Help & FAQ

My Canny Collar doesn’t work!

You read the reviews, asked the guy at the pet shop which head collar to buy to stop your dog pulling and then came home eager to begin your first walk without your dog pulling you off your feet. If things didn't go quite as well as you had hoped and you didn't get the result you wanted, help is at hand.

Below are some of the most common tips for getting your dog to walk nicely on the Canny Collar if your initial few outings weren't as successful as you would have liked. Plus there are answers to several other frequently asked questions.

The slip line comes off my dog's nose - what do I do?

The most common reason for this is that the yellow plastic guider on the Canny Collar slip line is not positioned under your dog's chin. Ensure that you have pulled the slip line through the guider and that your dog doesn't have a piece of yellow plastic on the side of his face (or on top of his head!).

Another possible reason is walking with too long a lead. The key to keeping the nose band on your dog is twofold: keep your lead short (but still loose) and your dog’s head upright. Try beginning your walk with the pressure applied on the Canny Collar and then slackening off the lead just enough so that the lead clip either just rests on the back of your dog’s neck or that the slip line of the Canny Collar is loose enough for your dog to open his mouth. This means the Canny Collar is loose and comfortable on your dog but that there is not enough slip lead for it to move towards the end of your dog’s nose and fall off the end. We don’t recommend using a flexi lead with the Canny Collar for precisely this reason as it allows too much lead with the possibility that the slip line will then come off the nose.

To keep the head upright, you will need to watch your dog for the first couple of minutes of your walk so that if his head drops, you can gently correct him by easing his head up off the floor with a steady upward action on the lead. As soon as his head is upright, give him plenty of vocal praise and slacken the lead once again. Don’t say anything negative to correct him if he drops hushed again, just lift his head and then praise him when it is upright – this lets the Canny Collar do any corrective work (as it does with stopping the pulling) and you can then give the vocal praise reward. Much the same as you expect certain behaviour from your dog when he on lead (ie. not pulling you), the same applies to other things like stopping to mark territory, pulling towards other dogs etc. You should be in control of your dog’s walk and not your dog, which means you decide (perhaps with a special training command such as ‘free!’) when your dog is able to do as they please, for example when your stop to let him off lead, meet other dogs, stop for a sniff etc. The first couple of minutes of your walk are the most important and set the tone for the rest of the outing.

After a few times of beginning the walk this way, your dog should start to become accustomed to you being in control of the walk and keep his head upright with no pulling. It doesn’t mean that he can’t stop and sniff etc, the only difference is that this happens when you decide and not your dog. The key to walking your dog well on a lead is consistency and if we are trying to gain your dog’s respect for your authority when lead training, he will get mixed messages if we are trying to control one aspect of the walk (the pulling) but allowing him to do the other things that often impede a pleasurable walk.

The slip line on the Canny Collar is designed to be free-moving rather than in a fixed position, so that when your dog is walking well, he doesn't feel any pressure at all on his face. This is in fact how the collar works, using a pressure and release system - pressure when pulling, no pressure when not pulling - this is your dog’s ‘reward’ for walking well and he should only feel pressure if he pulls. If the collar was in a fixed position, there would be (at least some) continual pressure which means no actual training is taking place and your head collar is working more like a restraint. Your dog will only walk well on a loose lead and this is what we are looking to achieve.

When he is walking well, it is important to keep the lead short but just slackened off, so that it is not so loose for the slip line to come over your dog’s nose. The yellow guider underneath the chin is designed to be loose, free-moving and not fixed as the collar is a training aid to train your dog to eventually walk without pulling.

An extendable lead or similar long lead is not recommended for use with the Canny Collar.

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My dog doesn't want to walk - what can I do?

The Canny Collar can be used in conjunction with common positive reinforcement dog training methods such as clicker training or food based reward training, which will help get your dog's interest and encourage him to walk. By lowering your height and giving vocal praise and/or a food incentive, your dog can be encouraged to begin walking with his Canny Collar.

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Will the Canny Collar fit a Boxer, Pug or other short-nosed breed?

