Monday, 30 December 2013

The 5 top posts of 2013...

I'm all in for countdowns at the moment (as you can probably tell).  So, I decided that, as a final post for 2013, it would be good to reflect on the most viewed blog posts that got us here today.  If you haven't read, take a look at some of the most popular posts from this year....

Number 5:  An initial look at Gastric Torsion and how this can affect your dog after Caesar is Inconveniently Ill late one night.

Number 4:  Caesar's Rescue Advent Calendar introduced the idea of the Rescue Advent Calendar onto the website.  It later became a success and raised some money for local animal charity SARA.

Number 3:  The original post on the blog.  Simply called Saving Caesar and my first ever go at being a blogger.

Number 2:  Starting Small looks at some of the issues that Caesar had when we adopted him.  It also looks at some of the ways that we've attempted to combat Caesars' issues.  It was one of the first posts on the blog.

Number 1:  One of the worst moments in my life so far.  What about GDV?  looks at the risks of the condition GDV and how, after eating a lot of Gemma's food, I was told that Caesar could develop the conditon over night. A very scary story but a lesson learnt - take heed everyone!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

What I've learnt in 2013...

Life with Caesar has been a roller-coaster from the day we adopted him.  He teaches me something new every day but I decided to summarise with the top 10 things I've learnt from him this year:

At number 10:
You can't beat a bed time cuddle...
Although we had never intended to let Caesar in the bedroom, let alone on the bed!  I must say, I've slept much better since discovering how therapeutic it can be to cuddle a toasty warm and very soft dog.  This has become more evident recently when I've spent an increased amount of time in bed due to feeling under the weather.  Caesar has been my constant companion, hot water bottle and teddy bear!  I don't think he minds...

At number 9:
Weigh up the means and the outcome...
It occurred to me the other day that Caesar goes on the furniture.  He sometimes sleeps in our bed and, although he's not supposed to, I frequently find him sitting on the settee.  Does this bother me?  Not as much as I had anticipated.  When we first got Caesar, we insisted that he would not be allowed on any furniture and then spent the next six to eight months fighting him off the furniture! What was he doing on the furniture?  Lying down....   In the end, I thought to myself...why does it matter?  And since then, it's been much easier to control.  Caesar rarely wants to get on the furniture and, when he does, he will get down when told.  My life is much easier for not having to chase him off the furniture.

Is that a smile now that you're on the sofa?

At number 8:
He can do it at home, but don't assume he'll do it elsewhere...
Caesar is very receptive to training and will sell his soul for a tasty the house.  However, take him outside of the house and things are a little different.  This year I have lost far too many points at dog training by assuming that Caesar will be able to apply his learning in the house to other rarely happens.  And, it NEVER happens at crucial moments like in the park when there's another dog...
Well behaved inside but outside it's a different story!

At number 7:
Never leave Christmas presents in the dining room...
...and definitely not ones of the chocolate variety.  As a side note to this; plastic crates are not secure enough...
Just waiting to get the presents from under the tree!  

At number 6:
Never play-fight with a dog who has just drank a lot of water...
Damien and my carpet learnt this earlier this month when, after jumping around in the front room for a while, Caesar had a huge wee all over my rug!

At number 5:
A decent walk is good for the soul...
Sometimes, when things get tough, you can't necessarily be bothered to put on your wellies and go walking somewhere.  But, once you get out in the ankle deep sludge, fresh air and long grass, it's amazing how quickly anxieties fade away.  Caesar and I have been on some lovely walks this year, sometimes with a friend or two, sometimes on our own.  Whatever the weather, whatever the place, a good walk can clear the mind!

At number 4:
Baby gates are a waste of money (as dog defense mechanisms)...

Enough said.

At Number 3:
He will come back...
No matter how bad Caesar can be if he gets far, he has always come back.  While we were on holiday in the Lake District this year, he opened the caravan door and left...  Damien found him sitting where my car had been (I'd gone to the garage).  And, during a walk one day, I fell over and the lead slipped from my hand.  He didn't leave me, just ran circle around me!  ....There was no one else around though...

