Training and controlling a dog that is deemed to be dangerous are two key elements that are more important than necessary training equipment. Equipment alone will not change the dangerous behaviour, but it can help prevent the dangerous dog from injuring a person or other animal.
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Prior to choosing any type of training equipment to control a dangerous dog, one has to determine the type of training that will need to take place. Training equipment can often be determined by training type. While it may be common to train an aggressive dog in a harsh manner, remember that meeting aggression with aggression usually breeds more aggression, which does little to help control a dangerous dog. It is essential to train with a full understanding of dog behaviour patterns and behaviour-shaping techniques. Positive behaviour-shaping techniques, commonly known as operant conditioning, will enable you to control the dog much more quickly than the use of some traditional heavy-handed, harsh, negative or compulsion types of training.
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When training or taking a dangerous dog out in public around people or other animals, safety must be the first consideration. Appropriately fitting muzzles of the wire-coated basket style are the best tool for the job. The dog can pant, breathe, drink and accept small treats with the muzzle on, but due to the design of the muzzle's basket, cannot bite. Muzzles are available in a wide range of sizes to fit large and small dogs.
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When working with an aggressive dog, it is essential to be able to remain attached to the dog in order to keep it under control. Collars that can slip over the dog's head, come apart or harm the dog are not appropriate. The collar should ensure that when the dog is leashed, it will remain attached to both the leash and the human. The Premier Collar is a one-piece adjustable collar. It is a limited slip collar, which means it acts something like a choke collar but cannot tighten past a point safe for the dog's neck. Properly fitted and placed at the top of the neck, snug behind the ears, this collar offers both control and safety. The Premier Gentle Leader and the British-made Canny Collar are secure head harnesses that offer the utmost in control and strength. Both of these collars come with information on how to get your dog used to wearing a head harness. Whenever you have a dangerous dog out in public, it is best to use a double collar and leash in the event that one piece of equipment fails. Use a Premier Collar attached to one lead and a head harness attached to another for added safety.
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Another option for control when out in public, and used in conjunction with the Premier Collar, is the SENSE-ation or SENSE-ible Harness. With this harness the leash attaches to a ring on the front of the dog's chest instead of at the middle of the dog's back. The harness is strong and secure when properly fitted and offers the utmost in control and safety for the dangerous pet.
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When attaching your two leashes to the collars and/or harness, you want to make certain the leashes are comfortable and easy for you to hold. Leashes need to have a good handle and solid, well-made hardware. Purchase a leash with the heaviest, most secure style of clasp for the size and weight of your dog. Leashes for the dangerous dog should be short enough to allow you to stay close to the dog. A good leather 2-foot traffic lead is most appropriate for the large dog, and a 4-foot leather lead works well for the medium or small dog. Leashes made to wear over your shoulder or around your waist are fine to use as the secondary leash, but a short leash as the primary leash is essential for control.
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Laws in most counties, cities and states dictate what types of outdoor confinement is appropriate for dangerous dogs. Some dictate types of secure fencing with specific height and material requirements, while others dictate dangerous dogs must be in secure dog kennels or runs. Outdoor enclosures are normally required to have cement or secure floors to prevent a dangerous dog from digging out and must have a secure top so that the dog cannot climb out. Types of gate closures and locks are normally dictated as well. Check your local rules and regulations to determine the appropriate containment for a dangerous dog. When transporting or crating a dangerous dog, the most secure type of kennel is a heavy-duty steel or aluminium kennel. These are pricey but are the most secure kennels on the market. Wire, plastic and fabric crates are not appropriate for dangerous dogs.