Consumer Reviews: Don Sullivan’s Perfect Dog & Command Collar

One of the most popular training systems around is called The Perfect Dog by Don Sullivan.

Integral to the system is the Command Collar – similar to a pinch collar though made of plastic rather than metal.

How It Works

The system comes with a set of DVDs, the command collar, and a set of training lines.

The collar is meant to simulate the act of a mother dog nipping at her pup’s neck to correct bad behaviors.

Sullivan’s approach to dog training could be considered a little “old fashioned” considering its dominance/submissive based – but it works.

Within just a few training sessions dogs start to get the idea and behavior starts to change. It may not be overnight perfection, but there will clearly be an improvement after only a short time with this system.

Sullivan recommends the collar only be used for 4-8 weeks.

Why it Works

The Perfect Dog method runs contrary to many modern training methods.

Rather than rewarding your dog with a treat, Sullivan suggests that the dog sees this as a submissive act. Therefore not reinforcing you as alpha.

With the command collar, you give a quick  correction with the pull of the lead – the collar will “nip” their neck and in most cases, the bad behavior will cease.

This action is not intended to create “fear” in your dog as some may think.

Rather it is meant to be a corrective action.

Public Opinion and Reviews

Browsing through Amazon reviews shows two common responses:

  1. The system works well.
  2. The quality of the collar is not as good as it could be.
  3. Some disagree with the philosophy.

People reported  success with breeds such as golden retrievers, German shepherds, Irish wolfhounds, Labradors and even pitbull terriers – as well as ages that ranged from only weeks old to seniors.

The benefits of this method are that the corrections are not too painful or harmful. It is simply a small pinch of the skin around the neck. Also, many pet parents were happy to see results so soon after training started.

The only downsides are that the Command Collars are made with plastic links which some have reported breaking – though this does seem to be a rare occurrence.

How The Command Collar Works

The Command Collar is made from plastic and has a safety latch like a regular collar.

  1. The small plastic plates squeeze together gently when you tug the collar.
  2. This replicates the feeling of their mother gently biting at their scruff to show she disapproved.
  3. Your dog will be brought back to that mindset and will be respectful almost immediately. This demonstrates you’re the alpha in the household and what you say goes.

An Alternative to the Treating Method

In the training videos, Don Sullivan explains why the treating method is not a good way to train your dog. Dogs are pack animals and the subordinates give up food to the alphas.

So in essence, by asking your dog to sit and then providing a treat when he does, you are begging your dog to sit for you.

They then get the mindset that they are the ones in charge, not you.  This can lead to many behavioral issues including barking, food stealing, leash pulling and more.

Your dog’s reward for a job well done should be love and affection from you! He will respect that much more than he will a treat.

The training videos that come with the collar and leads are full of training advice to help fix many (if not all) common behavioral problems. The DVDs are there to help you make the most of your training time with the collar and get the best results, the fastest possible.

Positive and Negative Reviews

The Don Sullivan command collar has a surprisingly large number of positive reviews by pet parents in all sorts of situations.

Many users rave how their previously mischievous pups were acting like a perfectly well-behaved dog with only a couple of training sessions.

There are also complaints about it not working well with dogs who have thicker or longer fur – it doesn’t seem that the collar was able to give the small “pinch” it needed to get the dogs attention.

Some owners do not agree with the “no treats” system – however, it is an essential part of making this type of training work.

Most people seemed to use this collar to help with pulling when on a leash.

Almost all of them said that it was an instant change – like walking a whole different dog – when the put the command collar on them.

Remember the Collar is NOT Magical

a dog running on grassAs much as the reviews may make this collar appear to be a magical training tool, it is only half of the battle.

The real difference in your dog’s behavior will come with the consistent use of the collar the right way.

The DVDs that come with the collar will teach you all the essentials you need to know – so make sure you follow the directions!

Your dog will be looking at you as the alpha of the group from now on – so don’t go giving in and giving up if your dog isn’t perfect right away.

It takes commitment on your end too – the collar is not a magical device that makes your dog obedient, it only aids in the process.

The goal is to get your dog to behave properly and be responsive to you all of the time.

This will happen over time and there really is no better bonding for you and your dog than good, respectful training.

The Perfect Dog training package is available from Amazon