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Anyone used a gentle leader or halti? Advice needed - thanks a lot!

(27 Posts)
Kingsroadie Wed 06-Jul-11 17:03:49

Hi - just as it says in the title really. My pup pulls on the lead as he is desperate to say hello to everyone and all dogs, and also desperate to get places and sniff at things. So he pulls a fair amount and am conscious that it is pulling on his throat. My trainer said that they are very good.

1. Anyone have experience of using one of these and do they work?
2. Is either better than the other?
3. Presumably you will want your dog to be able to walk with just a lead and collar eventually (and we want to take him shooting) so do you still have to train them without the gentle leader too? (Ie so is it not better just to stick with the collar as then they will hopefully be trained not to pull sooner?)

Thank you!

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 17:08:50

walkezee are brilliant - really great, it is impossible for them to pull so they walk!
i think you use the aid to help with general training and you keep doing the training on the lead when you have ime. my dog still pulls on lead, doesn pull on walk ezee and if when not on lead i le him walk, walks beautifully to heel.

kid Wed 06-Jul-11 17:33:22

I use a gentle leader for my springer as he pulls really hard on the lead. It has made an amazing difference and walking him is much more pleasant now. He is still trying to use his paw to get it off as we walk but hasn't succeeded yet!

Kingsroadie Wed 06-Jul-11 17:34:15

Thank you overthemill. That looks like a good one too - I know I am being pathetic but I can imagine some dogs not really liking the head collars? There is also the dogmatic which is another head collar. Part of me thinks I should just persevere with training him to walk nicely with a collar but he often coughs etc because of pulling and I can't concentrate on it 100% of the time when walking to the park etc as I have my daughter (19 months) who shoots off so I can't keep stopping - which obv doesn't help at all. So part of me wonders whether getting something like a halti/walkezee would help when I can't train him properly on the lead and then I can do training with collar etc at the weekend so at least he isn't learning bad habits in the week?!

Kingsroadie Wed 06-Jul-11 17:34:45

kid - cross post - thank you!

Empusa Wed 06-Jul-11 17:36:04

Found the halti really good, especially with the double ended lead. Until the dog ate the halti harness anyway hmm

Jaynerae Wed 06-Jul-11 20:11:46

I use a Gentle Leader on my Beagle if I am walking her around the roads or if DS is taking her for a walk. She pulls like a train with a collar, so we swapped to a harness which is better than a collar but still pulls too much for long road walk.

Gentle leader calms her right down and she walks beautifully on it.

I only use it on road walk or in towns, as she is off lead in park, she can walk to heel on harness but gets over excited on road walk and forgets herself.

I wouldn't say she loves wearing it, but she lets me put it on her no problem.

Kingsroadie Wed 06-Jul-11 20:18:45

Thanks everyone. My puppy is only 13 weeks and lead walking not great tbh as he is just so excited by other people/dogs. (And as I mentioned before I can't stop and start all the time because of my daughter - am going to need to do some serious lead work at the weekend aren't I?!) He is rarely off lead in the park as his recall is pretty rubbish when there are other dogs and people although of course spot on at home (even when I am distracting him with a forbidden toy/my daughter he has been coming back - have started using a whistle). Anyway I digress! So is on a lead most of the time in the park/on a walk and pulls quite a lot as everything is so exciting..

kid Wed 06-Jul-11 20:28:25

I strongly recommend you get a longline training lead. They are such a great help with recall training.
Its also really important to teach your pup that you are far more fun than any dogs in the park. I wish I had taught my dog that, it might mean he prefers to stay with me now when he is off lead rather than run off to meet everyone else!

Jennytailia Wed 06-Jul-11 20:37:01

I have had a halti for my 4 month old pup. I have had it a week and really like it. I too have children and was finding the stop/start method too hard with all of the children, it was sucking the fun out of walks.

So I think I will work on lead training on short walks that I can do on my own.

She still try's to paw it off at first, but we have had it a week and it is getting better.

PersonalClown Wed 06-Jul-11 20:40:48

I have haltis on my Doodle and Staffy. I swear they are the only reason I still have my arms in my sockets!

2 minutes of fussing when it goes on then calm as the walkies start!

missymoola Wed 06-Jul-11 21:29:57

I have recently gotten a Halti for our parson russell terrier (4 years old, terrible puller when I walk him). He is AMAZING on the lead now. It took him a while to get used to it and we had to try a few on in the shop and get the fit just right because he managed to get out of 3 different brands/adjustments of it. I now walk him with one finger on the lead after years of him walking me.

Kingsroadie Wed 06-Jul-11 21:34:35

Kid - yes I have one actually - have yet to use it as am slightly wary of a v busy (people and dogs) London park, a buggy and my daughter and it all becoming a tangled screaming heap! I have ordered "Culture Clash" which I am told has good info re recall. It's hard to make myself super exciting when also watching/tearing after my toddler.

Hmm a halti sounds like it might be the answer. Halti rather than GL? what about the dogmatic?

kid Wed 06-Jul-11 21:38:51

for me, the GL won as the dogmatic was too expensive for something I wasn't sure was going to work for us. For you, your dog is still growing, not sure how the sizes would work.

I was advised against the halti by my dog trainer. Not entirely sure why but I think it was to do with the design of it and the fact it can dig in their eyes.

I got my GL from amazon and only paid £7 for it which included P&P.

