Finally in this series regarding tools that I’m not happy to recommend, are Halti and Canny Leader type collars.
These certainly do work in most situations but I have still seen some people being pulled around when using them. Then there’s a problem I’ve witnessed more than a few times where one of the straps passes across the face very close to the dog’s eye and I find that extremely worrying!
My belief is that when you use the correct lead, by giving gentle jerking type tugs you can give corrections to your dog and when all is done correctly, you end up having a ‘conversation’ with him/her and hence can condition your dog to be better behaved.
I have one client that could only keep control of her young female German Shepherd by using a Halti collar, so when we went for a walk I took the lead for a while and whilst I agree that the dog was unable to exert enough of a pull to bother either of us, when I tried to apply a correction to get her to ignore another dog, all that happened was that I pulled her head round and therefore was totally unable to influence her in the slightest.
I realise that a lot of people use the items I’ve listed in these 3 blogs and feel they get on very well with them with their particular dog. I am not saying that haltis, harnesses and leads are totally unusable but my findings are (as is true in a most situations in life) that the best tool is usually the one with the most simple design!
Ok, so which lead do I prefer to use?
Well I use a slip lead. That’s the type of lead that is used in the dog show-ring and because of it’s simplicity, when used correctly, it gives a great deal of control over a dog’s head, which directly relates to the control of the dog. Think about this; If horses weren’t controlled by the head, they’d be able to take their riders anywhere they desired!
So a slip lead is a rope lead with a metal ring fixed on the end and the rope is passed through the ring to form a loop which goes over the head of your dog. There is an attachment on the lead that slides down behind the metal ring to stop the loop opening up to stop it coming off over the dog’s head and apart from a handle that’s it!!
And because the lead is a continuous rope going to the neck of the dog, when you learn to be in “calm assertive, pack leader” mode, using gentle “tug” corrections can be instantly effective in improving behaviour. Also, if you have sufficient control over your dog to allow it off lead, all you have to carry is a piece of rope. A great improvement to having to carry conventional leads or flexi leads, I can assure you.
The commercial slip leads available tend to have some limitations in my opinion regarding the type of rope and the sliding attachment utilised and so I’ve been making a version for the last 5 or 6 years, in an attempt to get closer to the ideal!!? Available for £5.00 and like the original Ford car, in any colour you like, as long as it’s black…..