Dog Ear Support Forms


Set of two dog ear support forms made out of special foam. Dog ear support forms are like adding an extra layer of cartilage to help support soft ears on dogs that naturally should have an erect ear set. These ergonomically designed dog ear support forms help promote proper shape and growth.

These dog ear support forms are approximately 4 in long and molded into the shape of erect dog ears. Ear props can be attached to the ear via medical adhesive like Skin Bond Latex Adhesive: OSTO-BOND SKIN BONDING CEMENT, 4 OZ. CAN W/BRUSH. or medical tape (both of which are available from a pharmacy).

Tips for Fitting
Since every dog ear is unique, there is technically no right or wrong way to place them in your dogs’ ear. The best way is whichever way fits your dogs’ ear…

  • First do a dry fit. Just place them against the inside of your dogs’ ear and see where you may need to adjust them.
  • The curve should follow the natural curve of the dogs’ ear. They do not need to cover the entire ear, nor are they intended to. They just need to cover the section where the “fold” is.
  • The L and R are guidelines but the L and R may fit best in your dog if they are reversed.
  • If you need to trim them, then you can easily trim the top, bottom and/or sides with a pair of scissors.
  • There is no set application time. Just like your dog, each case is unique and subject to variables like age, environment, diet and of course, genetics.
  • Keep the ear clean and dry. Try and prevent scratching. If the dog is in a crate, make sure the crate is tall enough so that it is not bending the ear unnaturally.

Other Helpful Tips
Provide your dog with something safe and age appropriate to chew. Chewing is supposed to help strengthen the muscles in the face which is believed to help the ears stand. Add supplements to your dogs’s diet that help support the structural integrity of joints and connective tissues like Joint Protect Performance Complete.

Pink Bite Suit Tugs

We have added another new color to our bite suit tugs… Pink!

tug_bitesuit_3x10_two_handle_4

You could even go for the ultimate pink combo… with a pink leash a pink tug and a pink harness!

Bite Suit material (also called French Linen) is a very durable fabric that is tough but still soft. It comes in multiple colors like black, lime green, orange and pink.

Tugs are not chew toys, they are interactive training aids. Tug toys are excellent for a rewarding game of tug. Do not allow your dog to chew on the tug or keep the tug after the interaction has finished.

EVO Bite Sleeves

Over the years I have used many different bite sleeves. They all share some basic similarities but they also have some qualities (weight, bite bar size, bite bar angle and handle angle) that make them unique. However, bite sleeve preference often depends on how a sleeve “feels” which is subjective but inherently related to that sleeve’s unique qualities… In fact, many helpers can close their eyes, put a sleeve on and tell you what it is just by the weight and fit. Well there is a new sleeve in town and it is absolutely the nicest sleeve I have ever worn.

Introducing the EVO line of bite sleeves. After trying so many sleeves over the years you begin to think that nothing new will ever come along… However putting on an EVO sleeve is an epiphany. For the first time you understand what a bite sleeve should “feel” like. It is lightweight, the handle is at just the right angle and the bite bar automatically falls into the correct natural position. And above all, it is the most comfortable sleeve you will ever put on.

evo bite sleeve

EVO sleeves come in 3 versions: Firm, Soft and Compression.
The EVO bite sleeve firm is the perfect training and trial sleeve. Its’ light weight, comfort and natural bite presentation will instantly make this your favorite sleeve. The EVO bite sleeve soft is excellent for building confidence and encourages full, firm grips. It is the ideal precursor to the firm sleeve. The compression sleeve is very soft and is designed to help dogs have fun and enjoy protection work.

Note: All EVO bites sleeves require EVO jute sleeve covers. All of our jute bite sleeve covers are made from the highest quality jute for durability and longevity.

