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A Canny blog

Some Canny thoughts, ideas, tips and other musings from the folks at the dog end of things.

Top 5 Canny Collar mistakes

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Occasionally, despite great design and good intention, the Canny Collar won’t work as it is designed to. The good news is that it is often down to any of 5 possible factors that can easily be fixed. 


#1 Measuring your dog’s neck incorrectly

The first step to a stress-free walk is to make sure you have the correct size Canny Collar. When measuring your dog’s neck, it is important to bring your measuring tape around your dog’s neck to the back, just behind the ears and not to measure lower down the neck, where your dog’s resident collar would normally sit. The Canny Collar fits higher up where the neck is narrower and will therefore tend to be a smaller fit than a resident collar. This needs to be considered when choosing the right size Canny Collar for your dog, as well as taking a snug measurement to ensure it does not come off during a walk.

If your dog is borderline and his neck measurement falls right between two sizes of Canny Collar, we generally recommend going for the smaller of the two size options. This means there will be slightly less slip line behind your dog’s head which tends to make for a better all round fit.

If you have a pup, it’s important to choose the size of Canny Collar your pup needs at this current time rather than thinking of growing room in the future. Each Canny Collar does have room for adjustment and there is overlap between each size so this is not often a problem anyway.

Whilst your dog’s breed can be a general guideline, measuring your dog’s neck as described above is by far the most failsafe way to ensure you choose the correct size.


#2 Not leaving the yellow guider under the muzzle

The final step when fitting your Canny Collar can sometimes be overlooked. As you pull the slip line from under your dog’s chin to place over his nose, it is important to pull it through the yellow plastic guider, to allow this to then sit under your dog’s chin during a walk. This also ensures the slip line will not come off your dog’s nose.

When we have been sent images of dogs wearing their Canny Collar from owners whose dogs are not walking as well as they should, sometimes the yellow guider is seen sitting proudly on top of the dog’s nose! Whilst this may be a funky fashion statement, it won’t help your dog walk as well as he should on the Canny Collar.


#3 Attaching the lead to the carabiner clips

This is a big no no! The carabiners included with each Canny Collar are designed exclusively for off lead use only and are not to be attached to a dog lead under any circumstances.

The D-rings at the end of the slip line have been designed to take the weight of a fully grown adult dog and this is where your lead should be attached. The carabiners will not take the strength of a pulling dog and it is highly likely your dog’s weight will snap them if used when walking.


#4 Letting out too much lead when walking

Whilst the Canny Collar is designed to allow your dog to walk well on a loose lead, too much lead may allow the slip line to come off your dog’s nose while walking. There is a good explanation here on how to avoid this.

One suggestion would be to apply pressure on the Canny Collar at the start of the walk, then release it just enough so that your dog is free to open his mouth and the lead clip is resting either just above or on top of his shoulder blades. This way, the Canny Collar is loose enough around the muzzle for your dog to walk comfortably unless he strays from his position by your side (at which point you can quickly and easily correct him whilst still maintaining a loose lead) but not so long that the slip line moves towards the end of your dog’s muzzle and falls off. Once in this position, begin your walk and keep your arm relaxed by your side, allowing the Canny Collar to do any corrective work and meaning you can praise your dog vocally when he is walking well by your side.

Letting out too much lead defeats the purpose of the Canny Collar which is to stop your dog pulling out in front and to have him walk nicely by your side. For this reason we don’t recommend that the Canny Collar is used with a flexi or extendable lead.


#5 Not releasing the pressure after applying

When your dog is pulling on the lead, your first reaction is to keep pressure applied in the hope that this will stop him pulling. When using any type of head collar, the temptation is to do exactly the same.

But trying to control your dog in this way makes the Canny Collar no more effective than a regular collar and lead. The Canny Collar works using a ‘pressure and release’ system, training your dog to walk on a loose lead by your side as he realises that in this position, he feels no pressure on his nose at all. It is vital that at some point during the walk, your dog realises that the pressure will come off as a dog will only ever walk well without any pressure applied to either his neck or face. And of course this way, the walk is more enjoyable for your both.

This is the key to using the Canny Collar correctly. Apply gentle pressure when your dog pulls (no yanking) but be sure to release when your momentum then brings you level with him on the walk. If your dog is a persistent puller and you are simply not getting the opportunity to release the pressure, you can find further help here.


