The head halter is a great training tool! With this collar, you are able to control the dog’s head, which is an easy and effective way to control the rest of their body. For most people, this is the best collar for dogs that pull.
When used correctly, the head halter can eliminate a dog’s pulling behavior. If the dog tries to pull on the leash, the head halter causes their head to turn. They stop pulling because it feels so unnatural for the dog. This means it is a self-correcting collar, and in my experience makes the dog more reliable
When to use: Training collar for when you have a dog that pulls while walking.
This is a great collar because you are able to gain immediate control of the dog when it tries to pull. This is ideally a training tool and your long-term goal should be to wean your dog off the training collar and onto a flat collar.
- Gives you more steering power without using force
- Very effective collar for dogs that pull
- Doesn’t choke the dog
- Requires acclimation
- Accurate size is crucial
- Not an everyday collar, should be taken off when not walking or training
- Won’t fit most short-nosed dogs like pugs and Shih Tzus (instead, they can use no pull harnesses)
- Typically won’t prevent jumping or lunging
The biggest advantage this collar has over others is that you are able to use less physical strength but achieve more control.
Sometimes they are mistaken for muzzles, but their purpose is completely different.
A dog can still eat, drink, fetch and even bite while wearing a head halter. So this may not be the right choice for a dog with aggression issues.
Tips to get your dog used to a head halter
The most common issue with this collar is that it takes some dogs take a long time to get used to it. In order to get the best results, I recommend giving the dog an acclimation period using positive reinforcement before actually using it on walks or training sessions.
Start with short sessions, use treats to lure the dog’s face into the head halter. Do not put the collar on, just feed treats and praise. This allows the dog to start getting used to the collar.
Next start putting the collar on in short sessions, again with treats and praise. Started with only a few seconds and slowly increasing time. Eventually, allow the dog to wear the head halter for a few minutes, lots of positive reinforcement.
Then build up to attaching the leash, also with a lot of rewards.
After that, you can start with walks around the house and work towards increasing time and distance, and before you know it they will be ready to walk with it!
A big bonus, some head halters come with instructional DVDs which are very helpful.