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Dog Leash 101

dog leash 101

Eliminate the confusion with our Dog Leash 101!

In our Dog Leash 101, we aim to eliminate the confusion from the massive choice in our online store. If you still aren’t sure which lead you need. please contact us.

Long Training Lead

This lead is used for extending your dogs’ range, giving them more freedom. They come in lengths from 5 to 50 metres. Our leads come in a variety of colours, such as black, royal blue, red, navy blue, cerise, bottle green, chocolate brown, purple, orange, yellow, white, fluorescent yellow, electric blue, emerald, lilac, baby blue, baby pink and sky blue.

There are various options for example padded handle, brass or nickel fittings and width choice of 19 or 25mm.

Training Lead (Police Dog Style)

This lead is like the Halti Lead, with a trigger hook at each end, an O ring at one end the 2 O rings situated along the lead, making adjusting the length of this lead easy. Ideal for double leading a dog, such as attaching to a head collar and a dog collar.

Comes in the colours as above, brass or nickel fittings and either 19 or 25mm widths.

Carabiner Dog Lead

A carabiner is a loop usually made of steel or aluminium and can come with a load rating (ours are 450 kilograms), they have a spring loaded gate, used where safety is critical. Sometimes called D rings, they are widely used by professionals where a rope is used such as construction, sailing, caving, arboriculture (tree stuff!), and where you might be more familiar, climbing and mountaineering.

Fairly new o the UK is the swivel carabiner. They are similar to the trigger hook you are familiar with that one usually finds on a dog lead, but they are a carabiner, thus called a swivel carabiner.

The typical mountaineering carabiner is not the one used on our leads, but we do carry stock of them and can make any bespoke dog lead within our power.

Our swivel carabiners are protected against unintentional opening as you have to rotate and pull to releases the gate. These are called twist and push lock.

Moving on to their use with a dog lead, we make the Carabiner Dog Lead and The Carabiner Car Boot Lead. The carabiner dog lead is just a dog lead with a carabiner instead of a trigger hook. The Carabiner Car Boot Lead is a car lead that is suited to boot anchor points in a car that is too bulky for the trigger hook.

 

Carabiner Dog lead

Bungee Dog Lead

The bungee dog lead is an elasticated lead popular with owners of dogs who pull on the lead. When made, these leads have a piece of elastic stitched into a piece of tube nylon which then looks like a concertina.

Caravan Lead

This lead was a request by a customer some years ago and has been popular ever since. When used with caution, these dog leads can be used to tether a dog. Comes with some common sense safety instructions on the product page.

The lead is a long double ended adjustable lead, used to tether a dog. Not meant to be used without supervision.

Figure of 8 Lead

The figure of 8 lead refers to the direction of the lead as it sits on the dogs head. It goes over the nose, crosses under the dog’s chin, up the sides of the cheeks and over the top of the dogs head behind its’ ears. The lead goes through a ring with a handle at the handler end.

Popular with dogs that pull on the lead with the contact point being at the top of the dogs head, unlike our Simple Leader Head Collar.

Double Up Lead

This lead can be halved in length, so if you purchase the 4 metre double up lead, it can be halved to 2 metres. With a special ring-webbing action sewn into the dogs’ end of the lead, you can thread the lead through itself, making a shorter lead.

Slip Lead

This lead is one length of webbing with a ring at one end. When the handle is threaded through, it makes a noose and its popular with dogs that pull.

Super Dog Leash

A Meg Heath design protected product, the Super Leash is an adjustable lead with a padded handle. A lead that was designed to everything, or at least be adjustable and have a soft handle to hold.

Dog Walking Belt

The dog walking belt is a belt that goes around your waist with various attachment points for leads to be clipped. Used in conjunction with leads that have rings on the handles and popular with dogs that pull or owners of multiple dogs.

House Line or trailing lead

This is a 2-metre dog lead featuring a light rigger hook and no handle. This lead does not have a handle because it is designed to be left on the dog, makes it less likely to get caught under doors etc.

Used for non-confrontational dog handling for example for when wanting to remove a dog from a situation like a sofa!

Head Collar Safety Lead

Another design protected Meg Heath product. This lead feature 2 trigger hooks at the dogs head, designed to be clipped to a head collar and a collar. They can be modified to fit any 2 products, for example, a collar and harness or a head collar and harness.

Car Boot Lead

This car boot lead is adjustable, made to be short measuring 50-75 cm.

The Car Boot Lead can also be used to attach your dog to the headrest. A design protected Meg Heath product.

Carabiner Car Boot Lead

Same as above but the carabiner means you can fix to bulkier car boot anchor points. This car lead cannot be fitted to the headrest of your car.

Car Lead Lite

This car lead is a lighter budget alternative, made from lighter webbing with a trigger hook at each end. This car lead is adjustable, made to be short measuring 50-75 cm but is not suited for headrests.

More products being added regularly. New in July 2018, the Handy Holder and the Coupler.

If you loved our Dog Leash 101, like and share the page, we really appreciate it.

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Prototype Dog Apparel

We make prototype dog apparel, dog leads & collars here at Meg Heath. If you have a design that you would like making up and/or pricing for manufacturing then we are here to help.

It’s a great idea to try and make a positive impact on the well-being of dogs and helping to make their care easier for dog owners is something we encourage.

The top products people make are generally dog harnesses and head collars also called dog halters. Dog leads are also popular as people come up with fresh and innovative ideas.

We only use the best materials & never cut corners on quality, sourcing all of our materials from the UK.

If you are considering contacting us, make sure you have an NDA you can email us to sign or make sure that you already have your design protected.

What to do:

  1. Contact us for a chat via our contact page
  2. If your design is not protected yet, email us your non-disclosure agreement
  3. If your design is already protected, send us (in the post) the products you would like us to look at if they are already made up as a prototype or a drawing by email or post if it it hasnt been made yet. Our address is on our contact page. We do not post products back unless you are happy to pay for return postage (by courier).

Background

I have been in the dog leads and collars business since 2006 and do all my own web design and WordPress maintenance myself (since 2015). I have a strong background with dogs having owned them since I was 17. Prior to that, we were a cat family and so grew up with cats all around me in the family home.

I ran my own rescue from 1999 to 2008, ran a dog training school from 2006 n to 2010, boarding kennels from 2008 to the present and the dog leads business from 2006 to the present.

I test all my own prototypes on my dogs and have several unique designs registered to myself.

Please feel free to call for a chat to talk about your products.

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Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs

Vestibular Syndrome is one of the conditions I have the most experience of while working with English Springer Spaniels (it is not just springers that suffer). Most of them get it and it’s not unusual for them to experience an episode more than once or twice. It can happen and pass in minutes (rare) or it can spread over 10 days from onset to recovery.

