Make Your Own
Dog Headcollars

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These days you can find headcollars for dogs in just about any shape or size you can imagine.  One thing that seems to be common to all of them is that they tighten to some degree around the dog's head or nose and at some point this is going to be uncomfortable for the dog. 

Why use a headcollar?

Most people who use them do so because they want more control over their dog.  The reason I use one is because Sasha suffers from border collie collapse syndrome.  If she gets too wound up she starts to go wobbly and she collapses.  Pulling into a flat collar seems to exacerbate the condition and it makes her cough. 

I tried a Trixie harness like the one on the left and they're brilliant for walking but not very practical at training classes.  By the time I'd got her harness back on it was time to take it off again and do another exercise.  The Trixie harness doesn't stop a dog pulling but it is comfortable and doesn't put pressure on the neck or throat.

I have tried out a few headcollars on Sasha but I have never been happy with the principle of gaining control of a dog by causing discomfort, and so I made a headcollar for Sasha.  It's the only one I've ever seen that doesn't tighten. This headcollar is very easy to make at home.
 

My home-made headcollar

 

I designed the headcollar to look and act like a horse's headcollar.  There is nothing that can tighten and cause discomfort.  The one illustrated has here a velcro fastening but usually I just slip it over Sasha's head. 

One problem with this design is that the headcollar can slip off if the dog wriggles backwards.  Further designs will appear here if this is too much of a problem!

 

 

 

 

I found that attaching a lead underneath caused the headcollar to twist round a bit and pull Sasha's head to one side.  I cured this by making a light double ended lead that looks a like reins.  The lead attaches to the ring under the headcollar. All she needs now is a saddle!

The first trials of the new headcollar have gone well.  It doesn't tighten and choke and it does have a calming effect.  Sasha can still pull a bit in the headcollar but if she pulls too hard it's up to me to train her to stop rather than relying on a mechanical device.

If you can think of a better design then why not have a go at making it.  Here's a few tips.

 

Materials for Making Dog Leads and Headcollars

I buy all the materials for making dog stuff from ebay. 
I've made various different things such as double ended leads and headcollars, long leads and short leads. I mostly use 19mm cushion webbing.  (left). It's very lightly padded but not as thick as padded webbing and it's very easy to sew. 


You need to burn the ends after it's been cut otherwise it frays.  Hold it in the flame just long enough to seal it.

 

I also have a selection of metal rings in different sizes and these all came from ebay. 
They're O rings and D rings.

Other metalwork to consider is dog lead clips. 
These are known as trigger clips and there's always a good selection available. 

I've used some very light ones on the lead above but normally I would use a much heavier clip on a single ended lead.

 


 

 

Putting things together

Stitching the webbing can be done on a sewing machine but I prefer to do it by hand.  That way I can make sure it's a nice and secure and I can stitch closer to the metal rings and clips.   It is a bit of a pain dragging out the sewing machine and threading it and working out the tension.

Another good source of metalwork is car boot sales and charity shops.  You can buy old dog leads and other items and re-use the webbing and metalwork.  Make sure it's in a good and safe condition though.

Needles and Thread

I use ordinary sewing needles and Guterman thread but any strong sewing thread will do.

If you don't feel like making your own headcollar but like me, you don't like things that tighten too much, then why not put a stop on a commercial headcollar?


 

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