Dog Tugs Part 2

jute send out tug toy

OK in the last post we described the different materials used to make dog tugs. Now we’ll discuss the many different shapes and sizes and what they are used for. Dog tugs can generally be separated into two categories… reward tugs and grip building tugs. There are also numerous size variations and handle combinations within each category. However the handles are not included in the tug dimensions. The dimensions given are the approximate size of the tug body. For example, a (3″ x 10″) bite suit tug is the same size no matter if it has one handle, two handle or a bungee handle.

tug_bitesuit_3x12_two_handles

Dog tugs used as reward are typically smaller so they are easy to carry and present to the dog. They come in no handle, one handle, two handle and bungee handle variations. And there is no right or wrong when choosing the handles. I tend to prefer one handle tugs, others tend to prefer two handle tugs because it is easier for them to grip and pull evenly when playing tug with their dog. Still others prefer the bungee handle tugs because their dog seems to get the most enjoyment pulling against the bungee. What is important is that you use the tug you are most comfortable with and that your dog enjoys.

The sizes used for reward tugs range from (3″ x 4″) all the way up to about (3″ x 16″), with the most popular being either (3″ x 8″), (3″ x 10″) or (3″ x 12″). You have to remember that the smaller a tug is, the easier it is to conceal and present but the closer your hand is to those 42 pearly whites. And the larger a tug is, the harder it is to conceal and present but your hand is further away from bite surface. So you have to find the right one for you, that is why we make so many different sizes.

We also get asked if they should get a stuffed tug (which most are) or a flat rolled tug and the answer is yes… as in get both and see which one you find easier to use and your dog enjoys more. My last dog loved the flat rolled leather tugs that have very little cushion which was great for me because they are very easy to carry. However my new dog definitely prefers the typical stuffed tugs and material doesn’t matter. It can be bite suit, fire hose, jole, or whatever, she wants it…

three handle targeting wedge

Now for the grip building tugs. These tugs tend to be larger, longer and pillow or wedge-shaped. Typical grip building tugs range from (3″ x 16″) and go all the way up to (8″ x 36″) which is a huge tug… The most popular sizes are (3″ x 24″), (4″ x 24″) and (5″ x 24″). How they are used is up to you but we often use these tugs when starting dogs in protection work. We usually post (aka back tie) the dog on a harness or collar, get them interested in the tug, get them barking and then present the tug for a grip. It’s a fun game that dogs love and it helps stimulate the dogs natural drives. The (8″ x 36″) tug is commonly used for starting young dogs to target the leg.

We also use three handle bite pillows and the three handle targeting wedges almost every training session. The three handle bite billow makes it very easy to present a front grip, do some pulling and because of the shape of the bite pillow it is very satisfying for the dog to hold. The three handle targeting wedge is excellent for catching the dog on a long bite, doing a little drive and working on outing and barking. And because it has three handles you can vary your hand position so it is comfortable no matter what you are doing. The shape of the three handle targeting wedge is the perfect precursor to a bite sleeve.

 

Dog Tugs Part 1

bite suit tug

We get a lot of questions about tugs… Which size is best? Which material is best? Should I get one handle or two? So I thought I would write a little about the most popular types of tugs we carry. However, before we start, it is important to note that tugs are not chew toys. A dog can destroy a tug in mere seconds if allowed to chew on it no matter what material it is made of. Tugs are intended to be interactive dog toys where you reward the dog with the tug, play a little “tug of war” and then have the dog release the tug or hold it calmly and firmly (but no chewing)…

Tugs come in many different shapes, sizes and materials but they are all generally designed for one purpose, to reward the dog. And which tug you choose largely depends on what you are doing. You can see all of the tugs we carry here: Tugs & Wedges

Let’s discuss the different materials first and then we’ll discuss the different shapes and sizes in another post…

Bite suit material, also referred to as French Linen, is a fabric blend that is very durable but still soft to the touch. Bite suit material is not just for making bite suits, it is the most popular dog tug material and it is also used to make sleeves, wedges and sleeve covers. It comes in different colors (black, blue, lime green) and holds up very well. They come in 1 handle, 2 handle and bungee handle versions.
bite suit tug

Yellow fire hose is a very tough, durable and strong material. Yellow fire hose tugs are great for hard biting dogs but it can be a little too tough for young dogs. One of the coolest things about yellow fire hose tugs is that they float making them great tugs for dock diving or just having fun at the pool or lake. They come in no handle, 1 handle, 2 handle and bungee handle versions.

yellow fire hose tug

Jole material is a very durable cotton material that comes in bright colors (like blue, lime green and pink). Jole is relatively new and similar to bite suit material but with a tighter weave making them a little more firm. They are excellent tugs and gaining in popularity. They come in 1 handle, or 2 handle versions.

