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Does anyone use a head halter for walking their dog/puppy?

(26 Posts)
ihatethecold Sat 11-May-13 07:58:33

I have a 13 week old vizsla puppy.

He is an absolute delight, really great puppy but, walking on a lead is quite difficult..

He is brilliant off lead, great recall etc.

My trainer showed me how to train him to walk with a loose lead, treats in my left hand. Lots of praise.

Where I live there is a lot of sheep on our walk to the park so he is very distracted and pulls constantly.

I also have a bad back and it's being aggravated walking the dog.

I have read that using a head halter will stop the pulling..

I need to do something before he gets too big.

BeerTricksPotter Sat 11-May-13 08:10:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DeepRedBetty Sat 11-May-13 08:13:27

Head collars are brilliant, and in your situation I would use one - just be aware that if you don't use it he will pull again, so it isn't a longterm replacement for training to walk on a loose lead.

I prefer the Gentle Leader (made by Canac) to the Halti.

SweepTheHalls Sat 11-May-13 08:28:30

I use one all the time with my labradoodle. He is fab, but strong and I need to walk him, a pre schooler and push a buggy and it makes it all manageable! He can walk nicely, when he has my full attention and treats but I just can't do that most of the time!

toboldlygo Sat 11-May-13 08:36:32

Personally I loathe headcollars, so many are poorly used and poorly fitted. People tend to put them on, it takes the power out of the pull and they regard it as job done when the dog is still straining sideways with a strap up in their eye.

I would never use one on such a young puppy, too much potential for damage, the ones that fasten under the head especially I've seen create whiplash-like effects. If you persevere with what your trainer has shown you you will end up with a dog that walks on a loose lead without any aversive gadgets - at 13 weeks you've only had him a month, keep going with the training, he will improve every time you put the effort in. smile

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sat 11-May-13 08:43:12

I use a canny collar on my dog in conjunction with training. He walks on a loose lead 85% of the time now, but panics when he spots other dogs. He has pulled me over several times in the past, so the collar gives me more control. It is important to make sure it's fitted properly, though. I've seen dogs with fur missing due to badly fitting head collars.

DeepRedBetty Sat 11-May-13 09:02:19

Agree it's no use unless fitted properly, and as I said before it's not a long term substitute for loose lead training. But I also hear you when you talk about your back and feel your pain! Being pulled over by a young ridgeback when she got wildly over-excited about a horse was my epiphany.

Floralnomad Sat 11-May-13 09:15:10

Generally I walk my dog on a Doxlock harness and he walks quite nicely but in the winter when he has to have a coat on I use a canny collar . Due to throat problems he can't be walked on a flat collar ( in case he pulls) . I tried several different headcollars and the canny is definitely the best IMO.

Lilcamper Sat 11-May-13 09:25:33

I used to use a head collar until I read up on the damage that they can cause. My lab is now on a perfect fit harness from It has an extra D ring on the front and I use a double ended lead and the LLW training is ongoing.

ihatethecold Sat 11-May-13 11:25:59

I've just had a chat on the phone with the dog trainer and she has given me some techniques to try before using a halti, she thinks he is a bit young for one.

I will persevere for a couple more weeks.

Thanks for all your advice.

moosemama Sat 11-May-13 15:14:58

If you are continuing with the loose lead training, but you want something to take the shock out of the occasional pull while he's learning, due to your bad back, you could try a harness and anti-shock lead.

We bought the Ezydog harness with this lead when our boy was a bouncy youngster and he still wears it now, as it's what he's used to, although he walks on a loose lead these days.

They also do the zero-shock lead, which I haven't tried myself.

ihatethecold Sat 11-May-13 15:58:48

Thanks moosemama

I have just ordered a anti shock lead and matching collargrin

landrover Sat 11-May-13 16:46:04

Canny collar every time, ive used a few types and that is definately the best. Lilcamper, what damage can they cause? I know the halt doesnt fit well but the canny collar can't poss do any damage. It pulls down as opposed to sideways and is amazing. I could walk my newfoundland with my little finger, truly impressive!

moosemama Sat 11-May-13 16:49:30

Glad I could help. smile

I'm after a new harness and lead in a different colour for lurcherboy - but dh won't let me have one, because the old one is still in perfect condition years after we bought it - although obviously he's needed it to be let out rather a lot since then. hmm grin

landrover Sat 11-May-13 17:54:35

Moose, is that DH or your dog thats had to have it let out!!!! smile

moosemama Sat 11-May-13 18:05:06

Ha ha! Well I meant the dog, but now you come to mention it ..... grin

Floralnomad Sat 11-May-13 18:57:15

landrover I think that the problem with headcollars is potential neck damage if the dog goes berserk , I use a canny and I think that the potential for problems with it is less due to the collar part and the fact that you still lead from behind IYSWIM .

Lilcamper Sat 11-May-13 20:01:35

LandRover, they can still pull using their neck muscles and cause whiplash type injuries. A dog's neck is very similar to ours in physical make up, they have all sorts of sensitive things in it including ocular nerves. I would rather use a harness.

Lilcamper Sat 11-May-13 20:03:09

BTW I think Newfies are awesome, just don't think I could cope with the drool!

landrover Mon 13-May-13 23:16:25

Lila, yes the drool can be a bit of a bind. Especially when you are all dressed up to go out!!!Euchhh I will be sat relaxing and suddenly notice a whole load of slimy drool sliding down the kitchen cabinet,

ginauk84 Tue 14-May-13 13:04:19

If you do get one avoid the headcollars that look like a figure of 8 as they can do some damage to the dog's throat and voice box when they pull on it. My dog constantly coughs since wearing one and a friend's dog really did some damage to it's voice box.

Have a look at gentle leaders.

mrslaughan Tue 14-May-13 13:27:18

I use a dogmatic - but only in very exciting situations - and never on a long lead.

I am going to check out canny collars though!

ihatethecold Tue 14-May-13 15:04:34

Got my anti shock lead today.

It's really good. Much more comfortable to hold.

Thanks for the recommendation grin

MelanieCheeks Tue 14-May-13 15:26:35

I use a K9 on my Weim (it's a bit like a bridle - is that the figure of 8 ones you mean, gina?). I use a gentle leader on my cocker ONLY when I'm walking both dogs together, but if I have her on her own she's without a head-collar as I'm still training her to walk to heel.

ginauk84 Fri 17-May-13 12:35:24


Don't think the K9 is the same, this is the figure of 8:

You can see that where it crosses under the chin it sort of pulls back right onto their oesophagus and can cause damage if the dog pulls on the headcollar.

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