The key to success when using the Field Guard is optimizing comfort for the dog. When the dog is comfortable wearing it, he will not resist having it put on and he will not try to take it off. There are three main factors to consider when making the Field Guard as comfortable as possible for your dog: size, position, and tightness of the elastic opening.
First and foremost, it is essential to select the appropriate size Field Guard for your dog. Please reference the Sizing page for instructions on how to take measurements, both for dogs with average head shapes and muzzle lengths and for dogs with short snouts/wide heads.
Properly fitted, there will be a 2-3’’ (or 1-2’’ for smaller sizes) space between the tip of the dog’s nose and the front end of the Field Guard. Too large of a size will leave the Field Guard hanging down so far that it might get in the way as the dog walks, making it likely that he will trip over it or that he will step on it and pull it off. Too small of a size will leave inadequate space around the dog’s head, making the Field Guard too close to the sides of his face and making it uncomfortable.
The position of the Field Guard on your dog is very important in creating a proper fit that ensures comfort.
A common mistake people make is pulling the Field Guard too far down the neck. The Field Guard is designed and shaped to enclose the head only. When it is pulled back toward the neck, it puts the shaping in the wrong places. In addition, pulling it too far down the neck will tilt it upwards and seat it directly against the dog’s muzzle, which irritates the dog and does not allow room to pant. The following illustration shows what an incorrect vs. correct position looks like:
With the Field Guard positioned correctly, it encloses only the dog’s head and will remain in its proper forward-facing position and move with the dog as he turns his head. Additionally, when the straps are adjusted correctly, there will be some slack to the straps to allow the dog to put his head down without pulling the Field Guard backward.
Tightness of the Elastic Opening
If the elastic around the opening of the Field Guard is too tight, the dog will be uncomfortable. Contrary to belief, the elastic is not designed to secure the Field Guard on the dog; instead, its function is to create the pouf shape. You should be able to easily get 3 fingers between the elastic opening of the Field Guard and the dog.
The Velcro straps are designed to secure the Field Guard to the dog’s collar. But for safety, they are designed to release if the Field Guard becomes caught on something so the dog will not become entangled. See the Safety Information page for more information on the Velcro straps.
Dogs with ears that stand up generally don’t have a problem with the Field Guard. It is designed to have a generous amount of space around the dogs head and the mesh is flexible but not stiff or soft. The Field Guard is light-weight and won’t be tight on their ears, but the ears will naturally fold down on their own. Their ears fold down the same as when they duck under a fence or go through a low dog door.
The following images shows a dog with pointed ears and how his ears naturally fold down.
This is a picture of one of our earlier Field Guards. Our current version of the Field Guard has a bit more lift around the ear area.