jole pink tug

Jute is a natural fiber that is commonly used in making sleeve covers but has also been used to make tugs and wedges. There are different types of jute with the main difference being the weave pattern used to make the jute. A large, loose weave is used for making sleeve covers and bite wedges and a small tight weave is used for making tugs. The most popular jute tugs are the rolled jute tugs and the braided jute rope tugs. However, in general, jute tugs are not as colorful or as soft as bite suit tugs, they don’t float like fire hose tugs and are not as durable as jole tugs, so they are becoming less and less popular. They come in no handle, 1 handle and 2 handle versions.

jute tug

Synthetic fire hose tugs are made from white, indoor fire hose and are very strong but softer and narrower than the yellow fire hose tugs. The white fire hose material is smoother and less abrasive than the yellow fire hose material making them more suitable for any age or temperament of dog. They also float making them a popular tug for obedience training or just having fun. They come in no handle, 1 handle, 2 handle and bungee handle versions.
synthetic fire hose tug

Next time we’ll discuss the different shapes and sizes of tugs and what they are good for.

Dog Collar Part 3

The next collar we are going discuss is a “slip type” collar commonly referred to as a “dominant dog collar.” Dominant dog collars are specifically intended for use on handler aggressive or dog aggressive dogs and are very good at suppressing inappropriate behavior/aggression. Dominant dog collars are excellent for lowering the drive and taking the fight out of a dog. DO NOT jerk this collar to deliver a correction. The proper way to use the collar is to SLOWLY lift straight up on the collar, until the dog ceases the behavior and settles.

Dominant dog collars are typically made out of nylon cord and have a clip at one end, an o-ring at the other and a floating o-ring that travels between the two. It is very easy to put a dominant dog collar on your dog, simply place the collar around the dog’s neck (preferably high on the neck) and snap one end on to the floating o-ring. Attach your leash to the fixed o-ring and you are good to go. Since a dominant collar is designed to sit high on the neck, it is important to get the correct size.

dominant dog collar

To measure your dog for a dominant dog collar simply measure around your dog’s neck (high on the neck) just under the chin and just below the back of the head. If you don’t have a cloth tape measure, just use a piece of string, put it around the dog’s neck (make sure it’s not too tight) mark it and then measure the piece of string. Dominant dog collars only come in full sizes and are measured from end to end. So let’s say your dog’s neck measures 18.5 inches, simply round up to the next whole size which would be 19 inches. So the appropriate size would be at least 19 inches, 20 inches if you want a little slack. This brings us to another popular use for dominant dog collars, as a backup collar…

Dominant dog collars make excellent backup collars. A backup collar is a collar that you have on your dog when the main collar fails in one way or another. This is most common when using a prong or pinch collar for dog training. A prong collar, which we will cover more in another post, is a widely used and highly misunderstood dog training collar. But for the purpose of illustrating the usefulness of a dominant collar as a backup collar, I am just going to focus on the tendency of prong collars to come unhooked thus allowing the dog to go free.

Most prong collars are made from individual links that hook together. These links can easily separate from each other either from an improper fitting collar that is too loose, bent links or even just the dog shaking. However if you have your leash connected to the prong collar and a backup dominant dog collar, even if the prong collar comes off, you will still be connected to the backup collar. The important thing to remember when purchasing a dominant dog collar as a backup collar is to allow enough slack to not interfere with the function of the main collar. If we use the example above and the dogs neck is 18.5 inches you would still round up to the next whole size (19 inches) and then add approximately 2 or 3 inches for slack (depending on how much travel your main collar has).

Dog Collar Part 2

The next dog collars on the list are Herm Sprenger chain collars, commonly referred to as choke chains. These collars are a slip collar and we carry two different types; the traditional chain that slips over the dog’s head and the toggle chain that can be put on around the dog’s neck (like a buckle collar).

Choke Chains are not considered a general purpose collar and are usually associated with correction or aversive training techniques. If you are going to use this type, it is important to know how to properly size, fit, and use it… And never leave a choke chain on your dog as a regular collar.

