Training a dog provides us with a mean of communication with our pet. We can let the dog know what we want and keep our pet safe and happy. The Head Collar provides us with a tool that will humanely make training easier, quicker and more efficient.
A brief guideline is provided for basic training and managing of some common behavioral problems. If you continue to experience difficulty it is strongly recommended that you seek the assistance of your veterinarian or of a professional canine trainer or behaviorist.
All training methods should utilize positive, non-punishing, lure rewards. All members of the family should participate.
- Food tidbits (size of a pea) are the best for most dogs, but a ball, Kong or tug toy may serve as a reward for some dogs.
- Praise and touch are not as effective rewards, as we tend to over use them in our day to day interaction with the dog.
- For rapid learning, the reward must follow the desired behavior within one second.
- Initially reward every correct response then intermittently reward.
The Vocal Command:
- Until taught the dog does not understand the meaning of the command, SIT, DOWN, COME are meaningless words until we pair them with the dog’s action
- Do not give the dog a command until you know that you are capable of getting the dog to perform the desired behavior.
- WHEN TRAINING, THE HEAD COLLAR BECOMES A TOOL THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PHYSICALLY CONTROL THE DOG’S MOVEMENT AND ATTENTION.
- As well as being a reward, food tidbits may be used as a lure to direct a dog to perform the behavior. Hold the food tidbit one-two inches in front of the dog’s nose and allow the dog to follow your hand and lure so that you guide the dog into the desired position.
- Once you are confident that you can get the dog to site or down consistently, you can introduce the verbal command just as the dog starts to sit or down.
- Repeat the above using the Head Collar, the lure and the command several times until the dog confidently performs the correct response.
- Rewarding the paired verbal command with the desired behavior will result in a more rapid association and understanding by the dog.
Teaching your dog to walk at your side:
- Attach the lead to the head halter and place it on the dog.
- Stand at the side of your dog and hold the lead in your hand, leaving two to three inches of slack where it joins to the Control Ring. Fold any excess lead into your other hand.
- Start walking briskly, encouraging your dog to go with you.
- If your dog hold back, coax it with “happy talk” and offer a food tidbit. Pull forward on the lead and quickly release. Repeat until your dog begins to move. Praise and reward any forward movement.
- If your dog pulls forward, use the lead to turn the dog’s nose (not body) around and up so it points directly towards your eyes. Walking forward, maintain tension on the lead until you have reached your dog’s side. Praise your dog with “happy talk” and start walking encouraging it to walk next to you.
- NEVER JERK OR YANK THE LEASH, THE CONSTANT ACTION WILL ONLY CONFUSED THE DOG. USE ONLY A SMOOTH STEADY GENTLE PULL. FOLLOWED BY A QUICK RELEASE.
Teach your dog to SIT:
Teaching your dog to SIT is the most important command that can be achieved to control behavioral problems. A SITTING DOG IS INCAPABLE OF JUMPING ON PEOPLE, BOLTING OUT THE FRONT DOOR OR CHASING THE CAT. Every member of the family should be able to successfully train the dog to SIT!
- Have the dog sit at your side. Reach under your dog’s head with your left hand and grasp the lead near the snap.
- At the same time, pull the lead upward and back to point the nose skyward. Do not pull the lead to the side. Your left hand should be immediately in front of your pet’s nose.
- When you can successfully get the dog to respond, say “SIT” with a soft, enticing voice just prior to the dog sitting.
- Reward every correct response with food tidbits and praise.
- Repeat the above exercise until the dog sits every time the command is given.
- The reward should now be given intermittently.
- Have the dog stand facing you.
- Grasp the lead near the snap with either hand and pull the lead upward and back.
- When the dog starts to site, say “SIT” with a soft, inducing voice.
- As the dog’s nose and head point up, its rear end goes naturally towards the floor. Your dog automatically sits without pressing on its back or rear legs. Reward immediately.
- Continue as in the first approach.
NOTE: With either of these approaches a food tidbit may be used as a lure to assist in training the “SIT”. Instead of pulling gently on the lead to induce the dog into the sitting position, lure the dog with a piece of food. Hold the food one to two inches in front of the dog’s nose and slowly move your hand upwards and backwards, so that the dog’s nose follows your hand movement thus forcing its hindquarters to go into a sitting position.
Teaching Your Dog to Down:
- Place the Head Collar on your dog with the lead attached.
- Have the dog in a sitting position at your side.
- Select a highly desirable and palatable food tidbit.
- Hold it about one inch in front of the dog’s nose.
- Make sure the dog is focused on the food tidbit and slowly lower the tidbit straight down to the floor.
- The dog’s nose should follow the food tidbit to the floor.
- As the dog reaches for the tidbit slowly move your hand away from the dog causing the dog to reach for the food and lower its body to the down position.
- Only when the dog achieves the down position is it rewarded with the food.
- When you are proficient at getting the dog to go down start giving the “DOWN”command just as the dog is starting to lie down.
Teaching Your Dog to Come:
- Motivate your dog to COME when called with attractive objects such as toys, balls, or tidbits of food.
- Encourage your dog enthusiastically.
- If the dog does not come on its own, maintain your leadership/control by having your dog wear the headcollar and a ten foot indoor lead.
- The lead allows you to control and vary the distance between you and the dog during training without it running away.
- Have the dog sit or stand about four to five feet away holding the lead in one hand.
- Have an attractive toy or desirable food tidbit (reward) in the other hand.
- Give the command “COME” while gently enticing the dog by showing the reward, and while making happy sounds. Reward if the dog comes.
- If the dog does not come willingly gently pull the dog to you with the lead and again praise and reward the dog for being at your side.
- The command “COME” was able to be given initially because you were able to make the dog obey the command, through the use of a ten foot training lead. The dog could not fail!
- Repeat the above, gradually increasing distances until the dog will come from any distance without the lead on.
- If at any time the dog fails to respond, place the lead on the dog and reinforce by repeating the above exercises.
- It is important that the dog learns that it cannot fail to obey. Obeying will result in highly desirable rewards.