Training Collar or Harness For Bulldog

December 28, 2007

Dear Jan,

I just downloaded your book – I’ve been skimming through it a little
and I think it’s great! Can’t wait until I can sit down and really
dig in (i.e. when the baby is sleeping!).
We just put a deposit on a bulldog pup and he’ll most likely be ready
to come home around the first week of March. This is our first
bulldog – as we’ve always had labrador
retrievers in the past.

I was wondering – what is the best collar to use on a bulldog? I’ve
heard that bulldogs can be stubborn to train sometimes, but I do not
want to harm the dog by putting
a chain or collar on him that will choke him. I’ve heard good things
about harnesses, but are they effective in training the dog? I am not
looking for SUPER DOG here – just
the basics really. I’d love him to walk calmly next to me and sit and
stay and down. that’s about it for me!

Any advice on what I should get would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Nina

—-

Hi Nina,

Congratulations on your decision to get a bulldog! They are truly unique
and wonderful dogs. And I’m glad you are reading all about them to get
prepared for your new puppy.

There is some debate on the bulldog collar. Some say you must use a
harness because a collar or chain can harm the bulldog’s small trachea,
causing it to collapse. Others claim the bulldog has such a strong neck
that the muscles protect the trachea.

I tend to be in the latter group, especially in reference to training. A
bulldog can be quite independent when it comes to training. As my
trainer said, they can cooperate in a lesson for just so long and then
they have had enough and won’t cooperate anymore and can get
very stubborn at that point.

So keep your initial training sessions short (about 15-20 minutes). A
bulldog is about the opposite of a retriever in terms of readiness to please.
This isn’t to say they don’t want to please you, they do, but they prefer
smaller doses of training and repetition, repetition, repetition.

Back to the collar. I use a collar that is part fabric (about 1.5 inches)
and part chain. So it stays loose, and you can snap it to correct him.
I think these are available at most pet stores. The important thing
to remember is to snap back on the leash, not to pull which could
result in choking.

You also want to keep the collar high on the neck of your dog to
simulate pressure point the mother dog would use on a pup.

When my dogs were puppies I tried using a harness, but it is really
not as effective as a collar and I found I was not able to easily control
a 50 lb bulldog.

I hope this helps. Please write with any more questions.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

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