What I wanted to address particularly in this blog post is how to deal with the first onset of the episode. The first symptoms of vestibular syndrome in dogs are without a doubt the most stressful for the inexperienced dog owner but the trauma your dog is experiencing is what you have to consider including:

  • Time to recover
  • Care from you to help with toileting, feeding – can you help them out to the loo physically? I made a strap to help with the weak rear end.
  • Accept that meds may not help, but time will
  • Above all do not rush to have your poor dog put to sleep because vestibular syndrome is not a killer, peoples attitude towards it is!

How can I prepare?

Vestibular Syndrome can affect your dog in their senior years, in my experience with springers, it’s almost inevitable that they will experience it, I’d say 50%+ chance. What you must remember is you do not have to have them put to sleep!

  • Get a rear end support for your dog, I make them but you can buy them from any dog mobility store.
  • Have some meat in stock that can be had fed, not chicken, a proper complete meal like Pets At Home Wainwrights. This meat can be cut up into squares and be hand fed nicely, dogs like it and it is a complete meal (better for their bowels than just one type of protein)
  • If you need to address incontinence – for male dogs you can get belly wraps and then put incontinence pads in them – for female dogs you can get bitch pants and again use conti pads (incontinence pads can be bought from any food store like Tescos etc)
  • For pooping accidents, feeding as above will help you pick it up as poops should be solid, this is not guaranteed as there may be a disturbance in the bowel habits post vestibular syndrome until they fully recover

Symptoms Of Vestibular Syndrome

  • Walking in a circle, unable to walk straight
  • Loss of balance
  • Eyes flickering from side to side called nystagmus
  • Loss of appetite

I always say ‘always consult a vet’ but do you really want a dog whose world is spinning to be travelling in a car when there’s nothing your vet can do anyway? This is just my opinion and they DO recover. What can kill them is the fact they were already weak (old) or are experiencing other illnesses that don’t make them as resilient to this disease. The only time this happened for me was with a very old girl springer and she was on her third episode.

Video of Buster November 2017

About Recovery

It is not unusual for a dog who has suffered a vestibular episode to be left with a head tilt and possibly a little more unbalanced than normal.

Expect more occurrences once they have had one. If you are aware you can be better prepared and less stressed thus focussing on your dogs’ recovery and not your own inconvenience! I’ve had many a people call me and say, we’ve lost so and so, oh what happened, oh she had a stroke. Too late to advise as they’ve already killed the dog. Just my opinion having dealt with more vestibular cases than I care to count!

Please feel free to add your comments and experience.

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Dog Collars

Dog Collar

Dog Collars

A massive market for businesses nowadays as people jump on the bandwagon for apparent easy pickings to earn a living. Not so. It’s a hugely competitive marketplace, with businesses setting up monthly to compete with each other. Meg Heath Dog Leads have been trading for 12 years this July 2018 and have immense experience in this area along with designing my own website and the marketing and SEO etc that comes with this.

The dog collar in itself comes in many designs but is essentially a piece of material or leather that goes around the dogs’ neck mainly to be used for control, i.e. to attach a lead to, secondly to attach identification to in the form of a metal disc with the owners’ contact details on it. More so recently and with the popular uprising of e-Commerce, people have more and more choice of bespoke and designer collars. Collars adorned with charms and ribbon, collars with material covering them giving a vast amount of creativity. Collars specific to breeds are also popular, mainly for sighthounds whose heads are pretty much the same size as their necks so unless a collar is fitted correctly, they can come off.

Above all, collars are a jolly good idea where the safety of the dog is concerned, without it, there would be no means of control. We attach our dogs’ leads to the collar, we sometimes hold it directly for control, dogs look great with bespoke collars and of course it is somewhere to hang the identification tag, microchip tag and any other tag you wish.

Types of material

Collars can be made from a variety of materials, we have leather, probably the most expensive of them all, then polypropylene, which is what I use, then there is cotton – less popular, biothane, polyester, material & ribbon covered and embroidered collars with phone numbers and names on them. All providing a massive choice for the consumer.

Basic collars come in the form of buckle collars – that being plastic sometimes metal side release buckles also known as quick release buckles or nickel and brass buckles like you see on horses head collars; a bit like your belt buckle. Martingale collars are popular with sighthound owners, greyhounds and the like, but are not just for those breeds they can be fitted to any breed and the nice bespoke ones look great. Due to their safety, martingale, choke and half check collars are popular in kennels for reactive dogs and for dogs who have been known to slip their collars.

Martingale collar, half check or half choke collar

Collar
How to fit any collar that gets smaller when the lead is pulled.

The martingale collar is a bit like a choke or half check collar, but the loop is made from the material. The word martingale comes from the part of a horses tack called the martingale which pulls the horses head down when pressure is applied to the reins when slowing down or stopping, not quite the same action on the dog, but it does pull tight and I cannot stress enough how these collars more than any other should be fitted properly.

How to fit a martingale collar, a choke collar or half check collar – The 2 rings on the material part of the collar should ‘just about touch’. If they don’t touch then when pressure is applied to the leash ring, the collar will attempt to go smaller than the dogs’ actual neck size, obviously not good and this will strangle your dog, if they touch then the collar may be too loose, so just about touching is the best advice I can give. If you are not sure which loops I mean, see image above.

All collars come with a loop or a D ring made from metal sometimes plastic, we offer solid brass harness rings too. The loop is there for your dogs’ ID tag and to attach the lead to.

Fitting your dogs’ collar

The rule of thumb advice is can you insert 2 fingers? I say try and take the dogs’ collar off over its’ ears, that way you know if its safe and will not come off accidentally.

Collars also come as reflective, made from reflective material, they can be flashing that run on batteries, you can have a flashing attachment to clip to the O or D ring.

To summarise, there is a massive choice online and in-store these days, treat your dog to a nice collar from a local or online maker. Obviously, this blog is to promote Meg Heath Dog Leads and Collars, but I can’t make them all as much as I’d love to make more collars, so have a look around our store as I endeavour to provide a wider selection. Our service is second to none and you can actually speak to a real person if you call – me!

