As a dog owner, you’ve probably felt like this at some point. Even if you have had dogs all your life, sometimes a dog comes along who is just so impossible to train that none of the dog stuff you know works anymore. Your out-of-control dog attracts stares that make you feel like the worst owner in the world and when you see other people enjoying their dog walks, you just wish you had a ‘normal’ dog like everyone else.
Feeling embarrassed is only part of it. You feel guilty that you should be spending more time training your dog to walk on lead but your life is busy and there simply isn’t the time. You’re worried that one day your dog might pull you over or escape. You may even regret getting a dog at all and be thinking the worst: if you can’t control her, you may have to give her up for rehoming.
“You just need to train your dog properly.”
How many times has someone come up to you and said that while walking your dog? You want to give them the benefit of the doubt and you listen politely while they tell you about the product or technique that worked for their dog but you know deep down that they just think it’s basically all your fault. They may as well be saying “Look, just control your dog will you?” So, to avoid other people and dogs, you change your dog walk and go where you know you won’t bump into anyone else so you don’t have to feel embarrassed each time you struggle to hang on.
As behaviourists and trainers, we met many owners like you, often at their wit’s end with their dog’s behaviour. Such was the level of desperation, we were sometimes told that this was the dog’s last chance and we knew that we really had to fix this problem if this dog wasn’t to join the many thousands of others in rescue centres up and down the UK.
“I've tried everything and nothing works.”
These owners had tried every type of collar, technique or training school without success. The collars and harnesses they had already tried were stuffed in a drawer or hanging from the back of a door, a daily reminder of how impossible their dog was to train. They felt bad as they didn’t have the time or knowledge to train their dog but at the same time, everything they had tried had failed. Some had simply stopped their daily walks altogether because it was just too stressful.
They weren’t bad owners, far from it. They had just lost all confidence in themselves while all the time seeing those lucky, seemingly stress-free owners enjoying walks with the type of dog they didn’t have themselves. They were frustrated and we shared their frustration. We had tried all of the available anti-pull headcollars we knew of and nothing had really worked for us 100% either.
“There’s a kinder way to train your dog.”
When we found out about Brian Smith, the inventor of the Canny Collar, we were intrigued. The day our trial collar arrived in the post, we hurried to open it and quickly realised that it was the answer we had been looking for. It worked from both sides so there was no yanking of the head and there were less straps around the dog’s muzzle, allowing him or her to open their mouth, breathe and pant, more of a training aid than a restraint.
This Canny Collar was simple to fit, easy to use and most importantly, kind to the dog. After five minutes working with a difficult Weimaraner, we couldn’t believe how this choking, pulling dog could be transformed so quickly into a dog that was walking by our side on a loose lead.
“I don’t want to have to give her up for rescue.”
To test this new Canny Collar, we began turning up at local dog rescues and asking for ‘the three worst dogs you have, the guys who have either been here the longest or who you think will never be rehomed’. You’ll know the kind of dog we are talking about, you may even have had a dog like this yourself. And we watched the staff as their jaws dropped and their smiles widened, seeing how quickly they were able to get a dog walking well after only a short time using a Canny Collar.
Of course we felt absolutely elated. We knew that if this collar could work on the dogs that people had given up on, it would work for almost every dog. Rescue shelters are stressful places for dogs but once they were trained to walk well on a lead, their true personalities shone through. They now had a second chance.
“We want to help you to enjoy your dog.”
We wanted owners like you to feel as good about walking their dog as the rescue shelter staff had. Through dogged hard work (see what we did there?!), a small but dedicated team of passionate people, plenty of coffee and more than a few late nights, we have now given thousands of dog owners a way to turn their dog walk from something to dread into something to enjoy.
From packing Canny Collars into boxes around the kitchen table, we now work with respected canine organisations such as The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Canine Partners, the RSPCA and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers to provide the tools they need to achieve the best results. We regularly donate to rescue shelters, dog charities, local training groups, dog fairs, in fact any cause or event where we see people passionate about helping dogs to help them continue their fantastic work.
“How would you feel if your pulling dog became a pleasure to walk?”
Well, your aching arms would thank you for sure. And we think you’d feel pretty good taking your dog for a walk without feeling embarrassed, guilty or regretful, knowing that you were in complete control. In fact, just like one of those owners you’ve often seen in the park enjoying a stress-free walk with the dog you love.