[nagdu] Programs Requiring Use of a Head Collar One Time

Tami Jarvis tami at poodlemutt.com
Mon Jul 28 15:48:13 UTC 2014


I suspect you are right about the once-only introduction of the head 
collar during class. That doesn't give the dog time to get used to it in 
a conducive environment or to learn what the expectations are for it. It 
also doesn't give a student new to handling with a head collar time to 
adjust, especially if the rest of the training involves corrections. If 
it's habit to jerk, even lightly on the leash, then reversing that habit 
when the dog is wearing the head collar won't just happen by magic. I 
usually spend a few days getting a dog used to the head collar before 
doing basic loose leash work with it, then I make sessions very short at 
first, ending once the dog has quieted down and done one good thing 
after throwing a hairy fit over being restrained by the head collar. 
Then I work on keeping the dog going without stopping to try to brush it 

Getting a correct fit is important, too, since the noseband lies over a 
super sensitive area. You need to have it tight enough that the dog 
can't brush it off too easily but not so tight that it is putting 
constant pressure on the nose or preventing the dog from panting. This 
is easy on a poodle with the long, beaky nose. On our wide-mouthed, 
short-muzzled mutt, it's a whole different story. On her, the band is 
close under the eyes, too. She seems to accept it well these days, which 
is good because she is so strong that I need the extra control doing 
leash work outside the yard. But I don't think I would be as cavalier 
about leaving it on for long periods the way I do with Mitzi.

Mitzi, as far as I can tell, is fine with the GL on as part of her 
working gear, and I like being able to have the feedback about what her 
nose is doing -- now more because I get clues about the environment and 
what she is paying attention than because I am worried The Nose is 
getting up to trouble. /smile/

I do worry about the leash getting caught on things and jerking her head 
unnecessarily, but so far have managed to keep that from happening. She 
has gotten excited a time or two and jerked herself on it while I just 
stood there, which makes me cringe. But it does remind her to keep a 
grip when she's excited. When I do use the leash for, say, sniffing, I 
use only a gentle, steady pressure to pull her head away from what she 
is distracted by. If that doesn't work, then I use other methods to 
redirect her. She's not always that stubborn, and generally an 
absent-minded voice cue keeps her on the straight and narrow. But she 
does have her moments every now and then still. /smile/


On 07/27/2014 09:04 PM, Nicole Torcolini via nagdu wrote:> When I 
received Lexia from GDB about seven years ago, they gave us gentle
 > leaders as part of the free equipment  and had one route on which we were
 > required to use them. They told us how to put them on the dogs and how to
 > work with them, but, although Lexia seemed fine at the time, 
something must
 > have gone terribly wrong. The next time that I put the gentle leader 
on her
 > because I thought that it would be helpful in a crowded environment, 
I ended
 > up taking it off right away because Lexia would not budge a millimeter.
 > Perhaps what they had recommended for the best tightness for the nose 
 > was too tight; my mother said that Lexia had a mark on her nose from the
 > time that she had worn the gentle leader in class. Anyway, I wonder if
 > schools are doing more harm than good if they require people to use a 
 > collar once during class because the dogs have not had time to get 
used to
 > it.
 > Nicole and Lexia
 > -----Original Message-----
 > From: Danielle Burton [mailto:danielleburton94 at gmail.com]
 > Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2014 8:42 PM
 > To: Nicole Torcolini; NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of 
 > Dog Users
 > Subject: Re: [nagdu] Programs Requiring Use of a Head Collar One Time
 > the school I went to does it on an individual basis. For example some 
 > will not need it and it could hinder them and some dogs may need it. 
i was
 > never introcuced to one in train. I have a softer dog so I doubt she 
 > work in one. But for high distraction I do some obedience and treat. 
and I
 > use my voice to get her attention Like I try to be more interesting 
than the
 > distraction to get her to want to focus on me instead.
 > Danielle and Willa
 >> >On Jul 27, 2014, at 11:18 PM, Nicole Torcolini via nagdu
 > <nagdu at nfbnet.org>  wrote:
 >> >
 >> >Has anyone else had the experience where a program required you to use
 >> >a head collar on your dog just once during class, during which time
 >> >your dog seemed to do fine with it, but, after the end of the program,
 >> >the next time that you tried to use the head collar, your dog 
refused to
 > work?
 >> >
 >> >Nicole and Lexia who luckily does not need a head collar
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