At number 2:
Never say never 
This year, Caesar has broken into my high-security kitchen, defeating my 'award winning doorknob' which I believed to be Caesar proof.  This, only weeks after I had posted about how pleased I was that the kitchen was now penetrable.  On a positive note though, I was able to let him off the lead with a group of dogs - something I thought I'd never see!

At number 1:
With time, patience and hard work, anything is achievable!
It has been a year of huge successes.  Here are just a few:
- First off lead dog walk with other dogs.
- Lots of new commands learnt
- Record time of undamaged belongings
- Able to live with another dog
- Crate trained (finally)!
-  First holiday - and he didn't trash the caravan, terrorise other campers or run away!

And, of course, 2013 has seen the launch of Caesar's blog:  Saving Caesar.  Thanks for reading everyone and I hope to see you all in 2014 for more 'Antics of a Rescue Dog!'

If you'd like to post some things that you've learnt from your dog, I'd love to hear them!  Leave a comment.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Since it's Christmas, it's not a huge blog update but just to say a big:


To all of our readers!  

Caesar has been spoilt rotten.  Mainly by his Aunties:  Emma and Sian and by my mum!  Who've all got him lovely presents including:
- cranberry and turkey treats
- a fox toy
- a new place to hang his leads
- a bandanna
- some doggy gingerbread
- some doggy after dinner mints
- a new rubber ball
and lots lots more...

As for our presents.  We did pretty well this year...  Caesar eventually managed to get at a pack of Yankee candles and put his teeth through the box.  He also managed to eat the wrapping paper on my dad's new carry case....I think he may have scratched the suede as well.... 

But, apart from that, touch wood, the vast majority of presents have survived the Caesar test thus far!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas xxxx

Friday, 20 December 2013

Saving Caesar Wordl

It's been 3 months since I first had the idea for writing a blog about Caesar.  At first, I worried I might find it difficult to keep writing and that I might run out of steam after a few weeks.  But, I've had no such problem.  Caesar never leaves me long enough to get bored.  He surprises and challenges me every day.

So, in the first year of Saving Caesar, here are the words that have been the most used throughout the blog so far.  There are some surprises in there.....doors?!

Wordle: Saving Caesar

Hope you're all enjoying the Saving Caesar Advent Calendar:

To make a Christmas donation to homeless dogs at SARA.  Please follow the link:

Keep your eyes peeled for a Christmas Eve surprise! x

Saturday, 14 December 2013

What I love about Caesar...

While creating the advent calendar, I found myself asking some pretty deep questions.  At face value, "what do you love about your pet?" might seem really easy to answer.  However, when I began to receive replies, it slowly dawned on me that this answer was much more complex than I had anticipated.  So I started to think about my own answer...

I suppose my blog can come across negatively at times.  Caesar is hard work, there's no denying that and for every breakthrough we have with him, there is always a set back to match it.  For example, having been wonderful in the house for weeks on end and looking after me when I was poorly, he suddenly decided he ought to wee in 3 different rooms and then eat the packing off someone's Christmas Present all over the space of the 6 hours that we were in bed!  But still, I've sort of learnt to accept that, while he's here, things are never going to be perfectly neat and unharmed....that's just Caesar.  At the least, he keeps me on my toes!  However, I can't say that I love that, so let's start thinking about the question.

What I think most people find amazing about most rescue dogs is their ability to form such a strong and trusting bond with people.  After what many have suffered, it's amazing that they can muster any trust at all.  Caesar trusts many people and will listen to commands of most people.  Many people tell me "he's your dog," though as he will often sit or lie by me and where possible, will know where I am.  For example, at dog training, he will sit and stay because he is told to.  He will allow me to leave the room and remain in a stay because he is told to.  However, as I move along behind the glass doors, I can see his eyes darting around frantically until I'm back in sight.  In some ways that's sad.  In other ways, I'm pleased to feel that I'm important for him and, hopefully, he will soon learn that I will always come back.  I also love the trust that Caesar puts in me.  He will let me anything to him - whether that be lift him up to put him on the vet's table or open his mouth to look at his teeth or put on the head collar that he hates.  If I accidently stand on his foot or tail, he won't react aggressively, he's just squeal!  And, although he often resists the things he dislikes, he would never growl, snarl or nip.  He knows, if he has to do it, he has to do it!  

