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Come talk to me about canny collars/haltis

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I am currently using an Easy Walk harness with my extremely bouncy nuts adolescent spaniel. He walks well on it, but I've found that under his armpit on the side where the harness tends to ride up he has some small, red lumps (I think from chafing). I've looked at other harnesses, but suspect I'll have the same issue. He runs like a freaking bullet when off lead, and it's all too much rubbing. I've never tried a head collar, but have heard good things about the halti and canny collar. Do you use either collar, and how do you get on with them? And can you reassure me that they're not cruel blush.

WereTricksPotter Wed 10-Oct-12 11:02:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PersonalClown Wed 10-Oct-12 11:04:24

I've used a Halti on my Staffy and still on my Doodle coz he's thick.

Took about 6 months for Staffy boy to twig that if he didn't pull, the Halti came off. He's a delight to walk now.
Unfortunately my Doodle has sawdust for brains as he still hasn't figured it out after a year!!grin

dottygamekeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 11:27:16

We use a Halti on our springer spaniel, as she used to pull terribly on a normal lead - it worked well (although the first few times she kept trying to pull it off with her paws - I think she just wasn't used to the feeling of having something around her face) and she now walks beautifully either on the Halti or just on a slip lead.

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 11:30:42

Hate them.

I can't see a need for them - IMO (and I know people don't agree) they are a short cut, taken to avoid training good on lead walking.

I absolutely can't imagine leaving a harness on a running dog; the damage that could be caused if the harness got caught on a tree or similar would be awful.

I'm afraid I do think head collars of any type are cruel; training on lead walking only needs to be done once and it really shouldn't take that long.

Huh. I hadn't even considered removing the harness when he's running tbh blush I see other dogs off lead still wearing a harness and just unclip the lead. I still need to lose the harness for walks, though, because it is rubbing him. We are working on walking nicely on a normal lead/collar, and he does it beautifully in the house/garden, but once we are outside he loses all concentration. We're on a suburban housing estate, surrounded by builders and cats, so keeping his attention is very, very tricky. I need to limit his ability to leg it after things at will, dislocating my shoulder in the process, and putting himself at risk.

mumofthemonsters808 Wed 10-Oct-12 11:44:41

Totally agree with Daisydo, no device can ever replace a basic collar and lead. If you put the time in now training your dog to lead walk, you will never look back. You'll be amazed how quickly your dog grasps the concept and it will avoid you so much hassle.

raindroprhyme Wed 10-Oct-12 11:50:19

I agree with Daisy in most circumstances however...........
I use one with my husky.

I use it to distinguish between him being in harness to pull and on lead to walk.

so now at 5 he knows when on the halti he walks to heel.

I don't need to use it to stop him pulling now and most of the time he has it on but i connect the lead to his collar.

So it has it's uses but the only way to stop a dog pulling on the lead is to put in the hard work training hours and hours and years and years in my case. (well 2 years)

I am struggling with the lead walking, I admit. On the Easy Walk he will walk clamly and nicely until he sees a cat/digger/squirrel/other dog etc etc, then he leaps about. Having read some reviews, the rubbing seems to be an issue for a few people. I've tried stop and start, turning around and even walking along with a primula cream cheese tube in my hand to give him dabs of treat every few steps. All work until the cat/digger/squirrel etc <sigh> Because he is an energetic dog, the majority of his walk is off lead. Maybe we're just not getting the length of practise? <ponders>

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 11:56:06

There's always an exception to prove the rule grin.

I'd still avoid a head collar though and train to not pull on a regular collar/lead/slipcolllar instead. Have never tried to train a Husky though .... I am quite sure I am not up to the job grin.

He pulls so much on a normal lead/collar, though, that his tongue starts going blue confused Once we've been out for 5 minutes or so, he does start to settle down and walk mostly to heel. Then he sees the cat/digger/squirrel and then....<sigh>

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:04:36

Square bashing. That's what you need.

15 minutes a day to start with of round and round lead walking using a slip lead. Somewhere there are no distractions, ideally. A car park maybe? A field? Not sure what's around you. Don't, whatever you do, do it on the way to a walk. He needs to learn on lead walking for on lead walkings sake.

Allow absolutely no pulling. Lead with treats to start with, holding them down around his nose area, just by your leg and work the lead - tweaking each time there is a hint of a pull with 'to heel' as a command.

If there is a big old pull, turn an immediate 180 degrees and walk in a different direction. If the treats don't entice him find something that does - a squeaky toy maybe? Or a tennis ball?

You already know he is pulling because he knows he can. He has learned that pulling gets him where he wants to be and that sometimes you let him, and sometimes you don't. Consistency is vital - and so is the square bashing.

Aim for a well trained dog who is content to trot along by the side of you (and make it always, always the same side. Don't allow weaving or crossing in front of you. If you are right handed, use your left hand side so your right hand is free to do other more important things) with a lovely slack lead.

