on my DA dog's progress, but, i can easily recall feeling that sense of failure or frustration about managing dog-aggression. I sure can.


    like our dogs, i think we humans are all unique individuals, just like our dogs are all unique individuals, and i think,
    i really DO believe
    we are all just doing the best we can :) in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    btw, Rdog, that is phenomenal, that you have done so great training Gus to have great recall!!!!! that must vary a bit from puppy to puppy, too, as some ppl with puppies on DTA feel their puppy is too young to master recall, (can't focus, too distracted, etc) or, are not succeeding the way YOU are, so you ARE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT!! KUDOS TO YOU, RDOG!!!!

    I hope you ARE giving yourself a huge pat on the back for THAT one!!! WHOOOT!!! There are even owners of adult dogs who struggling with recall!! i'm sooo applauding your success there, Rdog!! WELL DONE!!!! YAY FOR YOU AND FOR GUS!!!

    for whatever it's worth, in my well documented struggles:ROFLMAO: to teach my "pull-monster" Buddy to ever finally :rolleyes: be able to walk loose leash,
    i found that my stopping, and calling Buddy BACK TO ME, each time, (sometimes i clapped my legs and made kissy noises to lure him BACK TO ME) was most effective for my particular dog. Doing this might not work for Gus, but, that was one of the things that finally finally finally helped Buddy...... that, and throwing out his extenda-leash (til he learned not to pull, once and for all.)

    Like you, Rdog, i found the plain stopping, the circles, the changing directions, etc, all sort of ineffective for *my* particular dog, too!!!:rolleyes:
    however,
    using kikopup's method in that video, of recalling Buddy back to me, each time, seemed to finally help him learn how to snap out of it or something........it sort of seemed like his brain reset when i did that, not sure why, but that DID help Buddy eventually begin to make progress....

    and choke chains have been shown to not be effective on some dogs to make them stop pulling......but probably you were kidding.
  16. TiflovesBCs Experienced Member

    UPDATE : This is a really good head collar and leash and really helps prevent her pulling.
    The only downside is if they park their butt or pull backwards it can come off so I make sure to have a lead attached to her collar or harness aswell.

    Other than that its a definate good one for preventing her pullling and as its lined with fleece its soft on her nose, and the leash having 2 handles one 2/3rd the way down is really helpful
    Pawbla and Dogster like this.

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