~ Sarah

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Choosing The Best Lead or Collar

Dog Training Lead in Cerise with Nala

Have you ever wondered what would be the best lead or collar and not really known which one to buy? Well, I’ve written this handy guide which has been taken from both customer feedback and from my own inspiration for some of the designs to help you decide on the best lead or collar. Enjoy …

Arthritis

This one has been suggested by a couple of customer reviews. The webbing we use is soft while not compromising on strength and definitely not visual appearance! Our products are of course beautiful! Here’s why –

  • Padded handles – recently I decided that padded handles would be nice and it has been a total hit. Some recent feedback on a dog training lead – “Fantastic long training lead for my GSD girl. I have arthritis in my hands and this is just what I was looking for! I will be recommending to my dog owning friends. Great to find such a good product and service!” Thank you, Laura, this is the kind of feedback we love as it tells us we are making the right products. This upgrade can be found on our dog leads and training leads.

Reactive dogs / Rescue dogs

The Simple Leader Head Collar – wow what a revelation this was. I had already designed a head collar for dogs but wanted to redesign it. I wanted something simple to fit, comfortable for the dog to wear and above all something that worked with no flaws. I was mindful that the pet trade was full of designs but I was adamant that mine would be different, I was so confident this one would be a success that I registered its’ design with the Intellectual Property Office to make sure no one would copy my idea.

  • Safety Lead to compliment the head collar – any piece of equipment whether it be for dogs or anything else, is potentially going to be fitted wrong. I now send out best use notes with my head collars to try and prevent any fitting and use problems. The Simple Leader Head Collar Safety Lead is a lead I designed, also protected by the IPO. It attaches to both your head collar and dog collar so if one fails then the other is still firmly attached. I gave one to a customer FOC who hadn’t fitted their dogs’ head collar tightly enough so that it didn’t ever happen again.
  • Dog Training Lead (Police Dog Style) – this dog lead does the same as the Simple Leader Head Collar Safety Lead, but is a 6 foot lead with a trigger hook (clip or clasp) at each end with 2 O rings placed at strategic intervals along the lead to provide you with a means of making different lengths and therefore using in a variety of different situations.
  • Dog Training Lead 5-50 metres – the reason why I started Meg Heath Dog Leads back in 2006, to teach a recall and our best lead by far! Also incredibly useful for not only teaching your dog to come back when called but to –

allow extra freedom to dogs who would otherwise not be allowed to run around. Sarah says, the affect this has on a dogs’ wellbeing is noted. How many times have you seen dogs ‘swimming down the road’ because they are never allowed off the lead and are pulling like sled dogs?

Dogs who pull on the lead – … but won’t wear a head collar right? Try our padded simple leader head collar. Soft as a bunnies bum! Sits in just the right place on their face so as to make it nice to wear. Other owner and doggy benefits include –

  • The elderly – makes walking your dog a doddle, even with fingertip control.
  • Injuries – have you ever had a shoulder injury and had to stop walking your dog or swap to the other hand?
  • Hip and leg problems – as an owner if you have ever had injuries to your legs or a hip or knee operation, our Simple Leader makes walking a pulling dog a delight!
  • Dog injuries – a dog with an injury is not a happy dog if it is pulling on the lead.
  • Brachycephalic dogs – otherwise known as dogs with short faces like Pugs and Boxers. We only make our head collar in 19mm now and even the padded version is not that much wider so fit most dogs nicely. If you have a smaller dog like a Pug then we can make a smaller head collar for you to combat pulling on the lead.
  • A dog with lung problems – with our head collar there is less puffing and panting caused by pulling on the lead so less stress to your poorly doggy.

Losing Dog Tags all the time? – Enter the Double Tag Flat Dog Collar! A beautifully made adjustable dog collar with a spare O ring for extra name tags for your dog.

I’m scared my dog will jump out of the car! – Really, well don’t be. Our Car Boot Dog Safety Lead is your answer. A short, double-ended, adjustable (design protected) lead for attaching either to boot anchors in your car or the head restraint. Genius! One of the best lead designs from Meg Heath Dog Leads.

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Puppy Training – The Recall

Puppy Training puppies

Puppy Recall – Teaching your puppy to come back when called © Sarah Gleave – 

Please share with full credit and do not copy without permission. Please link back to www.megheathdogleads.co.uk 

Read these notes first –

  1. Always reward a recall and never scold your puppy for not coming back when called.
  2. Do not repeatedly call your puppy who is not coming back to you.
  3. Use appropriate rewards – what your puppy likes, not what you think he should like – suggestions are favourite food (not kibble – this is your puppies usual food), favourite novel toy, praise or all 3.
  4. Never assume a young puppy recall is a fully trained behaviour, it is not.
  5. Never ignore a recall done of your puppy’s own free will. Praise spontaneous recalls. Meaning the times your puppy returns to you without you calling them.
  6. Never allow an untrained puppy to practice running away, the behaviour becomes self-reinforcing (practised).
  7. Beware of never letting your puppy off the lead because you daren’t – train him/her!
  8. Never chase after a puppy that is running off. Be aware of laughing and thinking it is funny, your puppy will pick up on this.
  9. Always teach puppies & dogs as soon as you get them home. Often the first training session is the one they will learn the most from, so plan it well.
  10. ALWAYS start your training with your puppy close to you, in a safe area and on a long training lead.
  11. ALWAYS gain your puppies full attention & secure him on a lead or take hold of his collar when he returns before rewarding.
  12. ALWAYS reward each and every return to you, in the early stages even when he comes to you without being called.
  13. ALWAYS be sure that a command is followed by the desired response, if not then you have rushed ahead in the schedule.
  14. You may use a whistle, a verbal command and/or a hand signal, followed by a reward. Any combination may then be used in the absence of the other.
  15. Be aware of de-training, by following commands with something negative.

So teaching the recall …

The concept behind this is what most people get wrong. Your puppy is not born knowing what a recall is, so why are you using a command that has not been taught? In my method, you are teaching (managing, enticing etc) a recall without using a command yet, this is why you need a long training line. The training lead stops your dog from running off and is an essential tool for my recall notes.

*** Proven method used time and time again for puppies, dogs and established runners***

Prepare – what rewards are you using? If in doubt, give the dog a choice. What call are you using? Name – come? Stick to the same command.

Tip – When you first start your training program with your puppy, they often pick up on the very earliest cues. So the first things you start rewarding might often be the ones s/he learns the best. Be aware and make your body language nice and clear. Remember less is more.

