Head collars

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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Postby Red » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:01 am

It makes them pay attention to you because you control their head. By controlling their head, they can not look away.


Boy if you are mistaken.A dog won't look directly into your eyes or pay attention because he wears a head collar.You might prevent him from looking behind, or to the sides, but that is about it.True focus is earned with more work than using a tool.Look at the picture below and explain to me how Jack was forced into eye contact and attention.What he is doing has nothing to do with the head collar he is wearing.There is slack on the leash and he can choose to brake the position and try to get at the dog who is walking on his left.The worse that will happen to him is a no reward marker (or a vocal reprimand) and the fact that he can't go anywhere.He is choosing to exchange eye contact because good things comes when he does.Either a treat or plenty of vocal praise.His decisions have consequences but they don't involve physical corrections.Which is, to me, something important.
You cannot force a dog like Jack into eye contact around other dogs, period.It has to be a voluntary action from his part.The head collar is there because Jack is fast grabber and the tool collar comes handy if things go wrong.That is all a head collar is for, physical control, in my opinion at least.The rest is on the handler.

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Postby KadillacGrrl » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:16 pm

concreterose wrote:Solomon & Betty's muzzle look a lot alike. His Halti is a size three, which is supposed to be appropriate for boxer sized dogs, I think the size two might be too small.


I bought my size 3 Halti today... and am working on both girls to get used to it. I don't necessarily want to use it for Kitty but I want to get her used to it too.

I'm grateful for Red posting this article, because the little pamphlet they give you inside the package barely touches acclimating the dog to the halter! I wouldn't have been as prepared, so thanks Red :)

I put it on Betty... she was doing a funny thing with her mouth, like smacking peanut butter LOL. She also tried to scratch it off. I was distracting her with a "watch me" and some food treats. I probably had her wear it for 10 minutes or so. I put the leash on her regular collar and walked her around the house.

I did the same thing with Kitty. Her reaction was totally different. She didn't once try to scratch it off. She didn't seem to mind it at all until she walked, then she turned in to a head shaker. I did the same thing with her as Betty.

I'll just keep practicing in the house and yard until they are used to it.

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Postby slickvic » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:15 pm

i dont need any type of restraining collar for my dog, you should teach them to walk next to you and not pull, if you have to get a device like that it sounds like your dog walks you around, you need to take yor dog for a walk, pack leaders walk in front, not get dragged behind. Look up some information about teaching a dog to walk on a loose leash. It will be easier on you, and it also sends a nice message to passers by with their golden retreivers dragging them around an dhyere you are walking a big pitbull nicley, its easy to teach also, i taught my rescue, to walk on a leash in l ike 5 min. when ever it goes in front of you, snap at the leash, and pivot a foot and turn, they get teh sensation like a mothers bite, and then by turning you take the lead agian, when they are walking in the area you want, praise in a high pitched voice, letting them know that this is where you want them, once they go ahead, same thing, snap, say NO or something, turn and praise, it wont take long at all. good luck

"think that people who have a negative impression of a pit bull in a head collar (i.e. muzzle) would have a negative impression about pit bulls without a muzzle as well...people with this mindset will have it no matter what equipment is being used."

I am afraid yiou are right, but dont you think someone would possibly change there mind, when they walk by with there yorkie pulling them aroudn and yanking in front of them; and you walk by with a well behaved pitbull right at your side.

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Postby Red » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:06 pm

f you have to get a device like that it sounds like your dog walks you around, you need to take yor dog for a walk, pack leaders walk in front, not get dragged behind. Look up some information about teaching a dog to walk on a loose leash.


Why would you assume that giving some information about the use of a head collar means that I cannot walk my dogs on flat collar?There have been threads before, where people asked about introduction and use of head collars.I thought it was helpful to put some info on a single thread.I guess you missed the fact that I use a head collar in specific situations.Mostly on an heavy dog aggressive/reactive male and dog reactivity does not get worse than his.The same dog you see walking on loose lead and flat collar on the videos below, during an obedience class I use for distractions.

http://reddawg.smugmug.com/gallery/4310881_ZFDho#254310468_zoZjj-A-LB

http://reddawg.smugmug.com/gallery/4310881_ZFDho#254314372_xTf35-A-LB

http://reddawg.smugmug.com/gallery/4310881_ZFDho#254315473_6U7uQ-A-LB

when ever it goes in front of you, snap at the leash, and pivot a foot and turn, they get teh sensation like a mothers bite, and then by turning you take the lead agian, when they are walking in the area you want, praise in a high pitched voice, letting them know that this is where you want them, once they go ahead, same thing, snap...