Aside from this, there are a million little things that I adore about Caesar.  So, after thinking long and hard, I've concluded that I can't say I love "everything" about him and I certainly can't deny there are some things that I would definitely change about him.   However, it's the little things that make me realise how much I love Caesar.  So I've written some of them down for you in a little poem (look at me getting all poetic)!

Little things that I love:
I love the way he sits when he's comfy in his bed
Or the way he sort of squeals when he's waiting to be fed

That looks that he gives when he knows there's something wrong
The way he wags his tail when I've been away too long

The noise that he will make when he wants you to look his way
Or the times he licks your jeans (even though it is a pain)

And I love the way he snuggles into your shoulder late at night
How, in winter, his chest goes from black spots to furry white

His eyebrow line that furrows when he's feeling a bit upset
Or the way he licks everyone - that includes
the vet!

Perhaps it's just the little things that makes me love him so,
And remind me every day of why we'll never let him go!

Hope you enjoyed reading!
If you'd like to share all the reasons that you love your pet, then leave a comment below!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Nurse Caesar...

I hate being ill.  Not least because I feel like I'm being slowly dragged along a gravelly pavement!  I mostly hate being ill because I can't stand being on my own.  So far in my life, and rather luckily for me, I've not been too much of a sickly person.  I'll catch the occasional cold and feel rotten and, less fortunately, I have suffered from migraines for quite a long time.  However, aside from this, I largely manage to stay on my feet.  And, when I do get ill, I usually battle on anyway.

So, what do you do when you go to the doctors and get told that you can't work?  That you're "contagious".  Panic!  What will I do with myself?  Sleep is the key answer to that question.

My past days have been a combination of soup eating, medication munching, sleeping and not much else.

I've managed with support of 2 things:
1.  A box set of Scrubs
2.  Caesar

No matter what, Caesar has been by my side while I've been ill.  As I've drifted in and out of sleep, he's kept his watchful eye on me, he's sat on my lap and let me eat my soup in peace (unheard of), he's put his head on my shoulder while I've laid watching the TV and he's been bumped around, accidentally kicked, pushed and laid on as I've slept through many fever induced nightmares.
Doing a great job of looking after me.  If only he could stay awake....

He's done without his long walks, dog training and playtime just to lie by my side.  Except at tea time when suddenly he seems to disappear....

Nurse Caesar to the rescue! 

Caesar having his own barmy dream:

Link to video:

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

20 days and counting...

No, it's not the countdown to Christmas.  It's the countdown to the final door of the Saving Caesar Rescue Advent Calendar!  The final day of which poses a few little surprises.

After the grand final, I am going to make a link available over which you can download a copy of the calendar.  The copy will be a presetation which works in largely the same way as the advent calendar however all doors will be accessible - this is the reason why it will not be published until 24th.

Hope you enjoy everyone!  How are you enjoying the calendar so far? 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Advent Calendar hitch

It has come to my attention that there is a slight hitch with the advent calendar.  When returning to open your next door, people are finding that they have to open the doors leading up to that door.  This is fine for now, but may become problematic when it gets to 10 and above.  Particularly because I'm counting on you all being here for the grand finale at number 24!  

For this reason, I have begun to make a presentation version of the advent calendar....I'm hoping that this will make it possible to open the doors without having to open the others.  You're going to have to exercise some self control though as all doors will be no doing a me and guzzling 16 days worth of chocolate in one!  

What do you think?  Leave your comments below or on the Facebook page.  

Thanks x

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Absolutely Overwhelmed!