Let’s start with the construction of the collar. Herm Sprenger chain collars are made of durable, high quality, chrome plated steel for beauty and long life. All rings and swivels are stamped with HS-Germany, Germany, or HS to ensure you have the real thing.

Next, a properly fitted choke chain is very important in training. It should be the size of the dogs’ upper neck plus approximately 2 inches. Sounds simple right? Well… not always. Here are some common pitfalls:

  1. Many dogs have a head that is larger than their neck (Mastiff type breeds for example). If you only consider the neck size and don’t check to see if it will also fit over your dog’s head, you may be unable to slip the collar over your dogs’ head. That is where the toggle chain comes in handy… Instead of having to slip the collar over the head, you just put it around the dog’s neck and slip the toggle through the end ring.
  2. It is also important to know how to properly put a chain collar on your dog. Hold one ring horizontally (like a basketball hoop) and then drop the chain through that ring. Then, facing your dog, hold the collar so it forms the letter P and slip it over the head. It should not sit below the middle of the neck and it should have a little slack (approximately 2 inches).
  3. What can also be confusing are the collar measurements themselves. First, Herm Sprenger chain collars are measured from end to end (including the rings). Next, and here is the rub, those measurements are not exact. What does that mean? It means Herm Sprenger chain collars are a fixed length based on the size of the links and rings. So when they list a size, they round up, or down, to the next whole measurement. For example, a 20 inch chain collar, actually measures 19.75 inches. However, since these collars are not designed to fit based on an exact size and require slack to function properly, that .75 difference has virtually no impact, it is just something to be aware of.

Now if you are trying to measure a collar that you already have to either purchase another one, or get a different size, you will now know which collar to purchase based on the information above. To recap, lay the collar out straight, measure from end to end (including the rings) and then round up or down to the nearest whole size. For example, if your collar measures 21.5″, take a look at the sizes available for your particular collar (20″, 22″, 24″) and choose the closest whole size, which in this case would be 22″.

I hope this helps you choose not only the proper type of collar but also the proper size of collar. Again, if you decide to use a chain collar, remember chain collars are not considered a general purpose dog collar. They are a training collar and you should never leave a chain collar on a dog unsupervised or when you are not actively working with it.

Herm Sprenger Chain Collar

Dog Collar Part 1

The next common piece of dog training equipment we are going to discuss is the dog collar. There are many different types of dog collars and we will not only discuss the purpose of each type of dog collar but also how to choose the right size of collar for your dog…

On All K-9, we break Dog Collars into subcategories: All Weather Biothane Dog Collars, Choke Chains, Dominant Dog Collars, Fursavers, Leather Dog Collars, Prong Collars, Service ID Collars, Show Collars and Badge Holders (which aren’t a collar per se, but they go on collars so we include them under the main dog collar category).

Let’s start with the All Weather Biothane Dog Collars and just progress through the list. All Weather Biothane Dog Collars are an excellent all purpose dog collar. All Weather Biothane (sometimes called Beta) is basically a polyester webbing with a TPU or PVC coating that makes it more durable, waterproof, easy to clean. It does not stretch, rot, or mildew. It is stronger and more durable than leather and is readily available in different colors. If they get wet or muddy, just wipe them clean with a damp cloth and they look new again. All Weather Biothane also makes great tracking lines but we will discuss that later in another post…

We have 3 different types of biothane dog collars:

  • We have a 2 inch wide Biothane dog collar made with 2 layers of heavy all weather beta material. This collar has an easy grip handle and heavy duty hardware. It is designed for agitation work and protection dog training. It is an extremely strong collar and the only drawback is that it is a little stiff, which is why some people prefer the 2 inch wide Leather dog collars.
  • We have a 1 inch wide Biothane dog collar that makes an excellent general purpose dog collar. These collars are very flexible and come in a variety of sizes and vibrant colors (black, blue, orange, red) that are easy to see. They are perfect for any conditions, especially for dogs that spend time in the water. These dog collars are an excellent value because of their longevity, durability and low cost. I highly recommend these collars.
  • We also have 1 inch wide Biothane dog collars that are reflective! These all weather biothane reflective dog collars are made from our Biothane Edgeguard material. They are great for hunters, joggers or anyone that wants to make their dog more visible in low light conditions.

