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Has Anybody tried using a Head Collar??

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by cosmicpixie, May 22, 2005.

  1. cosmicpixie

    cosmicpixie New Member

    Maya is a hardcore puller when it comes to walks. Not to mention that she jumps to lick everybody we see. So we got her a head collar to keep her from pulling. We got the Halti brand oppose to Gentle Leader. Gentle Leaders are way too expensive. Has anybody used this head collars with thier furkids?
    We took her out for a walk and she didn't pull. She was very happy when we took it off when we got inside. Just seeing if anybody had any experience or advice on the head collar training method. Thanks in advance!!!
  2. nern

    nern New Member

    I bought one for Natalie but had a hard time getting her used to wearing it and gave up on it because she seemed so miserable wearing it. I'm sure if I try hard enough I could get her used to it.
    I've seen alot of people in my area walking their dogs with them...usually larger dogs but the dogs seem to walk really well on them and don't seem to be bothered wearing them. I guess if they come to mean a "walk" is coming most dog will eventually be thrilled to put them on.
  3. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Ive been using them for over 20 years (in UK initially), I couldnt find them for a long time in California and actually had some imported. I think they are fantastic when you have a hard puller or for people with arthritis that have a hard time holding a leash with any tension even minimal. Ive found its about 50-50 on dogs that dont mind it to dogs that initially hate it, Ive seen some pretty amazing 'summersaults' from dogs trying to get out of it, including throwing themselves on the ground and refusing to move to acting like a 'bucking bronco', the 'walking sideways' technique is kind of cute, the 'I have this alien object on my head and now I cant lift my nose off the ground' technique....the screaming that sounds like your killing them :shock: ....and the list goes on but its all 'display' and if you persevere they will adjust, Ive personally never known a dog to be injured during a display, just dont let them wrap themselves around the leash or get their legs tangled up in the leash in the commotion, and it might be better to start either on carpet on or grass in case they go for the body slam technique.
    Dont forget this is new to them also and it can take a bit of getting used to, just like they had to get used to a regular collar and leash or a harness as a young puppy.

    An additional note, I dont use food for training....however I will use whatever bribery I need to get a halti on if a dog is objectionable to it, bribery and a lot of praise so the dog learns its a positive thing and not punishment or anything to fear.
    And as you said nern, they usually do associate it with going for a walk once they adjust and will get just as excited as they do they do when you pick up their leash.
  4. Mockingcat

    Mockingcat New Member

    I've had people warn me about Gentle Leaders/Haltis.... if you've got a very headstrong dog or one who's a bit dense, it can be possible for them to run with it on, and have their neck jerked around by Halti. I think as long as you're careful, you'll be ok. :)
  5. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I think they are better on bigger dogs. I would worry about a little dogs little noses and it slipping off. What type nose does your dog have?
    When I first took Luther to obdience I asked about them and my trainer said not to use them. I think with a smaller dog it might be better to use treats and want not to teach it heal. Which type leash do you use? My trainer said not to use the expandable ones, only use like a 6' or whatever appropriate size for you dog.
    Don't get me wrong, I think the head collars are great, but it is better for a bigger dog.
    Good Luck
  6. cosmicpixie

    cosmicpixie New Member

    Maya has a very long snout. She looks like a schipperke. (not very much like a pom-a-poo at least not the poo part) We've tried everything (including obedience training) and nothing was working. I walked her this morning with the head collar and she did awesome. It was like walking a brand new dog. No whimpering, no trying to rub it off, no trying to back out of it. I was so happy I almost cried. We even met people on a walk and at first she would pull but she quickly figured out that it was a better idea to sit and have them pet her. I was amazed! I had my doubts, I thought it would only work on a big dog. But my friend who was Maya's trainer suggested we give it a try. I'm pleased thus far with the results.
    Thanks everybody for you input!! Its truly apprecitated.
  7. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    :y_the_best: Great news, Im happy its worked well for you....without the 'dramatics'. :D
  8. coppersmom

    coppersmom New Member

    That's great news cosmicpixie! :y_the_best:

    Delauk--do you think it would work well with a dachshund with cervical disc disease? I got one for my Brie and she hated it. The reason I got it is because she is VERY sensitive of her neck area. She hasn't presented with disc pain in a while (knock on wood) but she flinches and trembles everytime I touch her neck. Especially if it's to put on a leash. So I thought this might work, but I gave up after she did all those antics--I was afraid she would really hurt her neck. BTW, the lady I rescued her from used to grab her by the scruff of her neck and shake her to reprimand her. That's probably why she's so sensitive about her neck. :(
  9. duckling

    duckling New Member

    I'm not Delauk, but I wanted to give you my 2 cents. :D Personally, I wouldn't use a head collar with a dog with a slipped cervical disc. My dog has slipped disc(s) also, and it seems too risky if he tries to pull. I imagine that the head collar would cause the head to twist back unnaturally if the rest of the dog's body was going forward. He gets very excited on walks, so I play it safe and use a harness. Roman style harness are often recommended for dogs with disc problems.

    I originally bought a Lupine brand harness that is gentle on his spine (transfers the pressure to his chest), but I've found that the center strap tends to shift from his chest to his armpit. So I just recently placed an order for a Hug-A-Dog harness. These are custom-made to fit your dog and fits like a little vest. It was originally designed for dachshunds (because their sensitive spines are prone to disc problems), so it sounds like it would be perfect for your Brie if she doesn't mind you putting it on her.
  10. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    The halti would be okay if Brie was alaready used to it, as long as she was walking on a loose leash so you werent easing her head up at all but with a disc problem and the fact that it would take some getting used to its just not worth the risk, Ive seen way too many Dachsy's with spinal problems and any sudden twisting around is not good for them. I do think a harness would be the best way to go, it'll put any stress from pulling more onto her shoulders and chest as opposed to her neck. Im not too familiar with different makes of harness' although the one the duckling mentioned, the personilzed one sounds interesting, havent seen them before.

    Whereabouts in her spine is the problem? Is it up in the neck area or lower down? Is the neck problem just a result of what the other person did?
  11. coppersmom

    coppersmom New Member

    She has only presented with disc problems a few times and were when they used to sleep with me and she had jumped off of the bed. The vet determined it was in her neck...not exactly sure how he decided that. Probably because she was not lifting her head up and had her back "curled" up kinda like a turtle. (He wasn't able to get x-rays...she's not a compliant patient) But I think the vet will also feel for a disc "out" too, right? Maybe that's how he could tell. She's a little skittish anyway and really doesn't like her neck touched. I think that may be because of the scruff grabbing the other lady did to her.

    I have two Hug-A-Dog harnesses. She flinches and cowers everytime I pull the velcro apart to even put it on her. If I get it on her and just leave it, she lays around all pitiful. Just flat on her stomach with her neck stretched out and her nose on her front feet. As soon as I take it off, she's fine and quite excited--after the velcro drama. Now I just have a lightweight nylon collar on her and she's Ok with that. If she's not too excited about the leash going on, I can get it on her with minimal flinching and cowering. Once it's hitched, she's fine.

    I guess I'll just leave that halti in the box :0011:
    Thanks for the replies!

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