Snap a leash is training? How about teaching dogs what is the proper position in other ways?None of my dogs learned to stay by my side because of sudden and unfair snapping of the leash.

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Postby sara » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:30 pm

slickvic wrote:i dont need any type of restraining collar for my dog, you should teach them to walk next to you and not pull, if you have to get a device like that it sounds like your dog walks you around, you need to take yor dog for a walk, pack leaders walk in front, not get dragged behind. Look up some information about teaching a dog to walk on a loose leash. It will be easier on you, and it also sends a nice message to passers by with their golden retreivers dragging them around an dhyere you are walking a big pitbull nicley, its easy to teach also, i taught my rescue, to walk on a leash in l ike 5 min. when ever it goes in front of you, snap at the leash, and pivot a foot and turn, they get teh sensation like a mothers bite, and then by turning you take the lead agian, when they are walking in the area you want, praise in a high pitched voice, letting them know that this is where you want them, once they go ahead, same thing, snap, say NO or something, turn and praise, it wont take long at all. good luck

"think that people who have a negative impression of a pit bull in a head collar (i.e. muzzle) would have a negative impression about pit bulls without a muzzle as well...people with this mindset will have it no matter what equipment is being used."

I am afraid yiou are right, but dont you think someone would possibly change there mind, when they walk by with there yorkie pulling them aroudn and yanking in front of them; and you walk by with a well behaved pitbull right at your side.


How does one even WALK a dog on such a high horse?

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Postby slickvic » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:16 am

well i can sense a decent amoutn of hostility in both retorts to my comments, i think its sad, this is a fourm, where we are suposed to collaberate and assist eachother for a common cause,

Why would you assume that giving some information about the use of a head collar means that I cannot walk my dogs on flat collar?

i am sory, i did not expect that you rehabilitate dogs, when somebody is talking about a head collar, to me it is safe to asume, that there is a reason one uses it opposed to a flat collar, why would anyone not in your situation use a restraining type of collar if it is not at all needed. so it is a safe assumption just in this case i was not given all of the information.

IF you want to minimize my comment, by saying , snap a lesh is training, go a head, but what i said is accurate, effecient, and has worked for me so i though ti would pass it on, i am sorry i dont know any of the other methods, if i did i wuold share them, since when is this some kind of personal bashing of others methods, i have strong feelings against many of this things read on here, but i dont need to comment in a rude manor to dispute them, i wuold expec this from some newby, but you being a member for a while i would expect a littl emor maturity from you, also how is it unfair to snap the leash, to give a correction, i didn tsay i yank like a madman, i siad a snap, because it does mimic a bite from a pak leader, opposed to a constant pull, which would have the opposite effect. i dont appreciate the tone of your comment, i was respectful and i expect the same from you.

How does one even WALK a dog on such a high horse?
Brilliant sara, so sad that you spend your precious time posting comments like this, what have you brought to the table, with out searching the fourm, i can safley assume, not much, next time if you want to refutet something you dont agree with, instead of a weak witty comment like that try explaining an alternative.

I really am disapointed in this site, i am 23 years old and can refrain from letting my personal feeligns bleed into what are supose to be objective CONSTRUCTIVE criticisims.

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Postby concreterose » Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:24 am

slickvic wrote:well i can sense a decent amoutn of hostility in both retorts to my comments...

Well, that is par for the course when you belittle other training/management techniques, and tout YOUR way as superior. Which came across loud and clear in your post.
slickvic wrote:i am sory, i did not expect that you rehabilitate dogs, when somebody is talking about a head collar, to me it is safe to asume, that there is a reason one uses it opposed to a flat collar, why would anyone not in your situation use a restraining type of collar if it is not at all needed. so it is a safe assumption just in this case i was not given all of the information.

This is the downfall of assuming. Had you asked questions about WHY people use the equipment that they do instead of implying that people don't have control or good relationships with their dogs, I doubt you would've received the responses that you did.

slickvic wrote:IF you want to minimize my comment, by saying , snap a lesh is training, go a head, but what i said is accurate, effecient, and has worked for me so i though ti would pass it on, i am sorry i dont know any of the other methods, if i did i wuold share them...

Well then perhaps it would help YOU out to open your mind to new methods. No two dogs learn the same, or respond the same to a particular training method, and the goal of this forum is to be a catalyst to expose owners to different types of training, as long as it is not harmful to the dog.

