Ever had your dog do something "naughty", but it can't REALLY be called naughty because in reality you had total control over the situation? But you still have an uncontrollable urge to blame it on the dog?
Good thing she's cute.
Tess HATES her head harness. Or rather, hatED, as in PAST tense.
We started out with a gentle leader. I know how to introduce the head collar, I know how to use it, and yes, I know that there is an "adjustment" period - but eventually they DO adjust.
Tess did not adjust. She continued to do spectacular efforts to get it off no matter what. If it hadn't been for the fact that she was going to have damage to her throat if I used a more traditional collar or slip lead, I would have given up. Then she started bolting from me when she saw it in my hand, and NOTHING would entice her - not even hot dogs.
One of my classmates had a head collar that was made by a different company called a "Halti". It looked like they fixed most of the design flaws in the Gentle Leader that I felt were bugging Tess.
We had more success with the Halti - for the most part she could concentrate on the task at hand, not flail around like a fish, and while no amount of treat association would make her HAPPY to see the halti, she at least did not actively try to get away - settling instead on sad puppy eyes.
I've seen gradual improvement over the past 2 months until.....this week. She wouldn't stop flailing around in the kennel during a crate game, so I walked away.
I don't normally leave harnesses or collars etc on a dog in a kennel - I don't want a chance that they might hang up on the kennel. In this case, Tess's kennel is in the homeroom at school with lots of traffic and I felt comfortable leaving her with the halti and collar on as a training exercise.
I came back to a chewed halti. That was still functional.
My evil little idea had worked! Minus a small, almost insignificant part, the Halti was still on and she seemed resigned.
Of course, I couldn't be happy stopping there. To see if I could get rid of the last remnants of the rubbing and flopping I decided she would wear the halti continuously during the day for a couple of days.
Today was day 1.
Today she chewed the halt off in a matter of 30 minutes of being unintended.
I can't really blame her. I gave her the opportunity. She did what seemed like the logical thing to her.
We went on a walk and I discovered that she is neither significantly better nor worse in a flat collar compared to the Halti.
So, I'm making Tess a deal.
Don't pull and I won't put a head collar on you. Otherwise I still have that Gentle Leader somewhere....
Update - Since writing this post, Tess is now the (not so proud) owner of a blue Holt head harness. It fits a little better than either of the other 2 brands. So I'm making Tess a new deal - I promise to not use it unless I need it - I'll attach one end of my leash to the flat collar, the other to the Holt - she just needs to wear the Holt like a lady - not a flopping fish - and I'll use the flat collar. I promise!!!!!!