Ok, so, I don’t typically support aversives – and you those of you who follow a positive training methodology (like me!) might look at this and wonder why on earth I’m testing it – it goes against my ethos, right? Well, no. Not when properly fitted (which is how these have been designed, by the way!). But we won’t go into that too much right now, check out the blog post instead about this!
Essentially, Indie has a lot of neck skin. Collars tend to look weird on him as a result. Due to a change in our living arrangements (I’ll discuss that another time!) we needed a collar for him for when he’s in the garden. So, research began. There’s a lot of options, but not a lot of ones that can be used in a positive method.
I know you do that too! You start pawing into every nook and cranny of the internet to find a product that might just work. Well, what I came across was this. It’s a product I knew already because Bear (the gorgeous Chowski! Remember him?) wore one – because he was super fluffy and had a similar problem to Indie. So, with some amount of familiarity, I reached out to Bully Billows about it.
They actually gave me the collar to add into the Do Martingales & Part Checks Dog Collars Have A Place In Modern Training? post – but I actually like it that much I wanted to do a full review for you guys because I love sharing when I find a great product.
So here we are!
Let’s now see if the Bully Billows Ramsey Range collar will work nicely for your dog? Let’s start with a little bit of explanation first…
A Note on Part Checks…
You often see a part check and a martingale associated strongly and they can be chain or fabric. This one is fabric!
Ok, so a part check was originally designed to ‘correct’ your dogs poor leash behaviour (or other behaviour whilst connected to a lead) by constricting around their neck to indicate that your dog has done something wrong – temporarily restricting the flow of oxygen to do so. This forced discomfort was to show the dog that they were incorrect… Yuck. Barbaric, huh?
Sure, it’s a step better than when people used to tap their dog on their snoot – but it’s still not acceptable with modern training practices.
However! It does have space in modern training. I’ve discussed it more in the ( L I N K ) blog, but in brief… If the collars ‘tightest’ dimension is the standard fit of a collar, it is no longer aversive or used to restrict oxygen flow as a punishment.
If they are now simply used to fit a dog who struggles to find a collar that suits or fits, or works – why should we rule them out because of an archaic method? Ok sure, they need to be used right, but that’s a matter of education and a history of misuse.
So, that’s my little soap box moment done… And onto the product!
How Does The Ramsey Range Work?
There are two dimensions here that are actually really important. One is the circumference of your dogs neck – and the other is the widest part of their head. If you have a breed with a particularly chunky head (Hey! No issues here! Just some breeds have larger head to neck ratios, like Bulldogs! But I can imagine some Akita’s might fall into this too). Why? Because the Ramsey Range has a limited circumference. It doesn’t undo and clip together. It is a finite dimension.
Match this up to their size charts and wait for it to arrive.
Then? Simply? Pop it over their head.
In a safe, secure space, test the collar. Make sure that when it’s closed that it’s not too tight (Remember you need to be able to fit two fingers under the collar, and when closed, it should not slip over your dogs head. You may need to do a good bit of pulling here, because you really want to make sure. The padding is quite thick so just check!
What I Love
I love that it fits. I love that it’s simple on and off, there’s no faff.
It seems pretty comfortable for Indie too, as he doesn’t fuss at all when we take it off or on – and he doesn’t have that ‘collar itch’ either? You know when you scratch a dog who has a collar on a lot so under the collar be the itchiest spot ever – we don’t have that.
It doesn’t chafe, it doesn’t sit strange. It is exactly as it’s meant to be for a collar on a big dog with a lot of neck scruff! Even when it’s closed, it’s not uncomfortable.
It also feels reliable. I don’t feel like there’s going to be any give in it, or that it might yield when I desperately don’t want to. It feels safe.
Oh! And and and! I love this – the reflector strips on it are super bright. When they reflect the light you can really pick your dog out which is invaluable when you’re letting them out in the dark, for a winter evening wee, or a late night walk – or – heaven forbid – they got out.
It stays pretty clean too! I love that, it doesn’t get filthy… it doesn’t collect fur either. I’ve had this for a few months and Indie’s gone in rivers… through mud, through thorny bushes and in rain etc – and it’s never even had a wash… still looks good as new. Really impressed with that.
It also comes in an awesome variety of colours!
Not Just For Staffies
I’m confident in saying this isn’t solely for bully breeds – the collar itself works nicely for Indie (German Shepherd Cross) and could be of awesome benefit for other ‘northern breeds’, the big floofy ones, or big dogs live stock guardian dogs – like a pyrenean mastiff (nope, I didn’t mean Great Pyrenees! I mean the mastiff – never heard of them? Check them out here along with other breeds you’ve probably never heard of) who tend to have a lot of neck skin?
There’s a lot of breeds this could really be applied to. Huskies, Akitas, Malamutes, German Shepherds, even the Golden Retrievers who are like Tucker Budzyn (Gosh, he’s cute isn’t he?) and any ‘jowly’ and/or fluffy breeds.
Room For Improvement…
Do you know, there’s only one thing I can think of.
Dog Identification tags.
A legal requirement in the UK for any dog out in public, and many other places… but there’s not really a suitable spot of one? You can see on Indie’s we have put it on the leash D-ring? Consequently the tag hangs really low, and doesn’t look right. It looks clunky.
To be honest, this is one of the things that I’ve only ever seen done neatly once – and that’s it! So, whilst it seems harsh, it’s always something I look at. I do also understand that I have a fairly big tag on there, but I do think if they had a different attachment location that it might work quite nicely and make the collar feel a little neater?
All in all.
I love it. I think it’s one of the best on the market as it’s so sturdy and practical. It sits nicely, it fits well, it does exactly what a collar is most to do, it looks good and it stays neat and tidy. And Indie likes it!
What more could you want?
Oh, well, I suppose you could want to buy one, huh? Haha, sure! Check them out here and use code INDIE and you’ll get a nice discount!