  1. Manage your puppies motivation (i.e. if using food, is he hungry, if using play, is the toy novel, if using praise, does your puppy receive attention when it is not earned and does he perceive your praise as a reward)?
  2. Your puppy must want to come to you of his own free will initially. So wander around on your walk and either wait for your puppy to pop over and say hi or lure with a treat or toy.
  3. Walk your puppy on a long line (5-10 metres) on normal exercise, reward every return to you of his own free will (without using a command). This is the most important phase of the training technique. Your puppy MUST ** want ** to come to you!!! And to get this it must be managed not forced. [1]
  4. If using food, continually manage your puppies food motivation, you could use his meals as part of the training sessions. You should always feed after walks anyway – never before (for health reasons). If using praise, save your praise for when he earns it. If using a toy, save a special toy for walks / training only. With food, feed your puppy at night and do not give meals during the day (in extreme cases – not usually with puppies though – this is more for difficult adult dogs). It IS possible to food train a puppy that appears not to be food motivated. Food helps with training; there is no denying that, but not all puppies and dogs find food rewarding. If you can use food and praise then this is great. SUGGESTIONS – cheese, hot dogs (although can be high in salt), real meat, bought treats etc.
  5. Your puppy will learn to return to you because you are providing him with something he wants and he finds it rewarding. This may take time and can take anything from a few minutes to a few weeks to achieve, but when your puppy realises that coming to you is beneficial then we are on track.
  6. When the returns to you are frequent and pretty much guaranteed, you can start to introduce a command. ‘Name COME’ (or whistle, just his name, hand signal etc.)
  7. Keep your body language simple. Don’t run around doing star jumps and calling him. Stand still & square and call him with intention.
  8. Say the command when he has returned to you (not while he is out on the field OR when he is coming to you, ONLY when he has reached you). Sounds odd but at this point, you are pairing what he is already doing with a command – the one you want to teach.
  9. This conditions the command and associates it with the reward and being by you (near enough to hold the collar).
  10. As your puppy builds up an association with the command and being by you, you can start to use the command when he is returning to you, i.e. you can guarantee he will be coming to you as he runs in your direction.
  11. Only when you are confident he will come to you 100% of the time do you then start calling him while he is not distracted.
  12. Gradually build up the distractions, i.e. when he is interacting with another dog, sniffing the floor etc.
  13. Start in  ZERO DISTRACTION AREA. Then carefully start to take him to a different area with different and increased distractions. You will probably need to revert back to an earlier stage of training in a new environment.

[1] Previous learning will affect this. The time spent allowing your puppy to run off or repeated calling will hinder your training. Only a complete transformation to religious retraining will change this.

TIP Put the lead on your dog frequently even though you are not going home, dogs can perceive the end of a walk (going home) as a mild punishment and may play ‘catch me’ when they know you are taking them home!

© Sarah Gleave Updated 20th March 2017

IMPORTANT 

Remember, if using food, allow for the number of treats used and reduce his dinner accordingly. A fat puppy is not a healthy puppy.

NEVER allow a dog to run next to dangerous areas such as train lines, busy roads or dangerous water.
 NEVER underestimate your dog’s ability to run off in hot pursuit of something nicer than your reward.

The Recall is one of the LIFESAVER exercises you will teach your dog. Make it good and reliable, one day it will save his life.
 You will be proud of him when he comes back on command.

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Meg Heath supplies some very special dog leads to Linbee Dog Rehoming

Manchester Dog & Cats Home

Meg Heath Dog Leads owner Sarah Gleave often comes up with innovative creations and this time the dog rescue centre Linbee Dog Rehoming is going to benefit from 10 Kennel Evacuation Leads.

Sarah designed these dog leads in the aftermath of the Manchester Dogs Home fire in 2014. The fire shook a nation of dog lovers and being a kennel owner, Sarah re-evaluated her own evacuation procedure at Meg Heath Kennels. The lead was promptly covered against copying as nothing of its’ kind had ever been made before.

She thought “I need a dog lead that can be attached to anything and stored along the same principle as a fire extinguisher.” So the multi – length / multi – attachment KEL – Kennel Evacuation Lead was born.

Cost of materials

The cost of materials for this venture was very important to Sarah as the intention was to gift the dog leads 10 at a time to kennel based dog rescues who applied for help. Sarah says “I approached a UK supplier called Abbey England who very kindly donated a few 1000 metres of a yellow and black printed webbing and some 19mm nickel trigger hooks.” Meg Heath Dog Leads donated the rest of the fittings, the time & expertise to make the leads and the shipping for these very special & unique dog leads.

The Kennel Evacuation Lead is a lead that is designed to be attached anywhere and is essentially a long adjustable, double ended, double up dog lead made from a strong webbing with strong fittings. Its’ intended use is to be stored like a fire extinguisher to be available in an emergency evacuation of a kennel block to take dogs to a place of safety where they can be tethered safely (our advice under supervision where possible).

Sarah advises that the leads be used with care and for their intended use – for emergencies only. Check the trigger hooks periodically as damp will affect their use.

If you are a kennel based rescue and would like to benefit from the Kennel Evacuation Dog Lead then please contact Sarah by telephone on 01522 810150. You will be required to set up a link to Meg Heath Dog Leads from your centres’ website and share us on social media periodically.

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Basic obedience of the Dog Aggressive canine

Disclaimer

In all my years of working with and training dogs, I have never owned or trained a Bull Breed, so I don’t profess to be an expert with them in any way shape or form, Springers were and are my thing. However, the dog in this blog was amazingly responsive to this technique and the best I gained from the whole shitty situation was that she was impeccably trained after I did some intensive basic obedience with her.

Control and manners was key.

The purpose of this disclaimer is to say this is OUR STORY and our story only but what I will say is that basic obedience has never failed me. It is the one thing that most family dogs lack.  The basic obedience I write about in this blog has not cured this dog, what it has done is made sure that when I ask her to come, wait or sit, then she does without delay (mostly), she has respect for me and knows her place in the pack.

Please read bearing the above in mind and hope that the blog helps you in some way.

History

FTGHFB dog! Free to a good home Facebook dog, rescued by a kind group concerned for her welfare and handed over to a rescue, she was about 7 months old at this point and suspected either American Bulldog cross or Staffy cross. No real history but we did know that she had a pinned leg – suspected RTA at around 5 months of age. I fostered for said rescue and kept her. She doesn’t have any problems with her back legs, sometimes a little lame but overall a very happy little dog. Beautiful nature and initially amazing with all of my dogs and great with people and still is.

Over the months she lived with my pack however pre-walk excitement started to become a problem. Ears were getting nipped and what looked like minor playful borderline aggression started to show. We had her neutered after consulting with the vet 9 weeks after the start of her first season. It didn’t change anything. I’m not saying I regret that she would have been neutered anyway as should all bitches (my opinion).

As the weeks went on, she started attacking my dogs, mainly the lower pack members or smaller dogs. There came a point where this could not continue and she had to be separated. She was still friends with Top, one of the other rescues (a large dog) and Marley, one of mine and again a large dog. She was still friends with little Breeze the Spaniel… until…

The final straw

The final straw was when she attacked a customers dog. She was on a short lead but not muzzled, I thought on lead was enough control but in this case, it wasn’t to my detriment. It wasn’t pretty but not too bad. 2 puncture wounds about 1.5cm across on the back of the neck that didn’t heal too well as the dog kept shaking its head due to ear problems. We took him to the vets and all was well. Except I’ve not heard from that customer since despite him being one of my best customers, but you can’t blame him.

