FAQ'S - Online Shop
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FAQ's - Shop products
We have a Jack Russell that pulls and also can get snappy with other dogs only when out walking. Is there something you could recommend?
I frequently receive messages such as yours, and my first thought is always to ask the owner to be patient with the dog and try and see things from his point of view.
Please don’t think that equipment is something that will stop your dog reacting to other dogs. In fact, it can make matters worse by disguising the symptoms. Instead, look at the underlying cause of the problem - this is the key to solving any dog’s issues.
Any piece of equipment you use should be thought of as something to help your dog feel more comfortable and as a stop-gap until both you and he have learnt alternative strategies. Equipment itself will not help your dog to cope. Many dogs become reactive either because they are afraid, or frustrated, or often because too much is demanded of them and they become a little stressed. So, when choosing something for your dog ensure that it will not cause discomfort (otherwise he is likely to associate any pain with the other dog or the situation, and may become worse).
A flat harness such as a padded fleecy harness or a Happy Dog harness are soft, comfortable and relatively wide, which means that they spread the weight and reduce the likelihood of unnecessary pressure being put on the neck. Fleecy harnesses are best for dogs that don’t spend lots of time swimming as wet harnesses can be uncomfortable. However, if your dog has back or neck problems it is best to seek veterinary advice before choosing equipment.
Both types of harness can be found at http://www.sheilaharper.co.uk/harnesses
As regards muzzles, bear in mind that the more vulnerable your dog feels, the more his behaviour may escalate. If he realises that he can’t defend himself this behaviour may become ingrained. A basket type muzzle allows your dog to breathe and pant, whereas a fabric muzzle is highly restrictive and is not suitable for a dog to wear outside, especially when being exercised.
Some other suggestions are:
Ÿ Avoid difficult situations wherever possible in the early stages whilst you practice the behaviour you would like
Ÿ Remember that the more opportunity your dog has to practice any unwanted behaviour, the better he will become at it
Ÿ Don’t let your dog go too close to other dogs - protect him from them, and never tell him off, otherwise his behaviour may become worse as he realises that the presence of other dogs makes you annoyed
Ÿ Teach your dog to walk without pulling when he is calm and quiet and able to think rather than trying to work with him when he is excited or irritated. If you become frustrated and pull on the lead yourself you will undo all your hard work
Ÿ Turid Rugaas’ book “What Do I Do When My Dog Pulls” may be of use to you http://www.sheilaharper.co.uk/books/behaviour
If you would like help in resolving your dog’s problems, we may be able to support you either directly by suggesting you attend a session with us, or indirectly by putting you in touch with someone in your area who may be able to work together with you and your dog to help you both feel more comfortable in difficult situations.
I hope this helps. We have you and your dog’s best interests at heart and will do our utmost to help resolve your issues.