Treatment Name: Head Halters / Collars


Treatment Type: Training Products

Rated for: American Pit Bull Terrier

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Easy to use
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They work very well for controlling strong dogs but can cause a lot of stress for some very sight dependent breeds

Caitlin Crittenden



Posted Oct. 31, 2017

Head Halters are one of the easiest ways to control a very strong dogs. Because the only part of the dog that has to be controlled for the collar to be effective is the head, head halters work very well at stopping pulling while the collar is worn.
For some dogs this provides a quick solution. The collar alone however, will not teach a dog to heel though. I find that many dogs who wear these collars walk wonderfully while the collar is on but go right back to pulling as soon as the collar is removed.
When pursuing obedience training, the hope with leash training is to faze out the use of tools eventually as the dog becomes trained. Head halters seem to be harder to faze out than certain other harnesses and collars. For those only wishing to walk their dogs on leash with a tool always on not pursue further obedience, this may be fine, but for those looking to get to more advanced obedience and possibly even have a dog that can heel off leash one day, another training tool or method might work better.
The biggest drawbacks to head halters by far though, is the amount of stress that it causes many herding and sight hound breeds. These specific dogs are often very dependent on their sight to interact with the world around them. Border Collie's for instance were breed to herd sheep using their stare and movement to intimidate sheep into moving. Border Collie's tend to get very frustrated when their head is being turned against their will often. They even often respond more happily to something that would seem far more unpleasant, like a correctly used and fitted Pinch Collar. The idea way to train such a dog though would be to gain the dog's attention and help the dog learn where it should be walking, which is incompatible with pulling on the leash and requires less tools.
For none visual breeds I have seen the Head Halters work better than no pull harnesses as long as the collar remains on.
Head Halters are not at all useful for other obedience training commands besides heeling in my experience. At least not common needs.

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