We nearly said goodbye that weekend, but as the hours went on, I knew I simply could not do it.

I had been doing obedience with her before this incident, but it was apparent that basic obedience was never going to be a cure, it would just add control. The end result is she is not allowed to mix with any other dog apart from Top, he is her only friend.

An interesting but sad thing happened after this incident. Breeze – her best friend, saw her attack my customers dog. I still used to walk her with Top and Breeze albeit muzzled but one morning, Breeze attacked her quite savagely, for a Springer at least anyway. She made a mess of her ear and tore a hole in her leg. It wasn’t that bad by the next day, just a bit of soreness on her ear and a clean puncture wound on her leg. She was unphased by it all. And if that wasn’t enough, our new girl – Maisie fed off Breeze’s behaviour and she also does not like her now. So I have 3 bitches who cannot mix (Breeze and Maisie are now best friends).

So where are we now? She lives on her own but mixes with Top on walks. She’s a naturally solitary animal as she shows no signs of worry and is by all accounts a very happy go, lucky little girl.

BASIC OBEDIENCE

  • THE RECALL (a formal competitive obedience style recall – from a sit stay to present in front and then round to the side in a sit at heel which means you have an informal recall whenever you need it)
  • SIT STAY
  • WALK TO HEEL (again, competitive obedience style heelwork)

THE RECALL

It’s all here in my other Blog. Teaching your dog to come when called.

THE SIT

Do I need to teach you how to teach a dog to sit? OK, the difference is this is a reliable sit, asked for once, responded to immediately and the dog stays there until you give the release command. I won’t go through the actual teaching the sit as that’s easy but what I will do is just give you some tips.

  • Ask once, speak clearly
  • Assuming you are using the lure method (treat or toy in hand raised up – bottom down), phase out your lure, the hand gesture you have just used (raising hand) becomes an empty hand and the treat/toy reward becomes a verbal and/or physical reward.
  • Use a gesture for every command, hand signal, call it what you want (it will come in handy when your dog loses its hearing – all my dogs respond to hand signals for directional commands, for example, go that way, come this way, over here, get out the way etc)
  • Stand up straight, don’t lean over, this becomes part of the visual cue for the behaviour
  • Be firm but kind, don’t lose your rag, if you do, quit and apologise to your dog! Start again with a better attitude!
  • Be assertive – mean what you say. Don’t fanny about.

SIT AND WAIT / DISTANCE CONTROL

  • Continue with sit training, add a flat palm signalling STAY THERE!
  • Release & praise
  • Repeat flat palm (your new hand gesture/hand signal)

Phase 2

  • Sit command, flat palm “stay!” take one step back then step back in. Reward.
  • Repeat.

Phase 3

  • … jumps ahead … At the stage where you are teaching a sit stay DO NOT EVER RECALL YOUR DOG. This is saved for the fully trained sit stay, you never call your dog from a sit stay while they are in training as they will predict your call and break the stay.
  • It is a slow process but obviously depends on your skill and the dogs’ trainability.
  • Stepping away is done tentatively and you ALWAYS RETURN TO THE DOG
  • Difficulty levels include walking around your dog, moving further away, moving your arms (i.e. increasing distractions) etc
  • NEVER EVER increase the difficulty beyond what your dog can succeed at. Training is all about managing success and helping your dog to get it right. This omits the requirement for punishment, not that I think there is any place for punishment in dog training as dogs will never ‘actually learn’ a behaviour from being bollocked for the wrong thing. RANT – so telling your dog off for not coming back – you really think they will learn to come to you next time? Really OK, next time, try a stuffed toy!!! RANT OVER

Final Phase PUTTING THE RECALL AND SIT STAY TOGETHER

  • You feel you are at the stage now where your dogs sit-stay is reliable? It may be some time down the line. Still, keep reinforcing the sit stay WITHOUT a recall to keep this behaviour nicely reinforced.

HEELWORK

Granted, this method works better with dogs who can be easily lured with food. Dogs who are more easily distracted or difficult to motivate are beyond the scope of this blog – sorry.

  • Do this exercise when you aren’t going anywhere, this is purely a training exercise although you can practice it anywhere as long as you are both focussed and not disturbed by distractions.
  • Dog starting point, is front present (dog sits facing you) take your food lure and guide dog to the left behind your legs, the aim is for dogs bum to work independently swinging out and round, the dog comes to your side in a straight line, bum does not swing out to the left. Food treat is your cue/gesture, which is now placed on your left hip. Not easy without a video which I will post in due course.
  • Repeat.
  • The heel work is a progression of this exercise. Once the dog is at your side, you will take one step forward.
  • Skills your dog will acquire – front moves independently of the rear, they learn to bend in the middle!

Meg Heath Dog Leads makes leads and walking aids to help with many dog training issues, they are as follows:

THE SIMPLE LEADER DOG HEADCOLLAR fits over your dogs head like a horses head collar, adds control to your dog walks.

DOG TRAINING LEAD You can’t teach a recall without a dog training lead. Why? Because as your dog chooses to do his own thing, where is your control? There is none.

These are just 2 of our products, have a browse around our website.

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Head Collars for dogs

Simple Leader Head Collar

Head Collars for dogs.

Do Head Collars work? When & why you would use a head collar and how to help a dog get used to wearing a head collar.

Head collar worked wonders. Xeena resisted at first but it was so good that there was no pulling, recommended to everyone who has a pully dog … It’s amazing now she is not pulling … i dont hurt, i have problems with my hips and when she pulled it really hurt. [Sonia Oag, January 2017]

Bought two headcollars and have been out using them today both fine fitting well on my dogs faces no loose gaps works well when they swop sides on walking too. Seem very strong. Very happy. [Megan Oldfield, December 2016]

This headcollar is 100% PERFECT! Put it on Ollie this morning, he once rubbed his face but from then on he was very happy to wear it for the whole walk and, because he has it on (and he knows) he walked perfectly. Because of the fit unlike a ‘Halti’ it can stay on the whole time and doesn’t inhibit the dog at all. There are no loose bits to catch on anything so its perfectly safe. It is so simple and easy to use and it works very well indeed. I am a very happy lady thank you Sarah. [Wendy McDonald, November 2016]

Do Head Collars work?

