‘I arrived at the RSPCA in Birmingham armed with my latest piece of training equipment under arm, and upon entering reception was met with curious glances of my peers. What was this curious contraption? I handed it around for inspection, declaring proudly it’s purpose; to gain complete control of our black beauty, Cara.
In case you missed last month’s edition of DTN, Cara, while completely delightful in every other aspect, is a dog-walker’s nightmare charge. Her favoured past-times are causing back injuries in kennel staff, swallowing anything that can be shredded down to fit in her mouth and bouncing around like a hyperactive kangeroo.
Seemingly oblivious to the path of destruction she leaves in her wake, kennel staff are concerned that when she leaves for her new home, Cara won’t get the exercise she needs simply because her family will be put off from taking her out!
‘That will stop her? I’ll believe it when I see it.’ I was told.
I set off to meet my fuzzy friend, stopping only to ask for some assistance in holding her still so that I could get the equipment on her. When we arrived at the run, Cara was jumping up the walls, obviously eager to come out and play; although I think she was less pleased about the whole thing when I produced the Dogmatic. Looking something like a horse’s headcollar, the Dogmatic is made to last. Made from thick leather, the muzzle piece slips over the dog’s nose and the neck strap is fastened by a buckle, adjustable to suit your dog’s face.
You attach the lead to the ring that runs through a nylon * band connected beneath the nose piece; the nylon * applies pressure to the dog’s face any time the lead tightens, causing the dog to want to keep the lead slack and so nicely walk to heel.
Cara needed some gentle persuasion to get the Dogmatic on, but once there she spent a few moments pawing at it before following my lead through the gate. The change in her behaviour was instant and dramatic. She pulled the lead taut once and it slackened immediately, Cara walking meekly at my side as though we had been practising for years.
Once we were in the paddock, Cara continued to walk nicely with me, despite her obvious longing to be bounding in front. There was not a single tug, strain or accidental toppling of dog walker, which was certainly a huge step forward. We stopped once or twice as Cara attempted to remove the device with her paws, but considering this was the first time she had ever worn anything like this, her reaction was very mild.
The Dogmatic fitted very comfortably on Cara’s face and there was no soreness from rubbing or chafing. It is important, as with any training apparatus, that you get equipment the right size for your dog, Dogmatic have an excellent reputation for customer care and are happy to discuss your individual needs when you’re considering a purchase. From a purely cosmetic point of view, the Dogmatic is possibly one of the nicest and most expensive-looking pieces of training gear you will find on the market, particularly when matched up with a quality leather lead. Even the most fashion conscious canine would be happy about wearing this one.
The Dogmatic eliminated Cara’s pulling completely, having almost a calming influence on the dog as she walked on a loose lead. While the angelic state lasted only as long as the headcollar was on, it served its purpose in making walking a pleasure rather than a chore, and when applied with appropriate training, I believe the dog could make a transition from walking properly on the headcollar to walking properly on the lead alone.
Defeated, Cara sat down and allowed me to fuss her, unsure whether to try and bounce up or remain with four paws down. If dogs could give dirty looks, I think Cara would have shot me one then. We would like to thank Dogmatic for generously donating a headcollar to the RSPCA for use on Cara.
Since the piece was written, Cara has been rehomed with someone who has shown real willingness to put the time and effort into the training she desperately needs.’
*THIS REVIEW WAS COMPLETED PRIOR TO OUR NEW, IMPROVED ALL LEATHER STITCHED DOGMATIC BEING LAUNCHED