By Mark Bensen
The head collar has become an increasingly popular dog
tool in the past couple of years. Two of the most well known
brands of head collar on the market are the Gentle Leader and
the Halti, but there are many other brands that incorporate
basic head collar concept.
Many people find the Gentle Leader easier to fit that the
Halti, and in addition the Gentle Leader is designed to fasten
around the dog’s neck. The advantage of this design is that
even if the dog is somehow able to wriggle out of the muzzle,
it is still wearing a collar. This safety feature is very
important, especially during training outside or in novel
situations. On the other hand, the Halti offers better control
of the dog, and for this reason it is often favored when
working with very aggressive dogs.
Training a dog with a head collar has a number of advantages
over training with a traditional or training collar. For one
thing, head collars are often easier to use for beginning dog
trainers than are training collars. Head collars are also
effective at preventing dogs from pulling, or controlling and
retraining dogs that tend to pull.
Head collars can also be quite effective at controlling dogs
difficult situations, such as controlling a dog that wants to
with other dogs. Most owners know of some situations in which
their dogs are difficult to control, and head collars can be
quite effective at controlling these volatile situations.
Head collars can be excellent for controlling dogs that are
very strong, or for working with a dog in an area that
a great many distractions. For instance, head collars are
for when your dog is on an outing, or in an area where there
will be other dogs and other distractions.
Even though a head collar can be a great tool, it should not
used as a replacement for effective dog training. A head
is most effective when it is used in combination with strong
and sensible dog training methods, such as reward training and
other forms of positive reinforcement.
Disadvantages of head collars
Even though head collars have many advantages, they have some
distinct disadvantages as well. For one thing, head collars
tend to make many dogs dependent on the equipment, and they
quickly learn the difference between their regular collar and
the head collar, and adjust their behavior accordingly.
In addition, some dogs, particularly those not accustomed to
wearing a head collar, dislike wearing it and paw at it, try
rub it off or pull excessively. If your dog exhibits this
behavior, the best strategy is to keep it moving until it
learns to accept the collar. A good alternative is to have the
dog sit by pulling up on the dog’s head.
Another disadvantage of the head collar is the reaction that
many people have to it. Many people think that a head collar
a muzzle, and react to the dog as if it may bite. While this
not necessarily a defect of the head collar, many people do
find it troublesome.
In conclusion, training with a head collar is much like
training with a training collar or any other equipment. While
the head collar can be an important and useful tool, it is
important to use it appropriately, follow all package
instructions, and to combine its use with solid training
methods. The eventual goal of dog training with a head collar
should be to have the dog behave as well with a regular collar
as it does with the specialized head collar.
About The Author: Mark Bensen shares more of his dog knowledge
at his informative site, www.wecould2.com/doggonit/