Head collars do work, yes, however, there are some exceptions that with a little training could be overcome. Head collars for dogs work in the same way that head collars or halters (where the brand name ‘Halti’ comes from) work for horses. Horses are large powerful animals and the head collar is a way to control them (usually) with ease… although I have been known to be pulled around by a horse just in a head collar in my days working as a groom. Head Collars help when –

  • You have a shoulder injury and walking your dog is becoming a problem
  • You have a dog that strains on his dog collar or harness and walking is not enjoyable for him either
  • You simply cannot walk your dog due to his strength
  • You are incapacitated in any number of ways and a pulling dog makes walks a problem
  • You have simply stopped walking your dog because of any one of the above and you are both putting on weight!
  • Lack of exercise for your dog means he is not getting the socialisation he needs

When head collars can be a problem

Some people simply do not like head collars on their dogs, mainly because their dog will not wear one. There have been times when I have taken a head collar off a dog because they simply will not tolerate one, but I stress, this because I haven’t had time to train the dog. So how do you get a dog to accept a head collar?

How to help a dog to accept wearing a head collar

Prerequisites –

  • Time
  • Patience
  • You are not going on a walk
  • Motivators/rewards (food, verbal praise, toys/play, intrinsic rewards such as allowing forward movement or free time off lead)
  • A good dog head collar
  • A good dog lead

A few ideas to work on indoors –

  • Pop the head collar on, reward, take it off
  • If you are familiar with Clicker Training, do nose touches working up to putting the nose through the nosepiece, click, reward
  • Feed your dog with a head collar on, then take it straight off
  • Put the head collar on around the house (if dog paws to try to get it off, you have gone too far, try to get him to relax before you take it off otherwise he will think this behaviour leads to it coming off)
  • Put the head collar on and play your dogs favourite game or something he likes doing

When you have made progress indoors, go outside or in a large enough space indoors with time and patience –

  • Put head collar & lead on – reward (praise and/or treat)
  • Set off walking
  • The dog does one of the following –
    • Rubs head along the ground
    • Paws at face
    • Paws frantically at face
    • Pulls a ‘this head collar is killing me’ face
    • Any combination of the above
  • What you don’t do –
    • Don’t shout or get mad
    • Don’t reward
    • Don’t speak
    • Don’t panic
  • What you should do –
    • Stand still/calm
    • Hold lead firmly, raise hand upwards so lead is vertical (no tugging or yanking)
    • Wait for the dog to stop flapping
    • Release lead
    • REWARD
  • Then what you should do
    • REPEAT !!!!

Head Collars – was there really room for another in the pet trade?

With a pet market already saturated with head collars for dogs, was there really any room for another?

Inventor Sarah Gleave says yes,

“I had already made one head collar before the Simple Leader, but I wanted to improve it. I wanted a simpler to use halter for dogs, a head collar that could not be put on upside down or inside out and one that would stay on the dog when fitted correctly of course (tight enough).  Above all, it (obviously) had to work and not be yet another gadget or (waste of ) money”.

Inspiration

Part of the inspiration for this was seeing customers being brought in by their dogs, yes BY their dogs into my boarding kennels. Being an ex-dog trainer too, this really irritated me. Teaching a dog to walk to heel is not easy. With more and more people owning dogs, more and more people were failing to teach their dogs to walk to heel. Stopping them from pulling on the lead wasn’t something they had really planned ahead for.

Design

The Simple Leader is a relatively simple figure of 8 design, nothing new here, but having searched current patents and protected designs, the one nearest to me hadn’t had its patent renewed, but it wasn’t the same design anyway, just close.

My head collar has a loose O ring under the chin which is important as this is the most effective place for you to lead from, it is adjustable, but also comes in 3 sizes, it has a full range of 18 colours (you need to ask for the random colours like orange, pink etc), which NO other head collar has. It can be upgraded to be fully padded which is nice because it is soft over your dogs face so they wear it more willingly and you can choose a solid brass harness ring instead of a nickel O ring for your trigger hook to attach to.

What are other head collars there on the market?

Head collars are plenty out there in the internet world, some good, some bad, some made by amateurs that have not been tested and some popular patented designs. The head collars I am aware of are – Halti, Gencon, Black Dog & the Gentle Leader. Each one has their fans, I have used 3 out of 4 of these myself but now just use my own Simple Leader. My Simple Leader comes with the Simple Leader Safety lead which is essentially a lead that attaches to the head collar and collar and if one breaks you are still attached to the other. (IPO Design Protection currently being applied for).

Head Collar reviews –

The Halti – nice head collar, renowned for interfering with the dogs’ eyes when badly fitted, established company, patented design

Black Dog – no personal experience off, looks exactly like a horses head collar

Gentle Leader – My favourite

Gencon – the only one out of these 4 whose ‘contact point’ is not under the chin, obviously has its fans, a dog may still pull with the contact point at the side or above the head

Why are head collars different?

  • Made from different fabrics, some good, some poor or too thin
  • Some new designs are full of faults in an effort to design something for the sake of a new product
  • The contact point is different
    • Under the chin (my Simple Leader), best IMO as it seems to be the most effective design (Halti and Gentle Leader too)
    • Back of the head – martingale types like the Indi Dog
    • The side of the head – Gencon and other non-patented designs

SUMMARY

  • Be aware of the choice, choose what is most comfortable for your dog and what he is the happiest wearing
  • Do not ever use with long training leads because of the risk of jarring your dog’s neck
  • Make sure the head collar is well made and from a respected company
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Dog Training Leads use and care

Dog Training Leads

…are our top selling product and for good reason. In this blog I will talk you through the dog training leads uses, in which situations you might want to use them, how to chose which custom elements you might need and why and what to expect from any one of our products, not just the dog training lead.

What are the unique qualities of one of Meg Heath’s Dog Training Leads and why should you buy one of our dog leads over a cheaper dog tracking lead?

  • 11 Years experience making dog leads
  • I use a Yamata Industrial sewing machine (not a household machine)
  • …which means i can use very strong industrial thread
  • …which means i can sew with precision
  • The joints are what i call Z stitched which is similar to a box stitch
  • The stitch is exactly the same as a machine that will make 100’s of leads per minute
  • Your dog lead is made by a human that has an intimate knowledge of your order, rather than in an factory
  • You can chose from 18 different colours (not all will be in stock, but we can usually get them in 2 days)
  • You have the choice of 3 widths
    • Small – 16mm, for mini, toy and small breeds (not always in stock)
    • Standard – 19mm, most popular
    • Large – 25mm, a choice for larger dogs
  • You have a choice of small and standard trigger hooks made from brass plate, nickel or solid brass (this is why some of the dog leads with solid brass fittings work out expensive, for example the Police Dog Style Dog Lead which has 2 solid brass trigger hooks and 3 solid brass harness rings – not inferior welded rings)
  • We based in Lincolnshire UK – we do not buy from abroad
  • …but above all, do you know why you should be proud to support Meg Heath Dog Leads? Because since setting up in 2006, you have helped me be a stay at home doggy mum. Self sufficient along with my boarding kennels looking after my rescue dogs. In 2006 when I stopped LESSR (Springer Spaniel Rescue), I had 26 dogs, all that needed vaccinating, feeding and vets bills which was not easy as a single mum (mum to the dogs not kids). Im currently dog-mom to 10 dogs; 5 acquired in the last 14 months.

