Use the Gencon Dog head collar in your dogs training- article by Ross McCarthy (dog behaviorist)
The ideal for most people is their dog or dogs walking on a nice loose lead along with a flat leather collar walking in harmony with the owner. Whilst the Gencon by design stops the majority of dogs pulling simply by default, it does not teach or train…that is your job.
Head-collars per-se are not classified as training aids; more a piece of equipment to assist in managing a dog. If you are using a Gencon or considering using one, I would suggest that you utilise this as a piece of training equipment in order to progress to walking on a normal collar and lead. A flat collar works more naturally with a dogs facial anatomy – as long as the dog is not pulling, so I suggest that should be our aim. How long it takes is dependent on the type of dog, your ability to implement this advice, your consistency, the dog’s age, lifestyle et al.
Firstly, teaching a dog to walk on a lose lead is not exclusive to teaching a dog to walk on a loose lead. By that, I mean you can’t neglect all other areas of obedience training and your overall relationship with your dog and just train the dog to walk to heel with a Gencon. First, you need to be able to communicate with your dog and convey your message in a way that the dog understands. Dogs do not pull to annoy you – their natural gate is faster than the average human and canine evolution and domestication has made no strides in an innate drive to walk next to you! When re teaching dogs that pull, you need to realise they pull because they have not been taught not to, whether or not you believe that to be the case, it is.
The Gencon clip to collar is required when you start training in order that the pressure points on the dog can be varied between the gencon and a normal collar. When teaching a dog to walk to heel it is important to pair the action with the command (‘Heel’) followed immediately by the reward. You can practice this in the garden to teach the action in order the dog begins to make the link with what you want. If you can achieve the action with few distractions, it is then a case of transposing that learning in all situations and environments. Using the gencon in difficult conditions – i.e. when you set off for a walk, in the presence of other dogs can be of great use when teaching your dog.Fit the clip-to-collar, and when walking move your hand up or down the lead to move the pressure from the head collar to the flat collar depending on need. Over a few weeks of training, you should progress to using the flat collar the majority of the time and the gencon less and less until you are just using the flat collar.
Find out more about Ross and his expertise here