No more Premier, so now what?!

In 2010 Premier Pet Products, maker of Ez-Walk Harness, Tug-a-Jug, Busy Buddies toys, and many others, was sold to Radio Systems Corporation for some huge sum of money.  Radio Systems Corporation is one of the leading manufacturers of shock collars and other “training” devices that are rooted in fear, pain, and compulsion.  This sent up red flags to many people in the R+ training world.  Premier Pet Products and their, now, parent company put a spin on the news and implied that Premier would remain an R+ brand and that the additional financial clout of RSC would allow for further development of R+ training devices.  This soothed the nerves of some of the concerned (or outraged) R+ trainers but there were still a number of trainers who were very anti Premier after this event.

I was somewhere in the middle.  I refuse to support them with my money so I simply did not buy items if it was a Premier product.  But, given the quality and the readily available nature of Premier products, I continued to suggest them to training students and clients.  Not everyone has access or feels comfortable going online to buy a front hook-harness alternative to the Ez-Walk and we have no local retailers for the other harnesses available, so suggesting an Ez-Walk was the best solution at the time.  Given the most recent changes, I can no longer, in good conscious suggest any Premier Pet Product…erm product.

It was recently announced that, contrary to the indication last year, Premier Pet Products will no longer exist.  That brand will be absorbed by the Pet Safe brand that sells a wide range of tools that rely on the use of pain to train dogs–shock collars, anti-bark collars, scat-mats to name a few.  So along side their clickers, Clik-Sticks, and treat pouches there will be shock collars, invisible fence collars, scat mats and other fun tools.  Every penny you pay for your new Clik-R Duo could potentially (probably) be used to further research/development of products that support painful “training” practices.  It is something I can no longer and will no longer support in any manner–not personally and not through suggesting products to my students.

So….now what.  There are lots of great products no longer available to me… what to do!?!  There are a few things to consider…. 1. I have heard rumors that some of the products may leave Premier/PetSafe  2. there are other comparable products out there, you have to hunt a little more and they are largely found online or at small pet stores but they exist!

So you want an Ez-Walk Harness…

How about you try the Sense-ation/Sensible Harness by Softouch Concepts.  This is the harness I use for Shayne and I really enjoy not only the harness but also the company they are extremely helpful.  One student had the representative on the phone for 30 minutes measuring, remeasuring and talking them through which size would be best for their growing pup.

You could also try the Freedom Harness by Wiggles, Wags & Whiskers.  I have not yet had the chance to try this harness but I would LOVE to.  I’ve heard amazing things about the fit and the versatility of this front hook harness.

So you want the Premier Treat Pouch…

Well there are many many treat pouch options.  Here are a few of my favorites…

Rapid Rewards Training Pouch

Biscuit Buddy Treat Pouch

My Treat Pouches LOL

So you want a Gentle Leader

I’m not a huge fan of head halters in general BUT here are a few that are somewhat similar but also some that are different (rear attaching).

**I have been made aware the the Halti (now sold as the Holt) are owned by a company that also sells shock collars… so they are off the list as well BUT I was reminded of a head halter called the Snoot Loop which I had forgotten about

The Snoot Loop

The Canny Collar

NewTrix Collar

Comfort Trainer Head Collar

So you want a Clik-Stick and/or button clickers

Unfortunately there isn’t another clicker/target stick all in one BUT there are target sticks and I’ve found using some velcro strips you can fashion a make-shift clicker/target stick all in one!

Clix Target Stick  (this one is a little too small to attach a clicker too but it makes it easy to hold both the clicker and the target stick)

Target Stick

Quiet Clicker (button style like the iclick)

So you want a treat dispensing toy like tug jug, kibble nibble, squirrel buddy, mushroom magic, or linkables…

There are lots of really good treat dispensing toys available here are just some of my favorites

Kong Wobbler

Kong Classics

Kong Genius Toys

Kong Dental line of toys

Buster Food Cube

Tricky Treat Ball

Dog Pyramid

The Tux

So you are interested in Bouncy Bone, Bristle Bone, Jack, Chuckle, Waggle, etc.

