Dogmatic Headcollar Review for Huskies

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My Siberian Husky Dakota is almost 6 months old and already extremely powerful, more so than any other dog I’ve owned. Huskies are powerful pulling dogs. I’ve worked hard with Dakota’s leash training since the day she bounded in to our lives and on the whole, she’s great on leash. However we still have a few issues to iron out e.g. when she sees another dog or a child, she will suddenly lunge forward, producing a powerful jolt. It’s not a major issue, but if ever we needed to have our parents for example to look after her, I’m fairly sure my mum would end up flat on her face. After reading many positive reviews I decided to give the Dogmatic a shot. I’ve read several people claim that huskies shouldn’t use a Dogmatic or any other headcollar, as they’re supposed to pull, they were bred to pull. I say nonsense, there’s a time and a place for everything, during a walk is not the time for a husky nor any other dog should be pulling.

Introduction

Dogmatic is the invention of Susan Lewsley and come about out of necessity. You can read Susan’s story here. The Dogmatic is for dogs that pull and promises to deliver a perfect combination of comfort and control. The Dogmatic Headcollar is in many ways similar to the popular Halti, at least in its purpose but boasts greater comfort and control. It comes in a variety of colours: black, blue, red and orange. You can also choose between a padded, cushioned webbing or a leather design. I opted for the black cushioned version in size 2. The website states size 3 for a husky, but as Dakota is only 6 months old and not nearly fully grown, size 2 was better suited.

Dogmatic Claims

  • Works with all breeds, regardless of size.
  • More control over your dog, who will be not only less excitable but also easier to train.
  • One of the complaints of the Halti is that it often rides up over the dogs eyes, causing discomfort. The Dogmatic claims to have solved this problem with their unique strapping system which goes both under and at the sides of the does nose, to keep it in place.
  • Dogmatic allows your dog to still eat, drink and pant freely during use.
  • There’s a loop located under the chin strap, where the lead attaches. This is specially designed to move independently from the other straps. Meaning when the dog attempts to pull, the other straps don’t move out of place. This gives the handler complete control.
  • The Dogmatic can also be used to quickly reposition your dogs head and keep their mouth closed. This is particularly useful if they were about to eat something off the floor.

What’s In The Box

The Dogmatic comes nicely packaged and was easy to open without causing any damage to the box, which is great if you need to return the product due to sizing issues. Everything I’ve read suggests that Dogmatic are great with returns if you happen to order the wrong size. The box itself contains some basic information about the product, as well as a sizing guide on the back. The package also included 2 leaflets, one was a promo for the product, which seemed a little pointless as I’d already purchased it, but the other contained important information including fitting instructions and tips on how to get your dog used to the new headcollar. In addition to the Dogmatic Headcollar, it also comes with a little rubber name tag. The nice thing about the rubber name tag, is that it doesn’t jingle, however, if you dont want to use the name tag, it’s very easy to remove.

Design and Quality

The overall quality of the product I would consider premium. Each section of the headcollar is padded to provide additional comfort for your dog and the stitching throughout is flawless. The buckles are stainless steel, although the clasp and adjusters are plastic, I don’t imagine that will pose an issue. The only complaint I have with the design, is that it is very heavily branded with the the dogmatic logo. Every inch of the straps have a repeating dog and paw design, which I’m guessing some may interpret as cute, but I’d personally have preferred a solid colour. The clasp also features the logo.

UPDATE:

I received an email from Zoe at Dogmatic, who was kind enough to give me some insight into their design choices. It was decided to use the repeating pattern on the headcollar, so that it could be easily distinguished from other brands and to give it a more friendly look, to help reduce the number of people mistaking it for a muzzle. It makes sense and with that in mind, I’m fonder of the design. Dogmatic Branding

Ease Of Use

The headcollar slides over the nose and then fastens around the back of the head with a clasp, making it fairly easy to get on and off, without having to readjust it each time. Although I imagine those with particularly hyperactive huskies struggling a little to get this on, at least until the dog gets used to it. Once it was on, her initial reaction was to paw at it, which is to be expected but once the walk started, she pawed less and less.

Does It Work?

That is the million dollar question and I’m pleased to report that it does work, at least for Dakota. I was expecting her to have a much bigger issue with wearing the Dogmatic, but besides a little pawing, she was fine. But best of all, she didn’t pull or lunge, even when exposed to the usual stimulus of children and dogs. Usually when a dog or child is within 20 feet of her, she would be overly excited and start to pull but not with the dogmatic. The level of control we now have over her, is unparalleled. Not only does it stop the pulling, but it actually allows us to very quickly and easily redirect her attention from anything from other dogs to bits of food on the floor. The video below shows the Dogmatic in action with my husky, Dakota. I had her walk in front, so that I could shoot the video, but keep in mind, you ideally want your dog walking at your heal.

Verdict

I’m sold. It’s really given the desired result and does exactly what it says on the tin, which is exactly what I’d hoped. I don’t want to use the Dogmatic long-term, but instead use it as an extra training aid. The only downside is the fact it looks a little like a muzzle and I don’t like the idea of people thinking my dog is wearing it because she’s aggressive, but the same is true for any other brand of headcollar. Some dogs are undoubtedly going to take longer to get used to wearing the dogmatic, but do persevere and keep the experience as positive as possible.

