* How to Make a Collar for a Blind Dog | eHow UK

How to Halo Hoop collar image

Bend the aluminium strip into this shape, with the straight segments measuring the length between the front and rear straps of the harness.

Source: eHow UK

Is your dog blind? A dog without sight is prone to injury from bumping into sharp objects, like the corner of a coffee table or the leg of a chair. Fortunately, there’s a simple and inexpensive way to help a blind dog by creating the canine equivalent of a blind human’s walking stick. A hoop collar or hoop harness will help a blind dog detect objects when he’s navigating the home, yard or any other location.

Skill level: Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Leather dog collar or leather dog harness (preferred, as it’s more stable)
  • Rivet gun
  • Strip of aluminium
  • Metal snippers
  • Metal file/grinder
  • Fine sandpaper

Instructions

  1. Begin by selecting a leather dog harness that fits the blind dog. The harness is much preferred over a collar because it provides greater stability for the hoop, which will sit in a halo around the front of the dog’s head. When using only a collar, the halo tends to dip and twist, rather than remaining parallel to the floor as it should.
  2. Collect your other materials, which can be purchased at home improvement or hardware stores.
  3. Put the harness on the dog and measure from the rear strap (that goes around the dog’s torso) to the tip of the dog’s nose. Take this measurement, and add 4 inches for a small dog, 5 inches for a medium dog and 6 inches for a large dog. Then, multiply that number by 2. This will be the approximate length of the aluminium strip.
  4. Cut or grind the ends of the aluminium strip into rounded edges. Then, use a metal file to smooth out sharp edges. Finish by using sandpaper to smooth any sharp edges. If the aluminium is not sufficiently smooth, one alternative is to wrap the aluminium strip with duct tape.
  5. Bend the aluminium strip into the proper shape (see photograph). The shape for the aluminium strip can be described as a “c” shape with the ends bent into a 45-degree angle. To determine where to bend the ends, measure the distance between the two straps on the dog’s harness–the torso strap and the chest strap. If the distance between the two straps is 6 inches, then you’ll measure 6 inches in from each end of the aluminium strip and bend just past that mark. If using a collar in place of a harness, the straight sections will be much shorter–[about 1 inch in length (more or less depending on the thickness of the collar)].
  6. Rivet the aluminium strip onto the sides of the leather dog harness. The ends of the aluminium strip should be riveted to the rear strap on either side, with a second rivet placed at the points where the strip crosses the front strap, which goes around the dog’s chest. If using a dog collar instead of a harness, you will only place two rivets–one on the left and one on the right side of the collar.
  7. Place the new harness on the blind dog for use as a “walking stick.” Until the dog gets accustomed to the hoop collar or hoop harness, it’s best to supervise. It can take a few weeks for the dog to get completely comfortable using his new creation.

Tips and warnings

Using a harness instead of a collar provides stability to the hoop because it’s riveted at two points on each side of the dog; the harness also resists twisting, keeping the hoop parallel to the ground.

via How to Make a Collar for a Blind Dog | eHow UK.

3 thoughts on “* How to Make a Collar for a Blind Dog | eHow UK

  1. Michael J. Berbari

    Are the dogs able to sleep with this “bumper” on? Because the dog gets up during night and walks around. The dog lays around during the day a lot and would be hard to watch dog when she gets up to roam around. Seems like they would not be able to lay their head correctly to sleep

    Reply
    1. Heath9409 Post author

      I must admit I’m really not sure if lying down can be a problem with these rigid hoop collars/harnesses. Milo never needed a “bumper” – he was really good at getting around the house without it and he didn’t tend to move about at night so this never became an issue for him.

      You could try making the hoop from something a bit more flexible, such as a thick leather strap but, depending on the size of the hoop needed, this may not be rigid enough to keep its shape.

      There is another type of DIY collar which doesn’t have the rigid hoop on blinddogs.net. The cable ties act as extended whiskers warning the dog of an obstacle in her way but, being soft, they should allow her to lie comfortably in any position she wishes to. Seeing as your dog tends to wander round in the night, the cable tie harness may be the better option. Let me know how you get on….

      Reply
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