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Opinions on Halti head harness(43 Posts)
I am very uncertain about head collars and want some more information to help me decide.
Any opinions and experience welcome
I first used a Halti for my rescue dog about 30 years ago after trying just about everything I and an assortment of trainers could come up with to stop my dog pulling. It transformed our lives as we went from being towed everywhere to walking calmly with a dog beside me or trotting ahead on a long lead. I know recently people have said they are cruel but each of the dogs I have used a Halti with has happily walked over where the Halti and lead were hung, pushed their noses into the headcollar and calmly waited for it to be fastened so that they could go walkies. It is important that it fits properly and does not ride up and interfere with their eyes.
Just as pp says.
Best £10 I spent.
I'd worry about the impact on neck and spine especially in smaller, lighter dogs. But you can have the same problem with a collar. A harness basic design is for pulling. Unless some special no pull design, in which case it will apply pressure and be uncomfortable / hurt the dog.
What is stopping you from training your dog? Walking on a lead is a long process. But perseverance will pay off and your dog will eventually get there. But for some dogs it will take months rather than days.
Thanks for your comments. My current problem is when our dog bolts.
I am working on 'one step reward, two steps reward, three steps reward, etc' method to get him to walk on a loose lead and that will help in some situations.
Unfortunately he hates other dogs barking and whilst we are working on helping him with this you can not predict when it will happen and he will suddenly start running. He is so strong that I struggle to control him in those situations.
Yesterday he also got a scent of something (I wonder if it was a bitch on heat) and I was worried he was going to make a sudden dash.
He has pulled me over twice and I am worried that either I will get badly hurt or he will escape and get hurt or lost,
We have completed two basic training courses and I am taking him to another but it is becoming scary taking him for a walk now,
In certain situations his recall and ability to follow commands is exemplary however when distracted it all goes out the window.
My thoughts are that a head collar will make life safer for now whilst we are still training him but I am very wary of them.
OP your dog sounds just like my first rescue dog that got us using Haltis A headcollar will give you the control you need, just as it does with other strong animals; cows, sheep, goats, ponies etc. who are all moved around with a headcollar at times. I strongly recommend that you try one. The dog may well paw at it and try to get it off the first time they wear it, but with a bit of distraction with treats they will soon get used to it.
What dog do you have? And what's his/her drive like?
I have a one year old Rottweiler who is golden on the lead wears a harness and halti, he doesn't need the halti tbh it's just there as a back up for it he decides to bolt, while walking on the path he walks next to us wearing halti and harness on a shorter lead, in large fields we switch to an 8m lead and take the halt off so he can run about, every time he pulls we make him sit and stop then when he's calm we walk again at our pace, then if he pulls we repeat, it helped him understand that we set the pace or he has to sit, he's very food driven so food rewards and treats help too!
The halti is secure and has that extra bit of control just in case you need to use it!
I bought a Halti after my (then 23kg) dog nearly pulled us both in front of a car. I wws shaking like a leaf, I was barely able to hold on to her, and we would both have been dead.
We used it for about 3 months, then switched back to a normal collar clip - but kept the Halti lead. It made an instantaneous difference.
She's now on a Perfect Fit harness, clipped to the Halti lead on her back and on her chest. I could walk her with 2 fingers if I was so minded...
I walk mine in headcollars (except the old man!)
Mainly because I am 45kg and they are 27kg, 30kg and 70kg! If everyone was to run I would have 0 chance but with a headcollar I can easily control all 3 at once.
When I only have the smaller two then I use a headcollar on the younger one who likes to lunge around.
My theory is if I can control a 600kg horse by its head then surely it must be a good enough form of control for a dog too.
I use a dogmatic headcollar and have found them the best.
We had one for one of our dogs years ago, it worked well - the dog used to pull so hard on the collar he'd be wheezing! While he wasn't in danger of pulling us over, it was alarming to listen to and the Halti stopped that. Our vet suggested it, when I asked what we could do about the pulling/wheezing.
We tried haltis but didn't get on with them, it might have worked but our dog broke 2 within 2 weeks from her pulling, we got a dogmatic in the end and it was fantastic
Like pp, I use a halti for my large gsd as back up.
