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Mekuti Balance Harness

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by I_love_Mochi, May 16, 2010.


  1. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    I have ordered one of these after reading some good reviews on here and other forums as I believe we have the world's worst puller.

    We have a 4 year old Collie Cross (not sure what with, steam engine?) called Poppy rescued from Dogs Trust September 09. She came with a disclaimer for being aggressive to cats and we knew she "wasn't good" with other dogs. Well, this is an understatement to say the least. She's been getting progressively worse at walking on the lead, pulls us both (OH is 6ft well built man and I am not so strong) all over the place, at Christmas when we had the snow and ice for 3 weeks it was a nightmare and really dangerous and I am determined to get it sorted before winter this year. The other problem is reacting over the top when she sees any other dog, we have a feeling she's not been socialised when she was a puppy and now when she sees another dog she's barking, screeching, up on her back legs a lot of the time and pulling towards the other dog. She was having sessions with a behaviourist from the Dogs Trust and she even made friends with the behaviourist's 8 year old girl collie over 2 sessions and we had them running round, with Poppy on a long lead and everything was fine, until she saw a different dog and she'd be reacting to that dog then. The next step was to introduce Poppy to our friend's collie while the behaviourist was present but we couldn't arrange an agreed date and it sort of went out of the window. Meanwhile I have tried the Halti (she chewed through it when she saw another dog during our first trip out with it) a padded harness (backs up and escapes it) a Lupi Harness(pulls against it now) and at the moment we are back onto a Gentle Leader head collar but she's still as strong as ever and pulls even though it digs into her poor face. I have tried the training where you change direction every time she pulls and it seems to be working until you leave the area we were working in and she's back to her old self.
    I am hoping the Mekuti can help as I have read so many good things about it how it has turned them into a different dog.
    Has anyone got any experience with this and how to use it properly before I try it for the first time, and also do you think it will help with the reacting to other dogs?

    Sorry for the longest post ever, just wanted to give as much info as possible. :)
     
  2. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Hi we have just bought the Mekuti. It gets a bit of getting used to, but it stopped our lad pulling almost instantly. I don't know if it was the way I was using it but he was still reactive to another dog. He is not agressive but want to play. He was easier to handle but as the head is not controled they can still have a good look. As I say it could be the way I was using it on our first trip out. I hope it works for you. :)
     
  3. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    I am pleased to hear it worked for you!
    This is Sue&harvey original thread were she was originally explained how to use it, sue do say if it wasn't helpful so maybe you can add in as the mekuti can be confusing at first:
    http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-chat/101611-mekuti-has-arrived.html

    In regards to the aggression, the mekuti will help the dog feeling a bit reassured if fear based, so it helps with phobias loads, helped us anyway.
    To me the best combination for leash reactive is mekuti + the clicker after attending a workshop on clicker training for leash reactive dogs. Leashed for life posted something yesterday about the "look at it" command using clicker. Works wonder for us.
    Here's the link:
    http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-trai...s-barking-leash-lunge-bolt-snap-hide-etc.html

    Your dog sounds like it could benefit from socialization classes like the ones I attend:
    Dog Communication.....because mutts need manners!
    I found them terrific, but also must warn you that it takes time, attendance, and willingness to put the work in and listen to the behaviourists, not an overnight miracle as some people often seems to expect and sadly end up wasting everyone's time, they do have a long waiting list as well. If you happen to be interested send me a pm in which I can explain how they work to the best of my ability before you decide.
     
  4. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks to you both for your replies :)

    Dodigna: Those socialisation classes sound really good, it's a pity we're not based in Surrey though, I will have a look to see if there are any based in the Cheshire/Merseyside area that we could take Poppy along to.

    The Look at that game sounds good too, will have to read it properly and try it. We still have problems getting her to even listen to us in the first place when we are outside of the house so it might be a long haul with that one but it's encouraging to hear more praise for the Mekuti!

    There is one video on Youtube of a trainer using a Mekuti on a dog for the first time and you can hear the amazement in the owner's voice.
     
  5. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    Yes, that is the only video I could find, but I seem to remember he had it clipped wrong :( Also at first you need to use both hands really so you can do the swap checks accurately.

    The trick of the "look at that" game is that she would glance and as son as she does so you click and treat so she doesn't have the time to react, timing is essential there, click too late and you might reward the bad behaviour. In order for the click to work you and your dog would have done work for her to associate the clicker with a treat, my behaviourist called it charge the clicker. So that she knows that a treat follows the click.
     
  6. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

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    just got one last week and cant believe the difference - really works. I have a 18mth old collie that put me on the sick with her pulling!!!! From the 1st time i used it instant walking next to me and she certainly seems much happier than using halti's etc:thumbup:
     
  7. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Thanks dodigna it was helpful, as I said on my origional thread, the instructions that came with the harness were quite confusing.

    I_Love_Mochi I hope you get on with the mekuti and your steam engine transforms back into a dog :D
     
  8. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    They are brilliant we borrowed one to try & within 5 mins it worked :thumbup: just need to save up as we need 2 :rolleyes:
     
  9. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    I clicker trained her to sit and down but because she's been so badly behaved outside we've never managed to do it in other places and sort of gave up, will have to try it again, she hardly ever takes treats off me when we are out as she gets too distracted, so maybe it'll all fall into place when she's walking properly?