Is a slip lead different to a normal collar and lead? I am inconsistent blush I combine Jasper's walks with the school run, so if I'm in a rush he gets to pull. Poor dog is probably confused. Plus, we are on lead for just a few minutes if we're going across the fields and through the woods, so the excitement is huge and he doesn't get a chance to calm down before he's released (he always sits and looks back at me at the same spot, he knows I'll let him off). If we walk past the field turning, then he resigns himself to a lead walk and is better. However, the cross over thing....he does that behind me, like he's trying to get past this annoying slow human who is holding him back. Do you think I should replace one of his off lead romps a day with the lead training instead? We do have a field I can use, but it's where he's normally let off and I wonder if he'd be too excited to concentrate. I can do more work in the garden, but will that translate to being out?

mistlethrush Wed 10-Oct-12 12:12:35

I've had both sides... Two collie crosses that needed halti's to be controllable on a lead to start with (both rescued) but became hugely improved and so didn't wear them after a year or so. However, my current dog (also rescued) pulled when we got her but soon learned to walk properly to heel without pulling - but the collie crosses just didn't want to know using similar techniques. One of the collie crosses came with kennel cough and from then on if she did pull against her collar she had problems breathing - for her a halti was particularly important as she then didn't pull against her neck area. And the collies completely understood square bashing and could happily walk to heel - but were just too excited about going out for a walk to remember to do it (when younger).

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Wed 10-Oct-12 12:17:21

Not related to your troubles, but yesterday I saw a Springer leadless and collarless on a pavement on a junction in a busyish village. I was shock. I happened to put the window down to speak to a passing horserider and commented to her on the leadless spaniel, and the boy with the dog gave me a right moutful hmm.

I wasn't actually saying the dog should be on a lead (although it should) I was simply astounded that anyone could trust a springer to not piss off at the earliest opportunity, especially considering it was very near a duck pond, with ducks.

Mine, like yours, hurtles off like a speeding bullet the moment he is released.

My dog practically wees himself with joy at the prospect of a walk. It's not like it's a rare occurence, he's out for 45-60 mins twice a day, every day (sometimes longer). Running is just his most favourite thing ever. He's an excellent retriever, never misses a fetch, and is by miles happiest off lead. But we don't live on a farm, and he has to fit in with suburban rules. I often think that if I just found a really huge open space, with no other people or dogs, and drove along with a sausage hanging out of the window he'd run and run and combust with joy at the speed/food combo.

Christ, Exit. The thought of Jasper loose by a road...<shudder>. He ran home a few weeks ago when his recall went to hell, and I ran all the way back waiting to hear the squeal of brakes. Luckily, where he ran from meant he didn't have to cross any main roads, just quiet estate lanes, but there are still builders working here. Little sod was sunbathing on the front step when I arrived puffing and panting, and the builders were pissing themselves laughing, but never again.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Wed 10-Oct-12 12:21:35

Mine doesn't give a toss about food. But show him a tennis ball and that is his idea of heaven.

Mine is also ball mad, but I'm trying to leave it at home because he started chasing off other dogs in case they interrupted his game. I walk him in an area with a lot of dog walkers, and didn't want him to be 'that dog' that everyone avoided sad But yes, a tennis ball is his most precious thing ever.

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:46

Yes, a slip lead is different to a lead and collar - see here. I reckon a 1.2m, 8mm lead would be just the ticket.

And yes, he is confused! And very, very bright. He knows exactly what is going on and is hoping very hard to be able to get there as fast as possible.

To start with, I would take him for a bit of a walk to burn off the worst energy and then do a 15 minute, take no prisoners lead walking session. You could also add in sitting to your side on lead at the same time, if you like.

I wouldn't expect you'll have to do more than 4 of them before he gets what you're after.

Once you've got that sorted, you'll be able to move onto walking to heel off lead grin grin grin

Beamur Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:49

I got my dog as an adult, she is incredibly strong and pulled like a train. We tried her with a halti - she went mental the first few times we put it on and used to try and get it off with her paws. She never got used to it, although did submit to it being put on much better, but she still pulled - even with it on. I think some dogs react well to it and learn not to pull - others don't.
We gave up in the end, and I have to say my dog has never been a pleasure to walk on a lead - but I think we have not spent enough time practising.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Wed 10-Oct-12 12:33:52

Mine is that dog!

He has also started barking at men who dare to turn up in places where he normally doesn't see anyone confused He growled at a United Utilities man yesterday - mind you, he was crashing through the undergrowth in a wood and took us both by surprise!

So does the rope tighten when the dog pulls? Can it get caught?

Seriously, I find raising the dog harder than raising the DC. The DC can be reasoned with, don't generally chew shit up and I don't have to worry about them becoming vicious and eating people. Dealing with a different species, with different motivations, is bloody ahrd work <reaches for gin> Love the little bollox, though, even if he does embarass me at least once a day. I love to see him run smile

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:47:25

Yes, it tightens as they pull, and if they're not pulling are completely slack.

Put them on so the weighty bit of the ring is at the bottom of the loop and the weight of the ring will automatically loosen the loop.

They are much easier to use than mucking about with clips/mud/wet dogs and prevent slipping out of their collars. Also are good for feedback when tweaking (not yanking, obv).

Dogs are heaven. Even when v, v bad indeed.

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