For example, my male responded well to the head collar, but cannot use it because of how his muzzle is shaped. He does respond to a prong collar and has been making good progress in his class with this piece of equipment. Red is not a proponent of prong collars, but knows a lot about how I train my dogs, so was open that this equipment works for HIM. She could have just as easily told me that my relationship with my dog sucks and I'm a rotten trainer because I am using something that she doesn't, but she was open-minded enough to take into consideration the training methods that I use coupled with the prong collar will help my dog and I get to where we need to.

When you come on a thread and post about how people are not doing something right because they aren't doing it the way YOU do, expect not to be accepted with open arms.

slickvic wrote:Brilliant sara, so sad that you spend your precious time posting comments like this, what have you brought to the table, with out searching the fourm, i can safley assume, not much, next time if you want to refutet something you dont agree with, instead of a weak witty comment like that try explaining an alternative.

People give plenty of alternatives on this board. YOU however, gave an ultimatum. You implied that the ONLY way to be a successful trainer is to have your dog on a flat collar, and jerk the collar if the dog doesn't do what you want. There a TON of alternatives to this training technique.

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Postby slickvic » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:41 am

alright red, again, i was simply trying to help, if i came off offensive i am sorry, i re-read my post, and i cant imagine what upset you so much, i just gave advise, and readers can take it or leave it, no where did i bash any other method. Ive had enough of your nonsense, i feel like i am back in highschool again, dont bother systematically breaking downo what i said and refuting it because i wont be comeing on here any more, and frankly i hope you can find a way to deal with what ever void you have in your life that you sadly fill with your pathatic littl epower trip your on here, ha, now i see how you acumulated so many posts.

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Postby Red » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:06 am

Dude, did you confuse Concreterose's post with mine? Regardless you did it or not your comments are way out there.

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Postby Roxers » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:17 am

Okay, so I decided to try a headcollar for Roxy. She has dog reactivity problems that are pretty severe when we are out walking. We have been working a lot on her focusing on me. I say "focus" and she looks at me and gets a big reward. So I bought a gentle leader (wanted a Halti, but they didn't sell them at my pet supply store) and introduced her to it slowly with lots of treats. Then we went out for a walk and about half a block of pawing at her face, she seemed to get used to it. She was doing great and getting lots of treats for looking at me, etc. For once, I was actually hoping we would encounter a dog so I could see how she would do. Well, we finally did, a black lab mix who was off leash. We saw her up ahead, Roxy tensed up, and I turned her around and got her attention on me. We moved off the path, she was doing really great at focusing on me and getting lots of treats. Well, of course the dog runs right up to us! Really she did very well though. She actually generally does better anyway when a dog runs up than if we have to walk past them at a distance.
So, I was really pleased with her. We turned back to go home a little while later, and of course I ran out of treats about halfway back!! :sad: Well we encountered a couple walking their two dogs. Apparently their dogs were reactive too, because they moved off the path and held their dogs still facing the path, forcing us to walk right by. Well, Roxy was doing alright until one of their dogs started barking; then she flipped out and started jumping all around and lunging at them. I tried to get her under control, and I could get her to sit, but the dogs weren't going anywhere... so I had to get her out of there, which is really hard to do when she is freaking out like that. It didn't help that I had run out of treats to help distract her with. So I guess my question is.. what should I do in this situation, where we have to walk by? I can get her to face away from a dog and sit, but getting her to go anywhere is much harder. Even if she just sees someone walking (with no dog, even) up ahead, and I try to get her to walk into the grass to move off the path, she puts on the brakes, because she associates that with "there is a dog coming."

Sorry this is so long.

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Postby Red » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:48 am

Hi Roxers.

For once, I was actually hoping we would encounter a dog so I could see how she would do


Chances are that she was going to do what she would have done on a flat collar.If your dog reacts at a certain distance and in certain situations don't expect the head collar to make sudden changes.It would be nice if it was the case, wouldn't it? It is only a tool to physically manage an animal without too much hassle.

I tried to get her under control, and I could get her to sit, but the dogs weren't going anywhere... so I had to get her out of there, which is really hard to do when she is freaking out like that. It didn't help that I had run out of treats to help distract her with.


You don't want to use treats to distract her.Here is why...she is already aroused so she is probably not going to take treats.If you get into the habit to deliver treats with the intention to distract her you can actually create a chain of behaviors.The dog can learn to act up in order to get reinforced.Adrenaline going up is already reinforcing and on top of that there are the treats.Treats, praise, a toy etc, are given only when the dog does not react or respond to your directions.

So I guess my question is.. what should I do in this situation, where we have to walk by? I can get her to face away from a dog and sit, but getting her to go anywhere is much harder. Even if she just sees someone walking (with no dog, even) up ahead, and I try to get her to walk into the grass to move off the path, she puts on the brakes, because she associates that with "there is a dog coming."


