He Hates It. I Like It.

The only drawback to it is that the leash attaches below his neck, which means you have to make sure he's not constantly tripping over it.

The only drawback to it is that the leash attaches below his neck, which means you have to make sure he’s not constantly tripping over it.

15 thoughts on “He Hates It. I Like It.

  1. Anonymous, oh, you’re right. I also know little kids who hate being in car seats. I guess we should just let them roam free-range around the back seat?

    Rachel, i don’t know. Whatever kind the Butcher brought.

  2. It’s not a muzzle. It’s just a nose lead. He could still bite someone if he somehow wanted to. It just makes it so that when he pulls–like when a car goes by–it puts pressure on his nose and causes him to stop pulling.

  3. The only caution I’ve heard with these is to be careful of abrupt stops. It can mess up neck alignment.(The same with halters on horses. And regular flat collars can too-they just have less leverage.)

    Have you tried the ‘be a tree’ for just regular pulling? You just stop moving when there’s pressure on the leash. No pressure=more walking.It’s boring but it does work-especially with a thinking dog.

  4. That works very well when he’s not distracted. What we’re trying to deal with is that he goes into complete, unthinking terror when the cars (and especially trucks and school buses) go by when we’re walking. And I have to walk him in the road. We don’t have sidewalks out here. So, I need a way to keep him from dragging both of us over when he’s panicking.

    Just in the few weeks we’ve had him, he’s already become more confident with passing cars (though not with trucks or buses), so I’m hoping this isn’t a permanent thing, but a way to cut through the “NOOOOOOHOLYSHITRUNN!!!!” script in his brain when I need him to remain, if not calm, at least not trying to bolt.

  5. Yeah, the dashers can be tough. I knew someone who ended up using a prong collar(the dog hated and constantly pawed the head collar) because he’d pull her flat chasing after squirrels or cats. And then be loose in traffic.

    So when the choices are ‘sucks’ or ‘really sucks’ you do the best you can. And he is learning despite the panic.

  6. We kept Sadie on a pronged collar, in spite of all the snide comments we got about it, because her neck was wide enough that she could slide out of a cloth collar and was damaging her vocal chords with a choke collar. I never tried something like this with her, but I thing she would have just found it a challenge, not a deterrent.

    But Sonnyboy both hates it and tolerates it, so, like i said, I’m hoping we can just use it until he gains traffic confidence and then be done with it.

    We did learn something exciting about him this weekend, though. He responds to whistles. He was doing something and I wanted his attention in the other room and he wasn’t paying any attention to my calling his name, so I whistled and he came running instantly. And he looked so relieved, like “Oh, I know what you want! You want me.” And then yesterday, the Butcher whistled at him and he threw himself into the Butcher’s lap with this goofy look on his face, like the Butcher had said something silly in a language the dog knew.

    It makes me wonder if he’s whistle trained and, if so, how we might figure how what whistles he knows.

  7. I’ve never heard of whistle training-other than sheepwork at a distance. But it’s so cool that it’s something he knows and likes.

  8. Me, neither, but if you saw his face, you’d know he both recognizes it and is relieved and delighted we do, too. I’m a little worried that it’s like when I went to Puerto Rico and was all “Donde esta el bano?” (I can’t get WordPress to put a tilde over my n, but imagine it there.) and the person answered me in Spanish and I realized that I don’t actually know enough Spanish to understand her directions. So, the poor dog is like “Yes, a common language” and we’re like “Dog, come airplane fruitplate” instead of “Dog, come sit by me!”

  9. For whistle trained retrievers, generally in the US it’s very basic:

    toot = sit
    toot toot toot = come back to me

    And that’s as far as it goes. However, if he’s coming on a single toot (and they use mechanical whistles, because they’re used to direct the dog when it’s several hundred yards away), it’s likely someone just taught him to come when they whistled. Easy enough to teach!

  10. I saw some neighbors with a dog of similar ancestry on a nose lead out for a walk yesterday, which meant I got a good look of how it works in motion, and it seems like a brilliant notion to me. I can’t agree with whoever was saying if the dog doesn’t like it, take it off. Your dog’s safety depends on your maintaining control — doing so is kind and caring, the opposite of unkind.

    In my limited experience, dogs of that sort of extraction can have a very startling library of knowledge inborn, including responding to whistles. We had one that seemed dim as a post in many ways, but we kept happening upon this huge inborn set of knowledge. It became not a matter of training him so much as figuring what signals he already got, because teaching him new ones was a bit beyond his capacity. It kept throwing us for a loop because we were used to a dog of very similar ancestry who was of the super-smart, teach him anything sort.

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