CUSTOM ELEMENTS

Custom elements / variables or options are the names given to the custom choices you add to a dog training lead when you ‘make’ your lead during the order process.

They include length, colour, width, fittings, handle to include the padded handle and the double up. I will explain why you might want to choose from any or none of these custom elements.

  1. Length – Unique to you and your dog. We make dog training leads from 5 to 50 metres (actually 49.5 metres). The shorter leads 5-20 metres are ideal for recall training (teaching / training your dog to come back when called). You can read my recall notes to help you with this. Make sure you can hold your dog if it wizzes t the end of the lead!
  2. All lengths can help when your dog is not allowed off the lead for what ever reason (see safety notes below). Never use any head collar with a long line, harnesses are better). The longer leads are best used in large areas where there is no risk of tangling around other things including other dogs and your legs!
  3. Colour – personal choice, red gets grubby quickly and obviously the darker colours stay nicer for longer.
  4. Width – no strength benefits buying 25mm but owners of larger dogs prefer the wider choice but be aware that the with 25mm, when you choose a longer lead it will be more bulky.
  5. Fittings – brass will last longer and will stand up to abuse especially getting wet / damp as they will not sieze up.
  6. Handles – most people choose the handle option but the no handle option is sometimes preferred. Be aware that when you choose the double up option, whether it be with a handle or padded handle, the handle will be at the dogs head end when the double option is being used.
  7. Double up – our unique double up element means that you will be able to work your chosen length at half length too. (See handle notes above). At the trigger hook end, an extra O ring is sewn in plus an O ring on the handle means that when you feed the webbing throught the O ring at the trigger hook end and it comes to a stop at the O ring on the handle it means you can use your lead at half length, the handle that would have been at the end of the lead is now at the ‘dog end’.

USES FOR THE DOG TRAINING OR ‘TRACKING’ LEAD

As stated in points 1 & 2 above, uses for the dog training lead are varied but essentially the lead gives you peace of mind and a bit of extra freedom for your dog.

  • Training the recall also known as ‘coming when called’, most popular use for this dog training lead
  • Beach exercise
  • Open spaces where there are no distractions
  • May help with socialisation training
  • Allowing extra freedom with aggressive dogs (always remember to use your muzzle too if necessary)
  • Rescue dogs where recall is none existent, unreliable or unknown
  • New owners who have learnt the hard way or have no / limited knowledge of training dogs

FITTINGS – and why one (or more than one) option might help you

  • Brass fittings – ideal if you abuse your lead, hang it outdoors or use it in the wet. Will never rust or sieze up
  • Nickel fittings – ideal if you are able to take more care of your lead and keep it dry / cheaper option
  • Small trigger hooks – ideal for smaller dogs as they are lighter around the dogs neck and they will not kick it when they walk or run.
  • Double up, ideal at any length but obviously the longer the lead the more skill you need for lead management
  • Handle – the no handle option might help if you let the lead trail around, especially for the house line as the handle will not get stuck under doors for example, the handle option is obvious, it means you can hold the end easier
  • Widths – wider not necessarily stronger but a choice for owners of larger breeds
  • Padded handle – ideal for comfort but will obviously get wet so would need drying out when it does

SAFETY

Use of our dog training leads are obviously the responsability of the user, but please read some of our suggestions below to help with risk mitigation.

  1. Never ever use with any type of head collar
  2. Best used with harnesses that are properly fitted
  3. Do not leave to trail on a dog with no or unreliable recall because if they run off, they only have to go around an object once and they are stuck. Does not bear thinking about
  4. Dont let the lead run through your hand, it will burn
  5. Check trigger hooks each time you use them, it is not unknown for trigger hooks to fail
  6. Be aware of tangle risks when dogs are playing together

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OUR DOG TRAINING LEADS

  • Life time stitching guarantee
  • A well made functional dog training lead
  • Made with love not in a factory
  • Second to none customer service
  • You can speak to a real person in the UK to make order enquiries

You can call me on 01522 810150 for any questions about any of our leads.

 

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Sarah Gleave Designs Kennel Evacuation Lead

Kennel Evacuation Lead

Sarah Gleave Designs New Kennel Evacuation Lead in Response to the Manchester Dogs’ Home Fire.

Ishbel Johnson of Abbey Saddlery writes a short feature about the reasons Sarah has taken on this project and what makes this safety lead different from other leads…Written 2nd October 2014

Abbey donates webbing to aid project.

3 weeks ago, The Manchester Dogs’ Home went up in flames. This heart-breaking incident took the life of 60 dogs and left many injured. The unfortunate incident witnessed a nation of pet owners coming together and offering aid through the means of financial donations and temporary homes. This phenomenal response has raised £1,456,809.24 for the Just giving Campaign organised By Manchester Evening News. Sarah Gleave is a Kennel owner from Lincolnshire and like many others, she was shaken by the dreadful news of The Manchester Dogs’ Home blaze. In response to the incident, Sarah has designed a safety lead to help assist evacuation of a kennel block with the intention of donating the leads to a number of dogs’ homes. This project has relied upon the donations from suppliers and sponsors so Sarah approached Abbey England asking for a webbing donation. This has been a great cause from the start and Abbey were happy to oblige.

What is your occupation?

Boarding Kennel Owner, Owner Meg Heath Dog Leads and DevDogz Web Design.

Please tell us about your project? 

The Meg Heath ‘Kennel Evacuation Lead’ was designed in the aftermath of the Manchester Dogs’ Home fire in September 2014. It followed a re-evaluation of my own fire evacuation plan that is a condition for Boarding Kennels in the UK and decided that my existing plan, albeit suitable, could be improved by designing a simple lead. I have however drawn up some guidelines for its safe & responsible use.

The kennel evacuation lead has been produced to be given free of charge to be used in Kennel based dog rescue centres in the UK as a means of safe evacuation and supervised tethering in the event of a fire. All materials have been donated and the cost of shipping has been covered by Sponsors. Supply requests are at the discretion of Meg Heath Dog Leads.