I'd try to avoid situations where you have to walk by, as much as you can , for now.Otherwise her threshold gets pushed and you deal with a bucking dog who is in lalaland. You want to start changing her perception of things, so she can relax..Here is what you can try... go on a walk an spot someone with a dog from a fair distance, where Roxy does not react.Let your dog notice the other dog and immediately reward her with treats (something special) and vocal praise, as long as she maintains a relaxed body language.You can start teaching her what is coming by using a happy tone of voice and say "look! there is a doggy!", to which follows a high rate of reinforcement (several treats) and verbal praise (if it is the case).It is simple respondent conditioning, the dog start associating a dog entering the environment with something pleasant.Relaxed leash and try not to use a worried tone of voice.If you get your timing wrong or don't get her body language take several step backs.One look while she remains calm and walk away.If you do this for several session and maintain the sub threshold you should start seeing a different response in her.How long it takes it depends on the dog,your timing and good anticipation of her actions.It is great that she responds to your request to "focus" but requiring constant eye contact on you is only management.And it does not work when she gets aroused anyway.If she responds well at a specific distance take one or two more steps and reinforce if she stays relaxed.Cycle in and out, one step at a time.Ideally you want the dog to make the choice to re orient to you, after she sees a dog, waiting for your direction.Her job is done when she does not act up and is able to hear your directions.

I can send you a couple of videos of Jack doing this exercise around other dogs, if you wish.

I realize I did not answer your question about what to do if you happen to have to walk by another dog.It is too late to do much if she is already acting up so you are left with interrupting a behavior from escalating even farther or just use management to get out of there as fast as you can.Try not to use the head collar to drag the dog around, use your body instead.If someone is coming toward you start directing your dog with your body, staying in between the dog and whoever is coming.Keep your hand down (short leash), steady, no pulling and push the dog at the shoulder with you knee, while you keep walking.Walk slightly sideways, rather than moving straight toward the incoming dog.You want to avoid much eye contact.

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Postby Roxers » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:26 am

Red wrote:You don't want to use treats to distract her.Here is why...she is already aroused so she is probably not going to take treats.If you get into the habit to deliver treats with the intention to distract her you can actually create a chain of behaviors.The dog can learn to act up in order to get reinforced.Adrenaline going up is already reinforcing and on top of that there are the treats.Treats, praise, a toy etc, are given only when the dog does not react or respond to your directions.


No, I only give her treats when she is looking at me and relaxes her face instead of looking at the dog. That's okay, right?

Red wrote:Here is what you can try... go on a walk an spot someone with a dog from a fair distance, where Roxy does not react.Let your dog notice the other dog and immediately reward her with treats (something special) and vocal praise, as long as she maintains a relaxed body language.


As soon as she sees anyone up ahead, her ears immediately go forward and her forehead scrunches up, and she usually stiffens her shoulders a bit. Does that count as reacting, or is it okay to reward her when she does that?

Yesterday we had a better day than the day before. We didn't have to walk close by anyone, but we saw about 6 dogs. Each time I was able to get her to follow me into the grass before she got worked up, and rewarded her for keeping her focus on me, rather than on the dog. She didn't have any big freak-outs. At times, I had to use the headcollar to get her to look at me, rather than the dog. Is that alright to do?

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Postby Red » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:51 pm

No, I only give her treats when she is looking at me and relaxes her face instead of looking at the dog. That's okay, right?


Yes, it is okey .When you said "it didn't help that I had run out of treats to help distract her with" I kinda thought that maybe you were using food to bribe her, after she was already acting up.If you are not doing that then no problem at all.With the time, move away from treats and use other type of reinforcement like a toy, a massage, or play with you.Or exchange reinforcements so it is not always food.

As soon as she sees anyone up ahead, her ears immediately go forward and her forehead scrunches up, and she usually stiffens her shoulders a bit. Does that count as reacting, or is it okay to reward her when she does that?


Yes , she is starting to react, even though it is not excessive yet.Stiffening her body and lowering her head might anticipate a blow out.In that case, since she is not overly aroused, I would try something like "hey Roxy! look here!.Get her attention and praise.If she is stiffening up I would not allow her to keep looking at the other dog.Looks should be limited, at least at the beginning, especially when you see the body tensing up.Here is an example, look at Jack's shoulders and his head slighting moving down. I am allowing him to make choice and on the first part of the video he does well.That is a border collies, a dog of herding breed which is usually intense when it comes to eye contact.Jack is learning to make good choices but he is still a dog who'd like nothing more than to grab another animal so every little change in his body language must be taken in consideration.I always have a loose leash and I don't like to pull on it because it can send the wrong message trough it.But I know Jack well and shifting his body in an even tiny way is no good news.So I slightly tug on the leash, without fussing, and praise him immediately when he turns his head to me.My voice might not have been able to do enough and I wanted to avoid any type of excessive reaction.It broke off his thinking for a moment, enough for him to remember that I was there.I could have asked for a full eye contact but we are working on him making decisions.

