Product Review: StarMark Collar
(despite our LOVE of the results, the design is a little difficult to get the hang of. You feel like you’re going to break the collar when opening it. There is also one side that opens more easily than the other. It’s just not easy to get on and off. The package says do not pull it over the dogs head but let me tell you…that’s the easiest way! Easier than wrestling the devil out of that thing to get it to clasp. Still worth it to us though)
Recently we made the decision to purchase a collar to help with Whiskey’s pulling behavior. In areas where he’s sniffed every tree before he’s great, but in new areas he’s less than stellar. And there are certain “hot spots” in our neighborhood that he just goes nuts in. On more than one occassion he has pulled me into the street and more often than not a car is coming. Lucky for us the cars are a block or more off and we aren’t in immediate danger, but since Whiskey is pulling me out from behind dumpsters, trees, parked cars, etc, and because he doesn’t exactly check to make the coast is clear- then it really is only a matter of time before he or I have a serious accident. It was this last batch of pulling me into the road that left me in near tears and after months of complaining we threw down the gauntlet and made the purchase.
There are lots of reasons why people put off making a purchase of a collar designed to reduce pulling:
- They believe they can fix the behavior themselves without the aid of a specialized collar
- They worry it will hurt the dog
- They believe it is a sign of giving up on their ability to fix it, or even the dog
- They are just lazy and keep putting it into the “one day we’ll fix that” category
I’ve been guilty of each one of these assumptions at one time or another. And in regards to the last point, I didn’t order it myself. My lazy butt delegated it to the husband. Pick one and order it! I demanded, half in frustration half in adoration of his willingness to make the decision for me.
When it arrived it wasn’t all happiness in a box either. I was terrified by the look of it but after a demonstration I was convinced it wasn’t hurting him. We used to have to pull regularly to keep Whiskey from throwing himself down an embankment or into a busy street, say no constantly when he tried to yank my arm out of socket or lick a strangers hand, redirect tirelessly, etc. Now we do not pull. There’s no need to and in fact it might hurt him to do so. The plastic prongs look scary but when fitted properly there’s enough room to slide the collar off. When the dog moves to the end of the leash he feels the pressure and does not pull. Now that we have a leash that is teaching him not to pull we’re going to start working on heeling properly.
Seeing Whiskey walk on the leash had me all in smiles and giggles. Our walk was short (rain was impending) but it was in one of the “hot spots” where he normally goes crazy but now he walked to the end of his leash, inspected his smells and then trotted along happily with me with only two incidents of slight (and boy do I mean slight) pulling.
One of the reasons we decided on this collar was because we had information that implied it was the bottom of the “harsh” collar pool. It’s gentle on the dog and in fact so gentle that many an owner wrote that their dogs were serious pullers and had a high threshold of pain so that the collar didn’t really work that well or at all. Our dog is both of these things yet the collar is working. We’re hoping that we won’t have to advance to a harsher collar (mostly because they scare me) so as the walks go on I’ll keep you updated on his pulling behavior and whether this collar was the solution or not. So far I’m beyond pleased and Whiskey gets excited just seeing me pull out the collar. Can you believe it? He get’s excited! Because he knows we’re about to have a fun-filled, positive walk, with treats and joy for all and no yanking, pulling or negative vibes at all. If the fact that the dog loves his new collar doesn’t sell it then I’ve no idea what will!