A Head Halter is a Great Leadership tool

Question:
I read the post on your facebook page about the Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd and felt an instant kinship! Our 1 year old Aussie shepherd is driving us nuts. In addition to nuisance barking at everything that moves, tearing around the house and the yard like a crazy bull in a china shop, she barks and lunges at strangers when I take her for walks. People cross the street to avoid her. She has not bitten anyone, but jumped on and scratched a lady, and now I’m worried about taking her to a dog park or doggy daycare or even to “herding” classes.

Dr. Nichol:
What a naughty little dog you have! But a crazy bull in a china shop? Let’s be fair. Surely this delicate young flower is more like a crazy cow in a china shop. She’s out-of-control but I think she has potential. Her unruly conduct points to essential unmet needs. She must be allowed to enjoy her rude proclivities without the frustration of straining against a leash. You’ll have to let her be a dog more of the time.

Doggy daycare or a dog park may be perfect. After putting in an honest day’s labor of chasing, rear end sniffing, and competitive urinating “Crazy Cow” will drag herself over the threshold, grab a brewski, catch a ball game, and then call it a day. It’s the American way, darn it.

What about your needs? For you and Crazy Cow to enjoy a leisurely stroll without being the neighborhood pariahs you’ll need a Gentle Leader head halter. Rather than punishing the lunging and yapping with a choke or prong collar you can lead your girl by the head halter. You can also use it to teach her not to jump up. Simply pulling up on the leash will make this obnoxious habit painlessly unfun.

Unruly behavior can be frustrating but your leadership responsibility extends beyond yelling, “Stop that!” Crazy Cow must also learn what to do instead. Allow her to abandon her bad old ways by ignoring them as you reinforce her good behavior. Immediately after she’s back on all fours give her a simple command like, “Sit”, nominate her for president when she obeys and reward with a tasty treat.