I am writing in a state of absolute excitement. I returned home today to see the stats on the blog had rocketed. This can mean only one thing - the start of the rescue dog advent calendar!

Well, all I can say is thank you so much everyone for showing your love and support for these wonderful dogs and their owners by spending a few minutes reading about these really special families! I hope you enjoy the advent calendar and would absolutely love to hear what you think. Either leave a comment below or on the Facebook Page if you can.

Link to the rescue advent Calendar:

If you would like to make a donation to SARA (Saltburn Animal Rescue Assosciation).  You can donate as much or as little as you like by following the link:
Big kisses from Caesar for all your hard work.

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Friday, 29 November 2013

2 days until launch....

We're very excited about the launch of the Saving Caesar Rescue Advent Calendar 2013.  Not only because it means we're approaching the countdown to the big 'C' but also because we can't wait for you to meet the wonderful dogs that have taken part!

Before the rescue calendar begins, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of those who have taken the time to submit their dogs.  We adored all of them and couldn't believe the wonderful response that we had!  Making the calendar has been an emotional roller coaster and I've laughed, cried and been totally amazed at every step.  There are some amazing dogs out there but, equally, some wonderful people!

Please let me know what you think of the advent calendar and I'll hopefully see you back her December 1st!

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

It takes two to Tango...

I don't feel like a particularly patient person.  I have been told in the past that I am.  However, I feel that these comments are not based on an accurate account of 100% of my personality.  At work I'm patient - that's a skill I need for my job.  However, once I get home, I hardly have the time to be continuing with my patience.  When asked if I am a patient person, Damien's response was "....I don't know."  I think this confirms it.

I try to be patient with Caesar.  Sometimes I manage for bursts of time - like in dog training or when doing our 15 minute flash training sessions.  However, at other times, particularly on walks, my patience with him begins to run very dry.  So, when Emma called at 8:30 on Monday night and asked if I'd like to try walking with her and Tango (something which Caesar has got used to) as well as Sian and Dexter (something Caesar refuses to get used to) I was a little concerned - I'd already used my share of today's patience.

The last meeting with Dexter had gone something like this - I wondered if we were ever going to crack this relationship!

My theory has always been that Caesar can and will get used to almost any dog if given time and maximum exposure.  This is how we got him used to Tango and, later, Gemma.  With Caesar, love at first sight is not an option.  Things take time and....well, patience.

Hastily, after walking a few metres from the house I offered Emma Caesar's lead.  "Can you take him?" I asked, looking pleadingly at her.  Emma has always been a saint with Caesar.  She saw the good in him even perhaps before I did and without a shadow of a doubt has had more belief in him than I ever have.  She knows that he is capable of impeccable behaviour and expects nothing less.  I, on the other hand, cannot help but embark upon each walk with a feeling of impending doom.
Not the view I'm used to seeing on a walk - but much easier on the arms!

The idea of Emma holding Caesar was two-fold.  First, I considered that my bad vibes might be projecting onto him.  And second, I wondered if Emma would combat his weird behaviour in a different way.

Firstly, and perhaps with slight relief, I noticed that Caesar was behaving in much the same way while Emma was holding him.  She wrested to get him to walk next to her and was holding onto the lead with both hands trying to stop him from lunging/running towards Dexter.  Sian kept a safe distance as Dexter too was barking and excited about the walk.  For a while, we walked metres apart from each other.  Emma in the lead with the squawking, squealing nervous wreck that was Caesar.  Myself in the middle holding the very sensible and well behaved Tango, who trotted along nicely.  And Sian at the back with Dexter who was barking with excitement.  Again....I'm sure my neighbours love me....
Thirty minutes into the walk and we had made a little progress.  Caesar was walking alongside Emma with small bouts of noiselessness.  When he did make noise, Emma held back with him thus removing him from me and Tango which is ideally where he wanted to be.  When he had a few seconds of quiet, she sped up to allow him to catch up with me.

