Yesterday Penny and I didn't get out for a walk until nearly sunset. Seeing I knew we wouldn't be out as long as I wished, I decided to make a virtue of necessity and slow the pace of the walk down. I wanted to see if putting Penny back on the 'Gentle Leader' head collar would remind her that she should walk beside me unless she has been permitted to roam away from me.
It's been months since we used this training headcollar. At the time, she didn't much like it but stopped pulling ahead when we were walking. We didn't use it for more than a couple of weeks.
What I like about this collar is that it comes with a short DVD that shows how to use it effectively.I can't stand seeing people whose poor dogs are being yanked around inefficiently and harshly on training collars. As far as I'm concerned, they are a learning tool that is used for a short period of time in a dog's life. If the dog learns how to walk nicely on lead then they've done their job. If not, then put them away because they aren't the right tool for teaching the dog.
Well, yesterday Penny surprised me by heading off quietly beside me all the way to the park. She didn't seem to mind the collar at all. At the park I took it off, of course, and we had fun chasing balls. Well...I stood around and Penny did the chasing. We didn't use the head collar on the way back but I did think she was walking more calmly than she has been doing recently.
We seem to be accumulating quite an array of leashes and collars.
I've now got the extendable lead for walking in the park in the on-lead areas, the normal one-and-a-half metre lead for street use and two new short leads for training work. They are useful in agility work where I want Penny to be free to move without the danger of tripping over a trailing lead yet want to be able to control her if an unexpected situation arises.
I bought one at K9Kompany in Lilydale. It's called a 'snub lead' and it's made by Black Dog Wear. It's about fourteen centimetres long, with a knot at one end, which makes it easy to grab, even with her long fur.
The other one I got at A Perfect Spot training. It's a bout forty centimetres long and can be clipped back on itself to make it twenty-five centimetres.
I'm looking forward to trying out the two different leads and seeing how they compare.