A question we frequently get asked is “How do I get my dog used to the K9 Bridle headcollar?” and it’s an important question. If your dog isn’t used to headcollars then it’s vital to spend a bit of time getting him used to the feeling of the K9 Bridle on his nose before you take him out on walks. This is just the same as when we, as humans, first wear a watch or a pair of glasses, or when your dog was first introduced to its regular collar as a puppy. It’s an unusual feeling for them and we need to help them to get used to it.
We recommend helping your dog build a positive association with the headcollar right from the first time he sees it. The best way to do this to take some time out with your dog, possibly after a walk when he is nice and calm. Have a pot of his favourite treats ready, or, if he prefers a toy, have that ready beside you instead. The aim is to ensure that the dog receives treats or his favourite game WHEN THE BRIDLE IS ON but the game or treats stop as soon as the collar comes off.
We’ve created the video above showing Esther, a 6-month-old border collie, being taught that wonderful things happen when she wears the K9 bridle.
As you can see from the video, the whole session is very calm and the dog gets lots of praise and rewards whilst wearing the bridle. This really will set her up well for her first walk out wearing the bridle.
What to do if your dog makes a fuss
Esther was very calm and didn’t protest much about the headcollar at all despite it being only the second time she has worn one. Your dog may be a bit less cooperative. However, you just need to remember the following two points:
1. Only reward the dog when he is calm and not trying to remove the headcollar.
2. Only take the headcollar off when the dog is calm. He must not learn that making a fuss will mean the collar comes off. He needs to learn that it only comes off when he is calm.
If you remember these two points then your dog will soon learn that the best things happen when the k9 bridle is on!
Do this as many times a day as you like until the dog doesn’t seem to notice the headcollar any more and is reaching his head forward to have it put on. Once you get to this stage, you are ready to take him out for his first walk wearing the bridle.