Emma walking with Caesar.

This continued for almost an hour.  By which time, the gap had began to close.  Dexter was now walking sensibly beside Sian and Tango continued to be pretty much unfazed by anything.  Caesar was still squawking occasionally but was clearly trying hard to manage this by snorting instead.

By the end of the walk, the three of us were holding an easy conversation and, if only for five to ten minutes, Dexter and Caesar were walking alongside each other...

Caesar and Dexter walking alongside each other!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Caesar - King of the Head Collar

They're not cheap.  In fact, I nearly fainted when I realised how much a medium sized head collar could set you back.  But, is there such a thing as value for money in the head collar world or do you simply get what you pay for?  Here's the low down on the four head collars that we've tried:
  • Halti
  • Dogmatic
  • Gentle lead - Full Halter
  • Canny Collar
Caesar came with a Halti.  It's a shame I didn't know this as I bought one before I even got him.  The reason for this was that I knew he needed a head collar.  Possibly 2 was a little excessive.  I knew that he needed a head collar because I'd once attempted to walk him on a collar and lead - never again.

In all, the Halti fit snugly on his face and didn't look to be in any danger of falling off.  It had the extra safety precaution of the clip onto the collar.  This meant that, should he manage to free himself of the head collar, he was still attached to the lead (a bonus point that not all head collars offer).  Although this has never been too much of an issue with Caesar, I do have a friend whose dog has a larger neck than head and this means that He can slip move things over his head.  The Halti would not prevent this entirely, but would make it more difficult should he attempt to do this.
Being the sensitive soul that he is (in more ways that one), Caesar becomes very sore on his neck from wearing a collar.  One strength of the Halti was that it had a padded nose band so that it did not irritate the skin on his nose.

Halti's, unlike many other head collars are available from major retailers such as Pets At Home so it is sometimes possible to try before you buy.  This means no expensive return postage problems.  

Another bonus for larger dog breed owners, like myself, is that Halti do not charge extra for larger sized dogs.  This differs from some of the other head collars that can add up to £4 extra onto larger dog head collars.

The fact that the Halti simply slips over the nose means that there aren't a lot of points to hold the collar in place.  Therefore, when Caesar decided to ignore it's existence and pull anyway, it slipped up into his eye. Caesar learned to walk reasonably well on the Halti.  However, when seeing another dog, he would ignore it and pull hard causing the band to move into his eyes.  This caused higher levels of stress on walks.  

The Halti, like many other head collars does require you to have an idea of the size of your dogs head.  However, these sizes are defined by breed.  The problem occurs when, like many of us, your dog cannot be defined by one breed.  It's hard for me to decide whether Caesar's head is larger than a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and if his face could be described as 'Labrador sized'.  Every time I have had to buy a head collar for Caesar that requires sizing by breed, I have always got it wrong and had to return it.

Also from a picky dog walker point of view, I was never keen on the look of the Halti, despite the option of buying it in 4 different colours.  For me, it didn't look particularly friendly and I felt the black band and halter looked somewhat unfriendly.

Dog biscuit sized review:  Cheaply priced and widely available but not well fixed to the dogs face.  Could fix low level pulling problems but for persistent pullers (such as Caesar) it rides up into the eyes causing stress.

The Dogmatic
Attending dog classes saw the end of the Halti era.  And, my new dog trainer recommended something a little more sturdy.  She gave the choice of two: Canny collars and Dogmatics.  Seeing the colourful and friendly looking Dogmatic, I decided to buy it despite it being the most expensive head collar on the list.  At almost £20, it wasn't exactly a bargain but I was immediately drawn to it.  The Dogmatic comes in several different colours and some of these come with fun puppy designs.  I decided it was exactly what I needed to make my oversized squealing, lunging Staffy cross look a little more friendly!