He walks very nicely on the lead - until he doesn’t!! I would have no way of hanging on to him without the halti, if he decided to go after something. I wouldn’t be without one.
We used one when training our Great Dane X German shepherd. He weighed what I did (60kg) and would bolt at random things or suddenly start spinning around me if he got worried (he was a rescue). It took several months to work through his anxiety, but we were both safer in the meantime as he wasn't able to drag me into oncoming traffic etc.
I wouldn't hesitate in using one again.
Haltis are aversive - they’re designed to be, they tighten when they pull... it’s how they work.
I wouldn’t use one on a dog where the issue is his reactions to things because you’re adding in something unpleasant when he’s already unhappy...
There are headcollars that don’t tighten, they work exactly like horses headcollars, just giving you control of their head... they may or may not be aversive depending on how well you introduce them and your dog.
But haltis are supposed to be aversive.
Thank you very much everyone. My concern was that they are aversive but it is becoming more and more unsafe for me to walk him so looking out of desperation.
Are the dogmatic head collars aversive?
Dogmatic have a loop that tightens a bit, but not like a halti... kumfi dogalters don’t tighten at all in use, gentle leaders aren’t supposed to, but I found they do - just the design made them do it a bit, but with a different shaped head they might not do.
There’s probably others as well.
I have always used halti's on my gsd's. I found a halti called pawaboo the best, which I purchased from Amazon. It doesn't ride up their eyes. I have a lot more control of her. She's also a Barker with other dogs, so having a halti on means I'm not getting dragged and can control the situation better. My old gsd was 13 when we lost her and she always had a halti on. I hope this helps.
In an ideal world noone would use headcollars but there are situation(just as you have described OP when they are needed)
I recommend that they are used on a double ended lead and a harness.
One end of lead attached to harness and one to headcollar.
98% of the pressure will be on the harness but when/if your dog bolts or lunges you have the control of the head collar to gently turn the head.
Unfortunately the only way to see which is best for your dog is to try them. Halti's can rise into the dogs eyes, I prefer the dogmatic but hate it in hot weather as it does force the mouth to shut slightly but the fit will depend on each dog.
I have also used bridles that are designed for goats as they fit around the head and do not ride into eyes or tighten - this does depend on your dogs size though. These are not aversive and used with a harness give you a lot of control and ability to train your dog.
Do of course spend as long as is necessary to condition the dog to the harness.
Following all your suggestions I think we will try one and see how it goes. We are doing more training and I hope with further training, maturity and eventually being neutered he will settle down and not need a head harness. Thanks again
“I prefer the dogmatic but hate it in hot weather as it does force the mouth to shut slightly”
That’s why I ended up with the dogalter, no tightening parts...
We use a normal slip lead and wrap it in a figure of eight around the muzzle - it's the only thing that stops him pulling and he walks beautifully with it on.
I only use it in situations where I need to have him under close control like towns or busy pavement areas.
Figure of eights leads/headcollars are extremely aversive and not good for reactive dogs as they tighten around the neck. This makes it hard for the dog to breath and will increase anxiety and reactivity 10 fold in any animal.
Not great for a lunging dog.
The dogalter is good If it fits for many dogs it does tend to ride up onto the eyes .
There is definitely a gap in the market for a good dog head collar are any of you good designers?
Years ago my parents rescued a totally untrained middle aged Irish Wolfhound - he'd lived rurally and literally been let out into the fields to excercise. Strangely, his recall was good, just couldn't cope with collar and lead. They used a Halti and it was amazing - he never pulled, was never distressed and it meant he could be walked safely, comfortably and everyone was happy and relaxed.
Watching out of interest to see if anyone suggests anything I haven't tried. My pointer still manages to pull on everything - figure of 8, halti, dogmatic, you name it. And he's not fussed about treats while out and about, and stopping/changing direction doesn't work either.
Well, we are trying a dogalter after some suggestions. Only 4.99 from B&M so worth a shot! He is not keen - lots of pawing and rolling but not unhappy. We will see how it goes.......