Image

This is what should happen at all the times, him controlling himself while he is still looking at other dogs and keep his eyes on my movements:

Image

. At times, I had to use the headcollar to get her to look at me, rather than the dog. Is that alright to do?




Sure, you can do that if you feel she is going to react, although the bets is always to set up your environment to where the dog is successful. Always use a gentle hand, only to get her head and immediately release the leash.You want to use the head collar as less as possible, and work on voice redirection more than anything.Here is a video from Jean Donaldson, using a head collar to interrupt the visual and turn the dog around.Her pulling is more than what I would do but then again she has just taken out the dog from a kennel, without setting things up to where the dog threshold is maintained.She is fast to reward a good response and let her know when a behavior is appropriate.

Scroll down "Working on Leash Aggression":



http://abrionline.org/videos.php

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Postby ZiggysMom » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:30 am

I know I'm entering this discussion a bit late (and I've been gone from the forum for a while) but I wanted to ask an opinion.

I tried the gentle leader on Ziggy for a while, and he learned to tolerate it though I know I didn't do the desensitization right, since when I first started with it I was just kinda screwing around. I eventually tried the prong and I have been using it since. Ziggy seems to like the prong better, just based on his reaction to me getting it out and putting it on. He walks on a loose leash and is fine on a flat collar most of the time, so the prong is mostly "squirrel insurance".

He is somewhat leash reactive to other dogs. Not so much to other dogs who are calm, but other dogs behind a fence really set him off. Usually because they bark and run at the fence, but even when they don't I think he expects them to.

So, my question is, do you think I might be at risk of sending the wrong message with the prong if I'm using that? I try to use good positive training but just the fact that the prong is on him means he gets corrected if he does try to pull. I don't think that's a problem with squirrels, but I am concerned about affecting his attitude towards other dogs. He has been making slow progress with the prong: haven't actually seen it getting significantly worse. I have developed the habit of communicating through leash pressure and I can get a sit with very gentle leash tension in a calm situation even without asking out loud (though I prefer to use the verbal command of course-- just saying this to illustrate his response to the prong), and in more worked up situations with firmer pressure plus the command. I would have to break this habit if I started using the gentle leader again-- can't be pulling on it for corrections just out of habit :P

So I guess the basic question for anyone out there is; do you think I should stick with the prong because Ziggy likes it better, or try again to teach him to tolerate the gentle leader to try to help his attitude and body language around other dogs? Of course, I would still use positive reinforcement and focus exercises regardless of what training tool we settle on.

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Postby Red » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:26 pm

So I guess the basic question for anyone out there is; do you think I should stick with the prong because Ziggy likes it better, or try again to teach him to tolerate the gentle leader to try to help his attitude and body language around other dogs?


If Ziggy truly does not like the head collar then I would not use it.I am of the opinion that the when dogs do not tolerate a head collar something went wrong during the introduction or handling has been aversive.

The problem with the prong, imo, is if you use it to correct your dog for being reactive to other dogs.The reason is that when dogs are already emotional about other animals' presence adding an aversive stimulus does not solve the problem.Behaviors like barking, lunging, pulling and what not might be suppresses but the underlying reason for those behaviors doesn't get addressed.

I'd use a flat collar and use those dogs behind the fence to desensitize the dog to them.You would have to start at a distance where the dog is under his sub threshold, which means he is not already reacting.Pair barking dogs with reinforcers like food, a toy, vocal praise, petting etc..whatever your dog find rewarding you can use.Reinforcers are delivered only if the dog body language is relaxed.I have a few very loud dogs in my neighborhood, who freak out when they know I am walking one of mine.They come handy because they start barking way before we are by their gates.I start feeding my dogs the moment they start to bark, especially my male who'd tend to react to screaming dogs.Because this was done over and over again that male will turn his head to me when he hears the first bark.It is a conditioned response that it is very helpful to have.That male will, at some point, check out the dogs, which is what I want, rather than only control him trough eye contact.But because of the several pairings those sounds mean that something good his about to happen.So the source of those sounds does not longer mean arousal.Make sense?


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