    I will update when the Mekuti arrives (hopefully tomorrow!) and give feedback on it. The other half said "not another gadget" at first when I told him about it but he said if there's a 30 day money back guarantee then there's no harm in trying it.
     
  10. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    Right, the harness came today and our double ended halti lead clip didn't fit through the ring at the front so I bought a cheap rope lead and attached that to our lead and threaded that through the ring. Check.
    Get outside and she's already pulling, when it says make 'contact' what does it mean to do? like tug the lead ends or what? It says to only make contact when she is pulling but she is pulling from the word go.
    It also says to walk faster if she gets ahead of me, but if I did that I'd have to be running really fast, she just starts running if I speed up? :confused::confused:

    What am I doing wrong? Have I ruined it now because I've not got it right from the start? Am going to try again tomorrow morning with her when I'll have plenty of time because I'm off work.
     
  11. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    I don't remember reading to walk faster in the instruction :confused:

    Can you read the thread "the mekuti has arrived" I posted you the link in first post, up towards the top. This is how I did it and it worked from the word go for us...

    I remember clearly you start walking when she is right next to you, so dog's shoulder must be next or slightly behind your knee. If she is right excited to do this outside, try indoor first? Also make sure the clips are correctly done (the side clip is on the outside of the dog, not near you).

    I am assuming by contact yes it is checking the lead ends, small tugs remember no yanking and alternate them, so you do a right check left check in quick succession and then do it the opposite way (left-right right-left and so on...). It's about throwing the dog slightly off balance. You do the checks as soon as her shoulder passes your knee, too late it won't work. If she is too far ahead I would stop, bring her back and start again. It makes a great difference if you try and be relax, breed properly and stay upright.
     
  12. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    With the lead that came with it there is two differen lengths between the end clip and first ring. Use the longer end and the ring never needs to pass through any other rings. Took me ages even with the other thread :D
     
  13. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    it says this in the Using The Lead bit: a) Stand by your dog's shoulder, if your dog gets ahead of you, either stop to re-balance your dog& reposition yourself, or walk a little faster (otherwise you will encourage them to pull).

    I think I will have to have another go tomorrow, how do you get the dog to stay right next to your leg without holding the leads really tight?

    At first I tried outside, then because she was just pulling I took her in the back garden where she seemed to doing ok, then took her outside again and the same thing happened, is the trick to only do the correction when she is right by my knee? I just can't seem to get her to stay there to do the correction.

    I did read the other thread Dodigna thanks, will let you know how I get on tomorrow!

    Sue, our lead's clips themselves are too big for the ring, so you can only get the top of the clip through and no lead at all.
     
  14. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    If I was you I would call them or e-mail, sounds like they have sent you the wrong sized lead. I really does only work with the double ended lead.
    I male the "connection" when he is not where I want him, changing randomly the hand I use to apply the correction, thus using it to unbalance and maintain an element of surprise as to which side the correction will come from.
    Hope you manage to get the correct lead soon :)
     
  15. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    Good luck! :lol: It did look confusing at first, I even tangled us together once :lol: When we are stationary if he gets a bit eager I check him with the end the side ring is attached to (from stationary) dog can't pull against the side ring, but can still pull against the back ring.

    All fails, ring them. :)
     
  16. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    I didn't order the lead from them as we already have a double ended lead made by Halti, and read that it would work with that. I will have another go tomorrow and if not take a trip to the pet shop and see if they've got a slimmer double ended lead maybe?

    I'm thinking I didn't try it for long enough and I was only walking up and down our road with her. Will try and take her out early tomorrow morning somewhere quiet to practice, she's usually better behaved in the mornings.

    I just really want it to work after reading all the reviews how it worked for other people :thumbup:
     
  17. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    How did it go this morning? Hope you had a bit more luck :)
     
  18. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    We've used ours for about a month and a half - it definitely stops pulling on a normal walk, if a tad complicated - however, I found it didn't stop her jumping up and pulling really hard to get to something she had seen across the street etc. If anything she threw all her weight into the harness and pulled harder.

    I'm now using a gencon as it controls her head and stops the jumping too - the jumping and lunging was killing my back. I still use the harness for when she is on a long line and will probably use it for walks now and then so she has to think.
     
  19. I_love_Mochi

    I_love_Mochi PetForums Newbie

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    Well I found I got nowhere whatsoever and she started jumping up and hooking her paws round both ends of the lead (she's really good at this when she doesn't like something) and resorted to putting her back on the Gentle Leader head collar and doing the "ah ah" and about turn when she pulls. Then I took her out for a run on her long lead and wore her out a bit and she was walking a bit better on the way back home, but this was on the gentle leader again.

    The OH took her out this evening and said she seemed to be walking a bit better apart from when she saw someone. He said it was hard work though and couldn't walk with her like that all the time. I found this too, it really hurt my arms. I will persevere and take her out on it tomorrow morning before work, it's only a quick walk in the morning as I don't have time for a big one, she gets a long walk from the OH when he gets in after work. I am going to look in the petshop for a narrower double lead and if they don't have one I'll order one from Mekuti tomorrow.

    I just feel like I'm not doing something right, maybe it is the lead.
     
  20. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    It could be the lead, the loops do look to be quite purposfully placed. I am still finding that Harvey is reactive to other dogs on it as I said on another thread today, but for normal walking he's been lovely. May be worth just ordering one from Mekuti as that would be covered by the 30 day money back too presumably
     
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