We have had a great deal of positive feedback about the Canny Collar from Boxer owners who have been delighted to find a piece of dog training equipment they can finally use to walk their dog. As the fitting depends on neck size, this simply means there is a little less slip line behind the head on a Boxer than there would be for other breeds, but the fit is not a problem. Pugs are a little trickier as mostly they have virtually no nose! For those that have a slightly longer nose, the Canny Collar would work but if in doubt, invest in a body harness.

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I want to eventually train my dog to walk on a conventional collar and lead

The Canny Collar can indeed be used to train your dog to eventually walk on a regular collar and lead if this is what you wish. To achieve this, try walking your dog on the Canny Collar with the slip line over his nose for a two week period. Then, walk him for perhaps five minutes one day with the slip line on his nose and then remove it, pulling the excess slip line out at the back of his neck, turning the collar into a conventional lead and collar arrangement, for five minutes more. If he begins to walk well, you are on your way to training him. You can then alternate between the two arrangements, gradually 'weaning' him off having the slip line on his nose. If he doesn't respond well to this, he will need a further period of keeping the slip line permanently on his nose before again trying the 'alternating' method of walking him.

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I want to walk two dogs at once using a Canny Collar

We recommend for two dogs, that you walk both on the same side which will make it easier to control them using a Canny Collar. If using a standard length lead (4-6 ft) and walking your dogs on the left, this would mean holding the handle of the lead in your right hand and the part closest to the clip in your left. The dog on the outside will have slightly more lead than the dog on the inside but both dogs should have their leads so that they are short but loose ie. that there is just enough slack so that as soon as one pulls, he/she feels the pressure of the collar tightening. With the leads in this position, only the dog that started to pull would feel any pressure and it would allow the second dog, if he wasn't pulling, to enjoy the benefits of walking on a loose lead and feeling no pressure

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Can the Canny Collar be used with a muzzle?

The Canny Collar can be worn with a basket or ‘Baskerville’ type muzzle without a problem. The Canny Collar should be fitted first and then the basket type muzzle fitted over the top. We don’t recommend using the Canny Collar with the cloth type muzzle that does not allow a dog to open his mouth.

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My dog has vertebral neck problems

f your dog has vertebral neck problems, our recommendation would be not to use any type of training device that fits around your dog's head. There are many harnesses on the market which would be more suitable for your dog.

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My dog is still pulling on the lead! What should I do now?

When using the Canny Collar, it is important that your dog realises that at some point during the walk, the collar will loosen and if he is a persistently bad puller this may not be happening. One tip would be to let out your lead when walking and allow him some way ahead of you and then, whilst still watching him, turn quickly and walk around in the complete opposite direction, taking good care not to yank his head when you turn. This will put him immediately behind you and give you some distance ahead of him before he then tries to pass you again and pull. Once he does pass you, turn again immediately and repeat the process, continuing to turn when he passes you. He should begin to look at you and try to anticipate when you are going to turn in order to stay ahead but the best place to watch you from is just behind your leg. And this is ideally where you would like him to be on a walk.

When you have a very persistent puller, often it is best to try not to control them immediately with the collar, but to get them used to wearing it and give them plenty of vocal praise when they begin to walk without trying to remove it and when they are behind you. The exercise described above is intended to take away the worst of the initial pulling but should only be done in bursts of three or four minutes maximum as it will be both physically and mentally demanding for both of you. Once you begin to get some control/acceptance, then try using the collar to control as per the instructions to stop pulling. Without the hard, initial & tiring (for you both!) pulling, you should be able to apply pressure when he does pull and release when he stops. Dogs generally will only walk well if their lead/collar is loose and he needs to know it will loosen at some point. Once he experiences it loosening, he will realise that by walking in this position, it is more comfortable and the yellow plastic guider should then sit underneath his muzzle in the correct, relaxed position.

Go to: What is the Canny Collar?

Go to: Choosing the right size

Go to: Fitting the Canny Collar

Go to: Walking Dogs On a Canny Collar

by Sean McElherron