When it comes to heel work, the majority of the time Alfie can be wonderful, there is nothing more rewarding than walking along with your best friend pottering along at your side, taking the occasion glance up making sure that he is still in sync with you. There still was a handful of occasions where he just could not contain his excitement and that dreamy stroll side by side turned into somewhat of a nightmare with me heading in one direction and Alf in another.
I was recently asked by Gencon to try their All-in-One head collar, and to my surprise my cool calm and collected spaniel was back.. I was amazed! We have been putting it through it’s paces over the past two months, it really is a game changer.
I will only ever use positive training methods when training and this is exactly that, it is force free and gentle – It works by applying gentle pressure to your dog, when they pull the lead will tighten your dog will then back off from this. This pressure is controlled by the dog there is no need for you to move or jerk the lead, your dog will learn that if he pulls it tightens and releases when he is back in position, this releasing action is a form of positive reinforcement.
The Gencon All-in-One is simple and easy to fit on any dog of any size, to fit you simply loosen off the figure of eight then with the cross over under your dogs chin you place it over their head and slip the nose piece over the nose and gently tighten it so it fits your dog. Do not forget the pull the plastic stopper down to secure (this should be about an inch from your dogs ear) – Make sure the head collar is not too tight, you need it secure but it also needs to be comfortable!
How I use the Gencon All-in-One…
The Gencon All-in-One can be used in a number of ways: as your day to day lead, for extra control in busy places, to calm a anxious, aggressive or boisterous dog or as a training aid. I used it as a training aid with the aim that Alfie would walk to heel on and off the lead. I introduced the lead slowly, Some people would argue that you should just put it on and let them get on with it, but I wanted to keep the whole experience a positive one! It was important for Alfie to understand it and also learn from it.
I recommend introducing your dog to the Gencon All-in-One head collar at home to start with as some dogs may not have experienced this sensation before, so it’s best to start somewhere they feel safe and where distractions will be minimal, so they can just get used to having the head collar on… It is completely normal for your dog not to be a great fan on the head collar at first, thy may paw and try and get it off – It’s only natural! I combined the head collar alongside clicker training, so when Alfie accepted the head collar (no reaction to having it on) I would click and treat.. Remember not to react to them if they are trying to get it off, just act normally only respond to the positive behaviour.
"The All-in-One really has done wonders to our heel work, Alf will now walk to heel on and off the lead. Now I only use it in situations where gets anxious, just for that extra bit of security for him or when someone else walks him – The little brat only responds well to me, so this reinforces the training even though I am not there"