Let's get my own obsession with Caesar looking friendly out of the way first.  In my humble opinion, you can't get a friendlier looking head collar.  Not only are Dogmatics colourful, they are decorated with small friendly looking puppy faces.  You can also get a range of leather dogmatic collars which come in plain different colours.  Pretty nifty really.
The entire head collar is bulkier than the others and has metal fastenings which allow it to be maneuverable in some ways, but this also stops it from moving about on Caesar's face.  It works in a simple but effective way and, besides the Halti which was introduced at the rescue centre, I have seen the most dramatic affect after the introduction of this collar.  

Overall it feels more robust but has padding to ensure the comfort of the dog.  It feels secure and well fitted to the dog's face and somewhat adjustable for the size of your dogs head.  Caesar has tried in every way possible to remove his Dogmatic but never one has he succeeded.  The head collar seems to stay firmly in place once fitted correctly and offers a sense of security for the owner.  And, having owned one for a year, it has proved fairly resilient to Caesar's constant attempts to yank at it and pull it off his face.  It's true the Dogmatic has been through a lot.  Namely; sea water, claggy mud piles and sand.  It has been scratched, bashed off the floor and bitten but still stands strong.

Perhaps most importantly for me, the Dogmatic gives me a sense of control.  With the lead fixing point under the chin, I can turn Caesar's face away when necessary.  This has proved useful when walking past another dog as it can help me ensure that Caesar cannot lunge in their direction.
Although probably my favourite of the head collars, I have to admit that the Dogmatic is Caesar's least favoured headwear.  And, having owned and worn it during walks for over a year, he still has to be chased around the house in order to get it on and, once it's in place, he spends a great deal of his time trying to get it back off again.

To be fair on the head collar, Caesar has worn it for the majority of walks for over a year and it has remained fairly in tact. As you can probably tell, he's not particularly well behaved while walking on the lead so he does require something quite resilient.  After almost eighteen months of constant wear, it is beginning to show some signs of fraying around the chin.

A minor point but one that has got me into trouble before now is the lead fixing position of this head collar.  Because the lead is fixed under the chin, the front most part of the dogs body, an excitable dog (like Caesar) can swing their back end around freely.  This is not a huge problem for most people but I have had unhappy grandparent related coffee table, tea spilling incidents and also knee bumping incidents when trying to control Caesar on the head collar.  At one point, I adopted a double ended lead/body harness approach to try to counter this but found it not to be too much of a problem for most of the time.  The lead fixing point can also mean that, if Caesar stops and I continue to walk, the bottom band of the head collar and metal fixing ring can get stuck in his mouth as they rise up in front of his face.

The final drawback of this head collar is not my own but feedback from another dog owner.  I happily recommended this head collar in the early days of buying it for Caesar and another owner bought one accordingly.  However, she found it impossible to find a size for her dog that fit properly.  One size was too large around her face and another was too small.  There was no happy medium.  Because of the way the head collar fits, I can see how this could be the case.  And, admittedly, when I bought Caesar's, I had to send it back (and pay for packaging to do so) in order to get the next size down.

Dog biscuit sized review:  Good for me but Caesar hates it.  Sizing can be difficult and this can incur additional return postage costs which add to this already pricey head collar.  However, I feel in control of Caesar at all times which is important with a reactive dog.

Gentle Lead - Full Halter
I have a tiny bit of a confession with this one.  I bought it by accident!  My friend was telling me how well her Gentle Leader was working so I decided to investigate.  Unfortunately, I cut off the word "leader" and simply used the word 'lead'.  This brings about completely different results.  And turns a Halti like lead into something that looks more like a piece of rope with some fastenings.  

I have to be honest and say that, of all of the head collars, this is by far my least favourite.  However, the Gentle Lead does come in nice bright colours and only one size.  This means that you cannot possibly get the sizing for your dog wrong (a bonus for someone who always does this)!  It is also, by far, the cheapest of the head collars.  Coming in at under £7.  Perhaps I should have seen this as a clue when buying it!  I can't deny, however, it does look quite nice when it's on.  Caesar seems the least phased by this head collar, probably because of it's lightweight look and feel.