I'm in London too Kingsroadie. I know its a big place but I wonder if we are anywhere near eachother?!

Kingsroadie Wed 06-Jul-11 21:49:35

Okay cool - thanks for the tips! Yes puppy definitely still got a lot to grow so as you say probably not worth the money now...

Am SW... you? (we'll have to keep narrowing it down..) Also - how does your longline work in a park (which isn't Richmond Park for eg) - do you end up a tangled mess ever?!

Beamur Wed 06-Jul-11 21:58:18

I tried my dog with a halti as she pulls like nothing on earth. They showed me how to put it on at the rescue place and she reacted like a banshee and went absolutely mad - writhing/twisting, very unhappy.
She got much better about having it put on and was quite calm and well behaved but I have to say it made almost no difference in her pulling, she would come home from a walk with deep welts in her nose, it didn't seem to matter how much it hurt, she pulled anyway.
I think you're much likely to get a better result in starting with a pup though.
She actually walks well off a lead (unless distracted) but I am making an effort to do some more gentle training with her - stopping every time she pulls and only walking off again when the lead is slack.
I think it is rare for a halti or similar not to have some beneficial effect.

chocolateyclur Wed 06-Jul-11 22:05:20

The halti stopped my staffy from pulling. Took me a while to get a correct fit as she's broad of head and short of snout. The only problem that I had was that, being a staff and a general dimwit, she decided she had to have some form of outlet for her pulling energy - so all of our walks used to be done to the sweet music of the "staffy screech". If you've never heard the noise, it's sort of like a high pitched talking frog. With a microphone. I used to get lots of comments about how I was clearly cruel. Sigh.

kid Thu 07-Jul-11 00:11:26

kingsroadie I'm in east London.
When I use the longline, I hold it but let it get longer and longer. I usually recall dog and offer treats. Latest treat I am using is fish4dogs star shaped treats. Hot dogs or cheese usually go down really well though!
After a while, I'll the whole lead go and just walk along. I find it's better to attach it to a harness rather than a collar just incase you need to stop a high speed run towards someone or something.
My longline it red so is very easy to spit trailing along the floor. It is also 50 ft long which is probably a bit too long but it works well for us. I am always telling people to mind the lead. So far (touch wood) no-one has gotten tangled up!

Kingsroadie Thu 07-Jul-11 09:05:27

Thanks kid - shame we're not nearer each other!

Okay that sounds doable with a toddler too. I have some of those fish 4 dogs treats actually I think. Have about a million different ones and have done some cheese and chicken for "super high value recall in the park treats"!

hmm - our longline is green - what was I thinking?! Interesting re harness - good idea though - not sure whether to get a GL and a harness then - like walk ezee? Would longline work on GL? Have actually got a harness for the car but it has the trailing seatbelt clip thing!

NunTheWiser Thu 07-Jul-11 11:24:39

Best thing we ever did for our lab was get a GL. She was almost frantic on walks and would pull so hard she almost collapsed her trachea. She wasn't happy about it at first but persist. Walks are so much happier for me and UnWiseDog!

simbo Thu 07-Jul-11 11:41:45

I wish I could report as much success as some of you. I have tried both Halti and GL. With the former our lab spent so much energy rolling on the ground trying to paw it off that he hurt his shoulder, and with the GL he rolls over and over trying to remove it, so ends up trussed like a turkey on the grass verge.

He lets me put it on but, as it doesn't actually stop him from pulling, it rides up to his eyes and makes him uncomfortable, though it has been properly fitted. It does take the power out of the pull, however. You have to keep on with the training as these head collars don't seem to correct the behaviour, just make them unable to follow their instinct.

I only mention this so that peole don't feel bad if they don't have the expected measure of success.

Asinine Thu 07-Jul-11 11:43:35

I have a harness which goes round the front legs and body, not the head. I use it with standard collar and double ended lead. It is great for my 4 month lab, if he pulls to see another dog he does not throttle himself and cough. You still can use the normal collar to control when he is calm. So the best of both worlds, I think. It was recommended by puppy class (ADPT). I use stop/ start with the harness, he can get to the park with only 2 or 3 stops, but once in the park he wants to get off lead and have a good sniff and play.

The other thing which I learnt last night at class was when you see an interesting dog/ person approaching, get your dog's attention by showing food, as you pass them click then treat once past. The dog then gets caught up in thinking about you and food rather than the approaching dog or dog lover.

I would think that if you get ddog in the habit of walking without pulling when young, you can drop the harness later, that is certainly my plan.

Kingsroadie Thu 07-Jul-11 12:01:50

Thanks everyone - I might get a GL as, as I have mentioned - i can't really train him when going to the park with my daughter so he is just getting into bad habits. This should hopefully stop the pulling then and I can work on training with him at the weekend etc. Fingers crossed anyway!

Asinine - yes our trainer recommends the same - when you see someone get dog's attention on you with amazing food etc. (again slight problem is that i can't always do this as I have my daughter shooting off in different directions - but I am trying!)

AllTheYoungDoods Thu 07-Jul-11 13:22:32

Those of you using Gentle leaders and long-lines, what do you do? - Walk on GL and short lead to park, then take off GL and clip long line onto collar, or use long line on GL? Not sure of best routine..

Kingsroadie Thu 07-Jul-11 13:28:50

Good question!

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