WestPaw Design toys (Huck, Hurley, Bumi, Twiz)

Nylabone toys (any number of them … the link is to the “powerful chewer” toys)

So you are interested in a Premier martingale collar…

Guardian Gear Martingale Collars

Lupine Martingale Collars

Top Paw Martingale

Since it’s Saturday, here’s a quick edit to plug the saturday blog hop…. I’ve been reading a bunch this morning and there are some good ones!

Advertisements

About Success Just Clicks

I'm a dog trainer and enthusiast who moonlights as a blogger and custom tug-toy maker.
This entry was posted in clicker training, Dog Handler Information, Dog Training methods and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to No more Premier, so now what?!

  1. Great post. I have cut back on the Premier products I have bought since the acquisition by RCS. Now… nothing. Which makes me sad because these have long been some of the most accessible quality products for dog friendly work. And my Kibble Nibble has taken quite the beating and the rubber parts are all gross now, but I won’t be replacing it. Oh well.

    By the way, as far as the martingale collars- I have worked with Lupine for years. Unfortunately, they DO manufacture collars meant to work with the boxes from shock collars for Invisible Fences (they have the holes for the prongs, you supply the rest), but the members of the company that I have worked with for all these years are compassionate, uber rescue friendly and it is my opinion that they are worth my support- it’s something that a lot of folks might not know and may affect their decision to buy that brand, though.

    • I think the difference to me is that the money made from all of their other products isnt’ being used to develop new products based in fear, discomfort, and they aren’t selling fear/discomfort–I don’t love that they sell them, but i also don’t think they make much of their profit from those items. I’m happy to support lupine, their products are great, high quality, and their chew warranty is the best! It’s the same thing that finding an online store that doesn’t sell any choke chains, prong collars, spray collars, e-collars is crazy difficult (especially if money is a factor in your buying decision, which it is for me) but the my money at that store isnt’ going to the development of new discomfort based products … it’s really a lesser of two evils type thing–i don’t LOVE IT…but it’s hard to avoid.

      I’m super sad i’ll never get a Clik-R Duo and a manners minder…. i’ve wanted both…. 😦

  2. Tiffany says:

    Awesome! Will spread the word!! Thanks

  3. Great list- I had no idea what was going on with Premier. Lupine is an awesome alternative, I love their collars… I will cut down on buying Premier items, but one thing that I will continue to buy is their Gentle Leader head halters. Haltis and Snoot Loops don’t work as well as the Premier head halters. I’m sad to hear that my favorite head halter brand has sold out. 😦

    • See, i never liked the gentle leader… i used the halti and the holt with better results for me when i used to use head collars (i had used the GL initially). It is sad that they sold out… they had some really nice products… 😦

  4. Diane Garrod says:

    Since the announcement I have been asking where the products are from. Went into a really great store and where they sell “no harm” products and there they were Premier products, toys, harnesses, etc. and so had to turn down some recommendations because of this fact. Still will buy from the store, just not Premier products.

  5. Maggi says:

    Hi T.
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    I wanted to add that the Blackdog Infin8 headcollars are quite nice..though are not found in stores. The originate in Australia, my friend Etsuko swears by them.
    http://www.blackdog.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9&Itemid=5

    Maggi.

  6. Kristine says:

    Thanks for compiling all of these great suggestions! Oddly enough, I didn’t use any of their products before I heard the news so it’s no real loss to me. Their toys were never durable enough for the maniac and I’ve never taken advantage of the harness system because back when I needed it, I was too clueless about dog training. We’ve only ever used a simple buckle collar.

    Since we use our treat pouches as tug toys, I am always on the hunt for a more durable option. We’ve been through two Biscuit Buddies and they just don’t hold up. Yours look too pretty and I’d hate to destroy it in one yank. But I haven’t tried the one from Clean Run. So thanks for the link!