So there we are, these are the 5 most common reasons why a Canny Collar may not work as intended. Hopefully, armed with this information you will be able to use it as intended and enjoy walking your dog.

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Canny Company MD until someone more important decides otherwise.

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  • Guest
    Steve n Bev Sábado, 09 Julio 2016

    Yesterday 08/07/16 me and my partner purchased a canny collar, the shop we got it from put it on and took our dog for a demonstration walk. We were both astonished at how much better our dog walked with the shop owner, thinking it was because someone he doesn't know had walked him, both me and my partner took turns to walk him and we were really pleased with the result. On our normal walks we sometimes take our boy out separately and he walks well for us. The problem occurs when we walk him together, he pulls, jumps up people and even tries all he can to get to the other dog. Today we have both walked him on the canny collar and well what can I say, it was like we had a different dog, he walked at my heel and for the first time in I don't know how long I only had a slight grip on the lead and with very gentle tugs he came back into line when he tried pulling. The walk was a pleasure for a change and nowhere near as stressful as it normally is. Our dog is even better behaved in the home too which makes a change. We can't be more happy with the results we are experiencing.

  • sean
    sean Lunes, 11 Julio 2016

    Hi Steve n Bev - thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, it's always great to hear of dogs who become much more of a pleasure to take out on a walk after being fitted with a Canny. We hope you all continue to enjoy your dog's walks in future and if there is anything else we can do for you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

  • smianhead
    smianhead Sábado, 03 Septiembre 2016

    Me and My partner purchased a Canny Collar for our daschund, Ralph. He is 1 years old and always pulled on the lead and was over excited to go for a walk. Since purchasing the Canny Collar, we have continued to take him on more walks as the results are fantastic. Since then I have added a review of the collar onto my website; http://dogleadsandharnesses.com/canny-collar-reviews/

    The Canny Collar is one of my favourites and would highly recommend to anyone looking

  • sean
    sean Sábado, 03 Septiembre 2016

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do such a comprehensive review of the Canny Collar Ian. Good luck with Ralph, he sounds like a lot of fun! :)

  • stockingsl
    stockingsl Lunes, 24 Octubre 2016

    Hi I have a 18month old staffy he is very large and very strong I have started to use the canny collar it is fantastic only one problem he has started to get red marks near his eyes and it seems it is irritating his fur is it that it is not fitted properly I followed the instructions but under his eyes look really sore like it is rubbing his fur hope you can help

  • sean
    sean Martes, 25 Octubre 2016

    Hi - there are two possibilities here. Firstly, if your dog is borderline between two sizes, although both sizes will fit, with a Staffy you may find that the larger of the two sizes works better as the slip line (the part that goes over his nose), will be longer and will allow more room for a Staffy's wider head. The second possibility is that, during use, the Canny Collar may not be loosening as it should do - it needs to work on an alternating 'pressure and release' system. See the last point in this link: https://www.cannyco.com/canny-collar-tips-and-advice and also, here is a short video that might illustrate the point better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nlrVbalMeE. Note how the handler stops and starts with the walk, allowing the Canny Collar to loosen. A few minutes a day of training like this at the beginning of the walk will mean that your dog becomes used to the collar loosening and hopefully then avoiding any rubbing. Is the yellow guider positioned correctly under your dog's chin also?

  • Tricky1982
    Tricky1982 Jueves, 23 Marzo 2017

    Hi, i have followed all the instructions and guidance given, measured and have the correct size, am using a short lead, but my sprocker spaniel seems to be able to get the slip line off really easy, at least 9/10 times on a short walk, any advice would be gratefully received? Thanks

  • sean
    sean Viernes, 24 Marzo 2017

    Hi Tricky - Spaniels tend to be inclined to sniff the floor a lot on walks if allowed to. Ideally, in order to also stop any pulling and have your dog walk well, we need to be attentive during the initial stages of the walk to try and get your dog to focus more on you, his/her owner. Have you followed the advice here under the heading 'The slip line comes off my dog's nose....' regarding gently raising your dog's head from the floor using the lead when he dips his head to sniff and then praising him when he has his head upright and walking well? : https://www.cannyco.com/canny-collar-tips-and-advice.

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