Out of all of the head collars, I feel as if I have the least control with this one.  Fitting it was difficult and the instructions was a complicated diagram with a list of parts which was extremely hard to understand.  I managed to fit it by process of elimination in the end.  I don't feel particularly in control of Caesar having used this head collar and the rope feels flimsy and insufficient for larger breeds.  In addition, the thin rope hurt my hands when Caesar pulled continuously.

Dog biscuit sized review:  It's a nice colour and doesn't require sizing.  However, personally, I don't trust this head collar and ceased using it within a week of buying. I have to admit that this wasn't due to any particular incident; I just did not feel that it was robust enough for Caesar.

Canny Collar

The Canny Collar is the latest addition to Caesar's head collar collection.  After I could see the Dogmatic head collar coming to the end of it's life, I decided to experiment with a different type.  Being a fan of the Dogmatic, I thought the Canny Collar, which works differently, might be a useful tool in aiding me to mix and match.  Perhaps, I mused, this might help me to train Caesar to walk on the lead better - he wouldn't get too used to one type and find ways to pull.

The Canny Collar looks smart and does not make too much of an impact on the dogs face.  It is a simple band that fastens over the nose which makes it easy to put on (once you get the hang of it).  At the time that I purchased mine, black was cheaper and so I chose black, not wanting to pay more for a different colour.  I've since noticed that you can choose any colour on the Canny Collar website without paying the extra.  In addition, the website itself has a measuring guide for dogs to help you choose the right size, rather than referring to specific breeds.

I like the Canny Collar as it works in a completely different way to the other collars.  It fastens at the back of the dogs head with two small rings and is built into a collar for extra reassurance.  If, unlike Caesar, your dog can come off the lead, the nose loop can simply be removed and fastened onto the collar using two clips which come with the Canny Collar.

Caesar doesn't mind this collar too much and it isn't very difficult to get him to put it on.  He also doesn't seem too distressed by wearing it during a walk.  The positive side of having a head collar that fastens behind the head, is that the head does not jerk to the side if you or the dog tugs on the lead.  And this works hugely in the favour of this head collar.  On one walk, using a front fastening head collar, Caesar stepped onto the road when a car was coming.  Panicking, I jerked the lead back instinctively and he gave a yelp as it jerked his neck to one side.  This could not happen with Canny Collar as the mechanism pulls the dogs head downwards and not sideways.

I found fitting the Canny Collar very difficult and, having had it for around a month, I still think there's a possibility that it could be a size too big - Caesar keeps slipping the band off his nose.  At first this was fine but, when done at the crucial moment, for example when holding 2 dogs and a 3 bags of shopping, it can be a real problem.

Out of all the head collars, I feel that this has the least impact in terms of pulling.  While it feels sturdy and I'm sure that it will stay on in some form, preventing Caesar from running away, he finds it fairly easy to resist and can pull with some force when on it.  In it's defense, I have to say that it is still a great improvement on lead and collar walking as it does not allow him to pull with as much force.  However, when he is determined to get somewhere, he can get a good pull on this head collar without causing himself too much discomfort.  

Dog biscuit sized review: Well thought out design means that the dogs head is not jerked - this is possibly why it is one of Caesar's favoured head collars.  The other reason, of course, could be that it allows him to pull more than most of the other collars.  

As I hope you have seen, each head collar has benefits and draw backs and it's up to you to decide what the most important factors are for you.  Each of the head collars described, has both good and bad reviews on it's website and this is largely down to individual preferences by both dogs and owners.  I hope the review helps you to select one that suits both yourself and your dog.

Have you tried one of these head collars or perhaps a different kind again?  I'd love to hear your comments.

Rescue Advent Calendar
There's still time to enter your rescue dogs into the Saving Caesar rescue advent calendar.  If you would like to see your own rescue dog and their story appear behind one of the windows of the online advent calendar, fill out the form and send it back.  You can write as much or as little as you like about your rescue.  There is no charge for entering and no personal details are collected (first name only required).

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