  7. Tucker's Mom says:

    Wow, I had no idea about this. Thanks for spreading the word and suggesting alternatives. Makes me even sadder now that I lost my Clik Stik.

  8. rumpydog says:

    I had never heard this before. Shows ya how out of the loop I’ve been. Glad I found you.

  9. sophia yin says:

    I’d add as the best alternative to the gentle leader, the snootloop (www.snootloop.com).

    I just tried a freedom harness and it’s nice. It doesn’t interfere with the dogs natural gait the way the other two front-loading harnesses do.

    sophia yin

    • Thanks Sophia, I totally forgot about the Snoot Loop! There are just so many head halters out there!

    • Jenn says:

      We noticed that as well and that’s why we use the Freedom Harness for the dogs in our rescue. We’ve had some low riders (pit rescue lol) that literally would get turned around on the Easy Walk. And some of our guys were starting to compensate for the front loading nature of the harness.

  10. how about cats says:

    Did you find any alternatives for the cat products, such as the Come with me Kitty harness and the food dispensers? That has been my worst problem… any suggestions would be really appreciate it!

    • Let me look into it… i didn’t even think to look at kitty products because none o fmy kitties use premier toys in the first place…. but we do have some treat dispensing kitty toys so let me get back to you on that…. keep an eye out for another blog post because i SHOULDN’T forget about the felines!

  11. Carol says:

    Coastal Pet Products used to own the Halti. Looks like they only have the Holt head collar now. They also sell Prong and Choke collars.

  12. I tried the Walk Your Dog With Love Harness (http://www.walkyourdogwithlove.com/) and liked it. I’ve been using Snoot Loop for a long time, so I have no problem completely switching over to that for those dogs that need head collars. There’s a nice food puzzle toy made in the USA called Treatstik. (I think West Paw toys are made here, too.)

    • Yep West Paw toys are USA made. I haven’t heard the best things about the WYDWL Harness… I heard some complaints about it “stretching out” easily and needing re-adjusting frequently and that when actually used on a heavy puller it has a lot of “give” so it twists on the dog’s body and doesn’t have as much of an effect… thoughts? I’ve never used it so I don’t know but those ‘reviews’ have kept me from spending the money to try it out.

      I almost put the treatstik on here but i’ve never used it and I wasn’t sure about the durability factor. Do you find it to be quite durable?

  13. TimidDog says:

    We’ve been using a Premier Sure-Fit regular harness but clipping it in the front for a couple of years. My girl’s a recovering reactive so I needed the leverage advantage of a front clip if she decided to lunge but the EasyWalk always slid around on her deep chest. (And now that she’s getting better I need the leverage because she’s excited about other dogs instead of trying to “get” them, what a great problem to have!) It hasn’t been ideal, I’m sure the leash clip pushes into her chest since it’s clipped in there sideways but it worked. It’s getting raggedy but I put off replacing it because I didn’t want another Premier product.

    A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Freedom harness from Ahisma and I LOVE it. It’s like having the best of a front clip and the best of a regular harness combined. I would definitely recommend it, and especially to anyone that had trouble keeping the EasyWalk in place like we did.

    • Excellent option! I do hope to try the freedom soon! I LOVE the Sense-ation but I’d love to have another option!

      • Jenn says:

        We promote the use of the Freedom Harness and use it for all the dogs in our rescue. We absolutely love it and have never had the issue we did with the easy walk, dogs slipping out. The double leash gives you better control over heavy pullers and the difference is instant. Of course proper training is the only sure fire way to curb pulling but the Freedom Harness helps make it bearable while you learn together 🙂

  14. Pingback: Premier Clik

  15. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the heads up! My puppy LOVES Kong products and now I will just buy him more of them and the pet-FRIENDLY alternatives.

  16. Pingback: Best Dog Toys – Interactive Food Toys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s