All of our collars made with expert craftsmanship and have high quality hardware. If you didn’t know about Biothane dog collars before, you definitely owe it to yourself and your dog to check them out. To select the correct size for your dog, measure around the middle of your dogs’ neck and then choose a collar size based on that measurement. For example, if you are purchasing one of our 1 inch Biothane dog collars and your dogs’ neck is 20″, you would choose Medium 18″ – 22″.

All Weather Biothane Dog Collar

Dog Harness Part 3 Final

padded ultra leather dog harness

The final style of dog harness we will discuss has some type of padded chest plate and is designed for strong pulling. There are variations in the actual padded chest plate design but in general, they have 3 points of contact (one over each shoulder and one between the front legs) which connect the chest plate to the back of the harness. Chest plates are typically made of leather or nylon and have some type of padding like heavy felt. The back of the harness usually consists of a belly/side strap and a handle with a d-ring on top.

The reason why this type of harness is so popular is the padded chest plate allows the dog pull vigorously into the harness while not restricting the dogs breathing or barking, making them ideal for protection dog training. The key to this type of harness is in the 3 point connection which distributes the force across the chest. This allows the dog to be easily restrained from one point (the handle or the d-ring) and direct all of the energy forward. The belly and side straps are really only there to position the top portion in the center of the dogs back.

These types of harnesses are easy to put on and take off and we’ve actually made it even easier by using quick release buckles on the side straps. Once you have adjusted the belly/side straps based on the girth of your dog, you just slip it over the dogs head and quickly snap up the side straps. It is a very simple, quick and strong system. You may also hear these types of padded, quick release dog harnesses referred to as protection dog harnesses, tracking dog harnesses or even strap harnesses.

This concludes our discussion on dog harnesses and covers approximately 90% of the dog harnesses out there. Of course there are more types of harnesses like sling harnesses, lift harnesses and jump harnesses for tactical maneuvers or search and rescue and we can discuss those another time. However, there is one additional type of harness which is definitely worth mentioning and that is a hybrid or dual purpose harness. A dual purpose dog harness combines the back vest portion from a patrol harness with the 3 point padded chest plate of a protection dog harness. It is a very popular dog harness, especially with law enforcement and the military because it combines the best of both types of harnesses.

Dog Harness Part 2

So we highlighted a couple of common misconceptions about dog harnesses in part 1, now let’s talk about the different types of dog harnesses. I will identify how each type of harness (or group of harnesses) differs in key areas like the back, the sides the belly and the chest.

Let’s start with the patrol dog harness, service dog vest and multi-purpose dog harness as they are all variations of the same type of dog harness. This group of harnesses all feature a nylon back piece that is lightweight, durable and padded for all day comfort. In additional to the standard nylon, we also have a breathable mesh fabric back piece that is excellent for warmer climates. On top of the back piece is an easy grip handle and a d-ring to attach a leash or long line. The sides typically have an area to attach Velcro service dog patches and may also feature additional d-rings depending on the harness. The belly strap is adjustable, within a certain range, by either slides or Velcro and features various types of release buckles making it easy to put the harness on and take it off. The chest strap is approximately 2″ wide and is usually adjustable, within a certain range, with either slides or Velcro. An optional Y-Strap can easily be used with these harnesses. A Y-Strap connects the chest strap to the belly strap providing more stability between the straps.

harness-coyote-brown-patrolharness_service-dog

This type of dog harness is extremely popular because of its versatility. It is used by law enforcement, the military, service dogs and even for dog sports like schutzhund. The chest strap is wide making it comfortable for your dog during moderate pulling, the handle on top is easy to grab and the adjustable straps allow you to get a proper fit for your dog. The back piece is lightweight and does not impede the dogs movement when running, jumping, sitting or even laying down. The Velcro strips on the sides, if equipped, allow you to prominently display service dog patches like police, service dog and do not pet. And this dog harness comes in a wide variety of colors including black, blue, coyote brown, gray, orange and red. You can see all of our harnesses here: Dog Harness

In our next post we will discuss protection dog harnesses which are designed for strong pulling and have 5 points of adjustment.