Why have you taken on the project? 

To provide a lead that rescues can use FOC in the event of an emergency to safely evacuate dogs from a kennel block.

What materials have you used? 

Webbing and trigger hooks.

How many leads are you making? 

As many as time and sponsorship dictates.

Who are you donating the leads to? 

3 kennel based dog charities in Lincolnshire to start with, then moving further afield.

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How To Teach A Dog To Come Back When Called

recall

The Recall as dog trainers call it is the art of getting your dog to come to you when you call him (I’ll use him throughout the article). I call it an art because I believe it to be one of the hardest lessons to teach our dogs. There are so many distractions when teaching the recall, which makes it one of the most difficult and one of the hardest to train well.

How to change your dog’s recall behaviour immediately with 5 easy changes:

  • Use a long line training lead of at least 5 metres
  • Work in a no or low distraction area
  • Give yourself time rather than a rushed walk before work
  • Re-evaluate the rewards used, use what your dog finds rewarding not what you have decided is rewarding
  • And above all be calm and patient, if you or the dog is not relaxed, you will hinder your progress

My top tip: “Praise spontaneous & willing returns to you.”

Before you teach the recall

The concept behind this is what most people get wrong. Your dog is not born knowing what a recall is, so why are you using a command that has not been taught? In my method, you are teaching (managing, enticing etc) a recall without using a command yet, this is why you need a long training line. The training lead stops your dog from running off and is an essential tool for my recall notes.

Prepare – what rewards are you using? If in doubt, give the dog a choice. What call are you using? Name – come?

When you first start your training program, dogs often pick up on the very earliest cues. So the first things you start rewarding might often be the ones s/he learns the best. Be aware and make your body language nice and clear. Remember less is more.

Here is a checklist of all the main points to remember:

  1. Always reward a recall and never scold a dog for not coming back.
  2. Do not repeatedly call a dog who is not coming back to you.
  3. Use appropriate rewards – what your dog likes, not what you think he should like – suggestions are a favourite food, like chicken, hot dogs cheese that kind of thing (not kibble though, it needs to be something special and not their daily food), favourite novel toy, praise or all 3.
  4. Never assume a young puppy recall is a fully trained behaviour, it usually is not.
  5. Never ignore a recall done of the dogs own free will. Praise spontaneous willing returns to you – meaning the times your dog returned to you without you calling them.
  6. Never allow an untrained dog to practice running away, the behaviour becomes self-reinforcing (practised).
  7. Beware of never letting your dog off the lead because you daren’t – train him/her! (Use a long line leash).
  8. Never chase after a dog that is running off. Be aware of laughing and thinking it is funny, the dog will pick up on this.
  9. Always teach puppies & dogs as soon as you get them home. Often the first training session is the one they will learn the most from, so plan it well.
  10. Start your training with your dog close to you, in a safe area and on a long training lead.
  11. Gain your dog’s full attention & secure him on a lead or take hold of his collar when he returns before rewarding. Then release or put the leash back on.
  12. Reward each and every return to you, in the early stages even when he comes to you without being called.
  13. Be sure that a command is followed by the desired response, if not then you have rushed ahead in the schedule.
  14. You may use a whistle, a verbal command and/or a hand signal, followed by a reward. Any combination may then be used in the absence of the other.
  15. Be aware of de-training, by following commands with something negative.

Procedure

  1. Manage the dog’s motivation (i.e. if using food, is he hungry, if using play, is the toy novel, if using praise, does the dog receive attention when it is not earned and does he perceive your praise as a reward)?
  2. Your dog must want to come to you of his own free will initially. So wander around on your walk and either wait for your dog to pop over and say hi or lure with a treat or toy.
  3. Walk dog on a long line (5-10 metres) on normal exercise, reward every return to you of his own free will (without using a command). This is the most important phase of the training technique. Your dog MUST ‘want’ to come to you. And to get this it must be managed not forced. [1]
  4. If using food, continually manage the dog’s food motivation, you could use his meals as part of the training sessions. You should always feed after walks anyway – never before (for health reasons). If using praise, save your praise for when he earns it. If using a toy, save a special toy for walks/training only. With food, feed your dog at night and do not give meals during the day (in extreme cases). It IS possible to food train a dog that appears not to be food motivated. Food helps with training; there is no denying that, but not all dogs like food as a reward. If you can use food and praise then this is great. SUGGESTIONS – cheese, hot dogs (although can be high in salt), real meat, bought treats etc.
  5. The dog will learn to return to you because you are providing him with something he wants and he finds it rewarding. This may take time and can take anything from a few minutes to a few weeks to achieve, but when your dog realises that coming to you is beneficial then we are on track.
  6. When the returns to you are frequent and pretty much guaranteed, you can start to introduce a command. ‘Name COME’ (or whistle, just his name, hand signal etc.)
  7. Keep your body language simple. Don’t run around doing star jumps and calling him. Stand still & square and call him with intention.
  8. Say the command when he has returned to you (not while he is out in the field OR when he is coming to you, ONLY when he has reached you). Sounds odd but at this point, you are pairing what he is already doing with a command – the one you want to teach.
  9. This conditions the command and associates it with the reward and being by you (near enough to hold the collar).
  10. As he builds up an association with the command and being by you, you can start to use the command when he is returning to you, i.e. you can guarantee he will be coming to you as he runs in your direction.
  11. Only when you are confident he will come to you 100% of the time do you then start calling him while he is not distracted.
  12. Gradually build up the distractions, i.e. when he is interacting with another dog, sniffing the floor etc.
  13. Start in  ZERO DISTRACTION AREA. Then carefully start to take him to a different area with different and increased distractions. You will probably need to revert back to an earlier stage of training in a new environment.

Notes

[1] Previous learning will affect this. The time spent allowing your dog to run off or repeated calling will hinder your training. Only a complete transformation to religious retraining will change this.

TIP Put the lead on your dog frequently even though you are not going home, dogs can perceive the end of a walk (going home) as a mild punishment and may play ‘catch me’ when they know you are taking them home!

IMPORTANT

Remember, if using food, allow for the number of treats used and reduce dinner accordingly. A fat dog is not a healthy dog.

NEVER allow a dog to run next to dangerous areas such as train lines, busy roads or dangerous water.

NEVER underestimate your dog’s ability to run off in hot pursuit of something nicer than your reward.

The Recall is one of the LIFESAVER exercises you will teach your dog. Make it good and reliable, one day it will save his life.
 You will be proud of him when he comes back on command.

Please share with full credit and do not copy without permission.

© Sarah Gleave Updated 15th June 2018