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Your Toolbox

Equipment Information:

Animal Behavior Wellness Center only recommends humane equipment for use with your pet. If we recommended alternate equipment for your pet’s specific behavioral concern, it will have been included in the homework section of your discharge summary.

Dog Leashes, Collars & Harnesses:

The Gentle Leader is a style of head collar that can be used to help manage pulling or reactivity on walks. It can be highly effective - however it does take longer to train dogs to wear one comfortably. Be sure to gradually and positively train your dog to wear a head collar.

The Freedom Harness is a unique body harness that can be used to help manage pulling or reactivity on walks. The leash has one handle with 2 clips: one attaches between the shoulder blades and one on the front of the chest. When pressure is applied to the harness, it is evenly distributed to both attachment points. The martingale on the back snugs up, making it physically more difficult to move forward. The front clip helps redirect the dog back towards the handler and away from the object. Remember to purchase the harness/leash combo, or both a leash & harness (if sold individually) since they are designed to work together. How to Measure and Fit a Freedom Harness.

Unique, customizable, fully adjustable, 3-piece harnesses. Perfect for hard-to-fit bodies and our beloved escape artists. Features include a third waist strap and multi-point connections for the highest in safety, perfect fit, and ultimate comfort for any pup in need of a little extra control or protection against neck pressure. Matching accessories, such as leashes and collars, are also available.

Dog Muzzles:

Muzzles are a highly effective tool in managing aggression during training sessions or as an extra layer of safety. They also have the added benefit, for some patients, of ensuring other people avoid them during walks. Dogs need to be gradually taught to wear a basket muzzle.

The goal is to ensure the muzzle is a positive piece of equipment, much like their leash and collar, that predicts good things are about to happen. Muzzles should never compound or exacerbate your pet's anxiety.

The most common types of muzzles we use are:

Short Snout Friendly Muzzles - designed for dogs with no nose bridge (Pugs, Bulldogs, Frenchies and some Boxers)

Custom Muzzles - designed for dogs that fall between sizes, have special needs, or just crave to express themselves with unique style and extra bling. These are our favorite custom muzzle manufacturers specializing in affordable custom biothane muzzles. You can design a unique, custom, colorful muzzle for your dog online!

The delicate process of muzzle training is an undertaking that requires patience, planning, and guidance. To ensure the experience is 100% positive and free from fear, anxiety, and stress, enroll your best friend in ABWC's Muzzle Madness ZOOM muzzle training sessions. We will work at your pet's unique pace, and be there to guide you every step of the way.

Avoid cloth and Velcro muzzles. In order to prevent biting, cloth muzzles must be tight enough to keep the mouth completely closed, which means they must restrict necessary fuctions like panting, drinking, and eating, and thus cannot be safely worn for more than 1 to 2 minutes.

Muzzled dogs should always be under the direct supervision of a competent adult. Although muzzles are an excellent management tool, they do not completely mitigate the potentinal risk associated with handling a fearful or aggressive pet.


Block access to audible and visual triggers in your pet's environment:

Hearing protection:

An ABWC trainer can help desensitize and counter-condition your pet to wearing hearing protection.

Advertise your Pet's Fear & Anxiety:

The public is well programmed to leave service dogs alone. One of the visual cues that indicate a service dogs needs to be ignored is their vest. While we can't put a "Service Dog" vest on our patients, we can take advantage of this psychology and use vests, leash patches, and bandanas that say something like "In Training" or "Needs Space." Check out the post Kygo Knows on our Facebook page for a great example of this equipment used practically by an ABWC patient.

Training tools:

Remote Treat Dispensers - These machines are fantastic for helping dogs learn to stay in one spot and for giving intermittent reinforcement while you are otherwise engaged.

Cat-specific equipment:

Veterinary staff-friendly cat carrier that easily opens from the top.

  • Place a comfortable, non-slip mat/bed in the bottom of the crate.

  • Cover the entire carrier with a large towel to reduce visual stimulation.

  • Carry the carrier like a "delicate gift:" against your chest with both arms underneath. Do not carry by the handle.

Break-Away Collar with a bell

  • Placing one of these collars on the "bully" cat can help the victim cat easily recognize where he/she is located when moving around the house.

Cat Trees

  • Cats feel most secure when they can climb high and survey their environment from above.

  • Ensuring your cat has plenty of locations to run and hide and relax will help prevent further anxiety and/or aggression.

Cat Harnesses & Leashes:

Leash walks are the purrrfect way to promote your cat's natural desire to engage their outdoor environment and build confidence in a controlled and safe manner. Keep walks short and positive to promote trust. Ensure a snug fit for safety.

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