Tips Using The Dogmatic

  • As with any training, ensure the use of the dogmatic is as positive of an experience as possible. Offer treats to help divert attention from the headcollar.
  • For full grown huskies, size 3 should be ideal.
  • Adjust the straps prior to putting the headcollar on, as trying to do so whilst your husky is wearing it, will be too difficult.
  • Use the Dogmatic as a training aid, get your husky used to walking at your heal, vs walking in front. When your dog is healing and walking as you want him to, offer him a treat.
  • Give a little slack so that your dog can still turn their head left and right.

Where To Buy?

We’ve had several people asking where they can buy the Dogmatic. Dogmatic Headcollar Size 3 From Amazon UK Order direct from Dogmatic, who have informed me that they will ship worldwide.

93%
93%
Awesome

Dogmatic is a great solution for Huskies that just love to pull. I'd definitely recommend this product as a training aid for both pups and adult dogs that aren't responding to training.

  • Price
    8
  • Quality
    10
  • Design
    9
  • Functionality
    10
  • User Ratings (8 Votes)
    5.8

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7 Comments

  1. Kath Shaughnessy on

    What a comprehensive, informative, helpful review ! Thanks very much for this and for the accompanying tips. I have a wonderful staffie cross, not a husky, but your advice is relevant whatever the breed.

    • Thanks so much for the great feedback Kath. You’re right that the information here is certainly applicable to all breeds.

    • ANN CROSSLEY on

      Yes Great for all strong breeds, My GSD took a week to get used to it. I put it over his face just loose and gave him special treat (Chicken / sausage!!) took straight off. left it for an hour.. same again..A few times every day. By the middle of week I started fastening it just for a few moments and making a big fuss of him again special treat. End of week Dogmatic On and walking calmly …wonderful !! If your dog is hyper and you just put straight on he can injure himself pawing at his face or trying to rub the halter off on the floor etc… So well worth the effort, to have a stress free dog and walk.. GREAT !!

  2. I am desperate, run out of options and ideas.i have two beautiful white gsd’s 6 years old and the moment I reach for a lead they go into uncontroolable non responsive lunatic mode.i cant even get out of the door into my driveway.i live on a very busy main road and am terrified they will run into the road.ive tried halties and the body harness and lots of other aids.ive watched videos on dog behaviour, programmes , nothing works.my son is 32 is 15 stones strong and agile and they drag him off his feet.we just cant walk them they lunge pull pant heavily wont listen ive got arthritis and tbe pain in trying to walk them is enormous now they just go into the garden im so sad for them.i got them at 10 weeks and they have always done this whwther walking seperately or together.please can you say if this product has any likelihood of working as im on the tiniest income.they need to be able to go out its heartbreaking

  3. ANN CROSSLEY on

    I am onto my tenth GSD.(I have two at a time) I always take to training classes, and like to think I am their “Pack Leader” However !! As with you the lead signals mayhem…. I with trepidation sent for a dogmatic. Huraahh, Yip Yip etc. Now walks lovely, I will not go out the door until all calm, even tho this did take ages to start with. Its the ONLY halter that has worked, and for security you can get a training lead with a clip on each end, and clip this to the halter and the collar. Just until you feel they have accepted the dogmatic and stopped pawing etc.GSD are active intelligent breeds, Back yard walks are just not enough !! You need to walk every day to avoid other unwanted frustration behaviours. I feel soo sorry for your GSD’s as I leave for our second walk of the day. EVERY DAY whatever the weather !!! If you get them practice, put on give treat, take off. Over a week they will be looking forward to having it on & the treat (something Special, sausage/chicken) Then you are ready to go. Don’t jerk on the headcollar, I can walk mine now with a fingertip hold on the lead. Patient practice rewards greatly. If you love your dogs..Go For It..

  4. We love our dogmatic. Our husky is now 16 months old, 16kg female and still wears the size 2 head collar. The only thing I would add to your review is to purchase a head collar tether that attaches from the head collar to a collar so that if the head collar gets off somehow you still have your dog attached to you! It has happened to us!

  5. Steve Hickman-Brown on

    Ordered one for my Husky to try and wanted one for my Lurcher. First was over charged for postage which they did “eventually” refund and then on the first time out of its box noticed a fray under one of the catches. Sent it back and phoned a third time to be told I’d be called back bu the Manager, bur just received a snotty email saying the dog had had a “sneaky chew” and cut through all the webbing with her teeth, but have sent another one but that would not be replaced again.

    The dog hadn’t had a chance to chew it, it was the clasp behind her ears and her first time wearing it. Also if one bite renders the whole thing useless theb this is an expensive piece of tat. She never did call so I didn’t order a second one and went to Gencon. Half the price, easier to fit, doesn’t ride up, works well and less stress than dealing with the people at Dogmatic. Clearly won’t be getting another one…..

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