animated picture of a simple black snap around collar, shaped to look like a smile, with two pieces of kibble for eyes; makes a smiley face!

Celeste is our CFR (community field representative). She is in charge of Guide Dogs' puppies in this territory--you might think of her as one of GDB's dog whisperers!

I knew that Celeste was there to evaluate Cabana at our puppy meeting a couple nights ago. In the back of my mind, I wondered if that was going to be Cabana's last night as a guide dog puppy in training! But, wisely, Celeste said she'd put off an actual evaluation until Cabana has gone into season (ha, whenever that happens).

Celeste took Cabana with her flat collar for a little stroll and assessment--and I was glad to see Cabana on her best behavior. She walked calmly, looked at Celeste solicitously (I could see her mind going, "What does this person want from me?"), and followed all her commands, with the exception of laying over on her back (Cabana hates to be rolled over). But overall--hooray, good girl, Cabana! There's hope for her yet.

We were given a handy new collar called a snap or snap-around collar (pictured above). Because it's clipped on, rather than having to go on over the head like the usual training collar, it has a much closer fit. Effective corrections can be given with the slightest tug, rather than a big yank with accompanying zipper sound to take up the slack as with a training/chain collar.

This snap collar has definitely made Cabana more likely to mind her p's and q's. Does it make her perfect? Alas, NOOO! But to her credit, that's mostly because I am far from the perfect puppy raiser/walker. Cabana has been pulling for all these months, and she's pretty bound and determined to keep pulling, even at discomfort to herself.

The first day after we got the snap collar, Cabana was a little dreamgirl on our walk. If I had written this post yesterday, I might have titled it "Magic Collar". But today, with the novelty worn off, Cabana got a bit ornery. Celeste had warned me that this would happen, though, so I should have been more mentally prepared for the hard hit of reality. Tomorrow, Cabana and I are going to shake it off, go for a shorter walk, but keep expectations high.

Deborah  – (October 29, 2009 at 4:40 PM)  

The Snap color! I never heard of that. I don't think I told you but my Mother was an obedience trainer for 30 plus years, nothing like what you do, but do you know I still call her for advise!! I even called today about Buffy, the injured dog I'm taking care of the next two weeks. As usual she gave me good advise and I am going to let Buffy come to me because she is a little nippy tonight. Probably not use to all the loving!
Have a good day and good luck tomorrow!

Becky  – (October 29, 2009 at 5:03 PM)  

Sounds like a neat collar and what a fun picture! Your describing Cabana reminds me a lot of Pantera. Hope you have a good, short walk tomorrow.

Carrie and Waffle  – (October 29, 2009 at 5:37 PM)  

Can you post a pic of what it looks like on? I'm sure it will be heading our way soon.

Emily and the Labradors  – (October 29, 2009 at 5:47 PM)  

It sounds like Cabana puller herself together nicely! And thanks for posting a photo of the collar... I've heard about them, but never really understood what they looked like.

Taelor, Pilaf, and Cartier  – (October 29, 2009 at 9:09 PM)  

Oh, I am using the snap-around for Plaf as well... perscribed by Celeste, of course! =) I love the way it works, esecially with dogs like Pilaf, who have such sensiive/ small necks that the adult collar is just too big!
Oh, and BTW, after I commented on your last post, I realized how coincidental it was that we now have a 2 pairs of siblings between our groups, Tulani and Tamba, and Cabana and Cielo. =)

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (October 30, 2009 at 8:57 AM)  

Carrie, here's a site that has a photo of the snap collar on a dog.

Emily  – (October 30, 2009 at 12:45 PM)  

One activity we do at class is a game called Follow Me. You put your pup on a long training line, and give the pup a lot of the lead. When the pup is where you want them to be, reward, and reward BIG. Seriously, this method is magic. I learned it with Hart, and after about a month, he was walking with me. This also stopped the shoulder pain!

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