Before You Use A Dog Training Head Collar, Watch This Video – Professional Dog Training Tips

– People can see a lot of success when they use a dog training
head collar with their dog, they get less pulling, they
have generally more control. But a head collar is a
piece of training equipment, you could see early success with it, but you don't wanna
become dependent on it. So today, instructor
Steve's gonna talk to you about the process of weening
off the Gentle Leader. So before you choose a
dog training head collar, make sure you watch this video. I'm Ken Steepe.
– I'm Steve Walsh. – Welcome back to McCann Dogs. (gentle music)
(doggy barking) – So training aids like Gentle Leaders, or other head collars
are very powerful tools. And the question comes up a lot, when do we start to ween off that tool? Because we don't wanna
become reliant on it. We don't want to use that as the tool that has our dog behaving, or listening to our voice or, whatever
it is we expect from them.

And it's come up several
times actually, lately, people who have busy, outgoing dogs that have found great
success using Gentle Leaders, which is sort of our
preferred tool around here. And then they get in a
hurry to ween off of it, Now, I understand that weening
off is a important process, it's something that needs to happen. But what do I see from my dog? What indicators am I getting from my dog, that tells me, it's time
to ween off of that, and start moving off of it? And I say ween very specifically, because it's important to transitions away from those powerful tools. Incidentally we have another
video on Gentle Leaders. There'll be a link below
or in the card, up here, that you can click on if you
wanna see how to physically go between a full Gentle Leader,
to removing the nose loop and clipping that nose loop
up, under the double D ring.

Or, going to a straight flat collar. But, just taking the Gentle
Leader off and hoping that you get success, is not the best way to set your dog up for
success, oddly enough. Now, we talk about wanting
to have our dogs listen to our voice, and verbal
control is a big thing, and a big portion of
what we do around here. And the Gentle Leaders
allow us to achieve that by being able to, let's say redirect a dog, or turn a dog away from
someone that's stimulating. By speaking to them first
and then using that, we take away the big tug
of war of a flat collar. Everybody's had their young dog
who has that big flat collar on, and learns to sink
their head and pull. That Gentle Leader allows us
to over come that very easily, and build a little bit more success.

But if I start to find that when I take that Gentle Leader off, my dog instantly goes back to pulling. I am way too early, in trying to remove that piece of equipment. And again, removing is
not the best way to do it, it's all about weening. So what do we look for for our dogs? Well let's just take walking for example, if I have a young dog that
is wearing a Gentle Leader and we're starting to get some success and we're working with a
nice, loose leash walking, left hand, or right hand side, wherever you happen to walk with your dog, doesn't really make a difference.

We work walking on our
left hand side around here. As long as my dog is
starting to reliably walk, in that position, on a loose leash. and start to listen to my voice. If I tell them let's
go, come on over here. Or if they get distracted by something, and I can tell them leave
it, and they're offering that to check back in
with me on that leave it, then I might actually start trying to not only just start to ween off that piece of equipment, then.

But find harder distractions, find things that are more difficult for that dog to work through. Environment plays such a
huge role in dogs learning that, before I take away
any of these training aids that are helping us be successful, I will proof that behavior,
by putting them in as many different situations as I can. So, maybe walking down my
street, there they've walked you know, three times a
day, for however many days, isn't very that exciting,
every thing is not that exciting for them anymore. So maybe I'll go to the park, hopefully the warmer weathers coming. And you'll be able to get
outside and work with those dogs. Find a park where there's you know, some kids playing basketball
or find something else. Go to that great park with
all the squirrels in it. Really find those things
that help stimulate your dog, and be conscious of
building their success. Use space as your friend,
so if going too close to that baseball game
is to much for your dog, start to work further away. And I would use those
opportunities to proof my Gentle Leader skills
before I even think about taking them off.

And that time is different for every dog, it really depends on what
your dog is showing to you. I often think about removing things when I can't remember the last time
they really had to use it. That to me is really
sort of a great analogy. If I can speak to my
dog and say hey buddy, come on over here, and that
dog willingly follows me, without me having to add
a little bump on the leash or something to kind of
regain their attention, then I can start to think about, you know what this would be a great time, in this particular
situation, to ween off of it.

pexels photo 6568490

Because again, if my dog
can be successful in certain situations, it doesn't
mean they're going to be successful in every situation, right away. That's our job to be consistent with them, and help them understand, no matter what. That means my Gentle Leader,
and my weening process becomes a little bit more fluid. So let's say I have worked through that baseball game scenario,
walking my dog back and forth, passed all those exciting kids while that games being played. I might spend the next
10 or 15 minutes with that nose loop off,
clipped in, with the leash clipped back into the double D ring, and get some success, in that situation.

At maybe 50, or 100 feet away. But again, my proofing
process isn't just okay, my dog is trained now. I might go a little closer
to that baseball game, or to those benches where
those kids are sitting and eating hot dogs. I would really push my
dogs ability to understand that no matter what's going on around them I can help them be successful
by listening to me.

And you will find there's
a little threshold. A threshold where my dog is
comfortable in the situation, calm, they are keyed
into me, they understand what it is I want. And then you'll get to a point
where they start to go well, but those kids are very close
and they're very exciting. And that's the area
that I always look for, that sorta threshold, and
I wanna sorta stay just underneath it, and
build towards it, closer and closer, and closer. If I cross it, and my dog says,
ah, I can't do it anymore, I need to pull, I need
to go see those kids. Great, no problem, I'm not
mad at the dog at that point. But that's where my Gentle
Leader becomes fluid. I kmve back away,
reestablish some distance, pull that nose loop up, put it back on, work a little closer again. To sort of reiterate to
them, what I want them to do all the time, okay? And then I might come back, and
then take that nose lip off, and work at that threshold point again.

So it's really a fluid process,
depending on what it is I'm seeing from my dog. And that may take some time. Again, not every dog understands
that, their environment no matter what's going
on in their environment or around them they need to listen in all those situations, so it's our job to help our dogs be right, but still keep that high expectation,. One of the big mistakes that
people happens is they miss that threshold point, they
miss where their dog start to make mistake, after
mistake, after mistake. And we talk about this
in agility quite a bit, I know McCann's mentioned this before, my dog makes two mistakes
they don't know it, okay? So I need to go back to
help them be successful. the same thing applies
with walking my dog, if my dog has pulled on the
leash and I've spoken to them and they're not following through, and I've really had to
help them with that leash a couple of times, I
gotta change something.

I gotta help them be right. That's why I can put that fold
back gentle leader back on, and again, that's the big process, is that nose loop off nose loop on, that's the biggest step, the transition from
then, gentle leader off, to flat collar, actually
becomes quite quick. Because the information
that they're getting, when I do need to give
them a little information with the leash, is the
same, provided my collar is well fit. That's something I know
Ken's covered in the past on some of our videos,
and I'm sure there will be a link somewhere over here about collars, or wherever it happens to be. So really, when it comes down to it, it is the process of weening, it's not an on or off scenario, it
is an as needed basis to help my dog be successful.

I want my dogs to be correct, I don't them to make
mistake, after mistake, after mistake. You will find that every dog
is a little bit different but it's your consistency, your clarity, and your high expectations
that's going to help those dogs understand what
it is you want them to do, any time, every time, no
matter the piece of equipment that they ware. So if you'd like to get
any more information about gentle leaders, and how to fit them, and how they can be used, just
click that guy, right there. – I wanna thank instructor
Steve for joining us today, now if this is your first
time on the channel, make sure you hut that subscribe button we publish videos every
single week to help you to have a well behaved
four legged family member on that note, I'm Ken.

– I'm Steve. – Happy training..

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