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fluffy1893
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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08-03-2018, 01:32 AM

Gentle Leaders Head Harness

What are everyone's opinions on Gentle Leaders Head Harnesses, or Haltis? Our boy is a puller on leash, pulls to the point of choking himself. We were going to get him a regular harness to eliminate the choking while we train him on proper leash walking. The vet said a regular harness would not stop his pulling effectively, and strongly suggested we get him a head harness. Our obedience trainer hates head harnesses and wont let them in puppy obedience class. All I know is that our boy really hated having the head harness put on him...
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Trouble
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08-03-2018, 10:18 AM
Most dogs do hate them initially but can be trained to accept them, they seem to irritate the face. It is easier to walk a dog on a head halter than a harness if there has been no training because a dog can still pull in a harness, in fact it can pull stronger than on a collar. It's all down to the training tbh. No clue why your obedience trainer hates them so much tbh at least they keep the dog with you so that they can follow commands.
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CaroleC
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08-03-2018, 11:03 AM
How old is your puppy? I can see that your trainer might not want you to use one on a baby, as it could be possible to wrench a puppy's neck if they are not used with care. However, I think headcollars can be very useful on energetic dogs, and I still occasionally use them on my own two if I feel they are getting 'a bit above themselves'.
In my experience they are best used with a double-ended 6 foot, police-type lead, and in conjunction with their usual collar or harness. Clip one end of the lead to the headcollar, and the other to the collar (or harness). Manage the lead as if it was a horse rein, where the collar section will check forward pulling, and the headcollar section will allow you to gently guide the direction of pull back towards yourself.
Never engage in a pulling match with a dog wearing a headcollar, or do any lead jerking. Smooth and balanced is the ideal.
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Chris
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08-03-2018, 12:21 PM
Minimum 6 months of age before a head collar is used.

A lot of the irritation when they first have them on is the same as we are when we get our first pair of glasses.

You need to be shown how to use them properly

They are no substitute for proper training, but are a useful aid if the pulling is causing problems in respect of aching shoulders or being pulled over.

My view is that I'd rather have the head collar than the dog choking on a normal collar. I prefer a harness and proper training, but, as said, the head collar can be useful in some cases.

When I say harness, I mean a proper harness not the no pull variety which tend to cause soreness under the 'armpits'
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fluffy1893
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08-03-2018, 07:38 PM
He is 4.5 months old now. I really don't know why the obedience trainer doesn't like them. The vet recommended we buy it because I have gotten injured twice while walking him. He does great when it is just us, but when we come across another person or dog he gets really excited and jumps and pulls. Yes, he chokes himself with the pulling and the flat collar. But he also pulls me into traffic, pulls me down icy hills, etc. He just seems to hate it so much. The vet fit it on him and said he would "jack rabbit" for a bit (jumping, rubbing at his face) until he got used to it.
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Trouble
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08-03-2018, 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by fluffy1893 View Post
He is 4.5 months old now. I really don't know why the obedience trainer doesn't like them. The vet recommended we buy it because I have gotten injured twice while walking him. He does great when it is just us, but when we come across another person or dog he gets really excited and jumps and pulls. Yes, he chokes himself with the pulling and the flat collar. But he also pulls me into traffic, pulls me down icy hills, etc. He just seems to hate it so much. The vet fit it on him and said he would "jack rabbit" for a bit (jumping, rubbing at his face) until he got used to it.
Yep that's exactly what they do,I used one on my Male Dobermann as a pup so I could keep him close enough to hear what I was asking him to do. It was actually recommended by the trainer. I only used it for a couple of weeks, after that he was great.
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tumbleweed
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08-03-2018, 08:43 PM
We had to use one on one of our dogs. Little tip , the strap that goes over the top of the nose can rub, so what we did was wrap a bit of sheep skin fur around the strap and stitched it on, that seemed to work
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fluffy1893
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08-03-2018, 10:02 PM
Ok so its not cruel to use it then? That is good to know
And I like the idea of using sheep skin fur on the nose piece.
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Lynnbroidery
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12-03-2018, 09:31 PM
Hi, I make a sell a lot of figure of 8 no pull lead/head/nose collar combinations, I personally don't use them but being a dog trainer, and married to a gundog trainer etc we would always advise spending time on training, but I sell a lot of them to people who for many reasons can not train the dog, maybe through injuries or just unable etc. They give great feed back in that it stopped the pulling instantly and is certainly more effective than a harness etc. I am not trying to sell you one but if you want to look at them on my model dog my page on fb is my username on here.
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