Head collars

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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ZiggysMom
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Postby ZiggysMom » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:04 pm

mrrf. I tried the gentle leader again just to experiment... it's not like he doesn't like to have it put on. He is happy to put his nose through the loop, happy to have it fastened... it's just that by the time we get out of the driveway he's rubbing his face on my leg.

We passed a couple of fenced dogs today, when he was on the flat collar. Maybe I just have too high a standard... at first he just was overly focused, and went from loose leash to tight leash but not really pulling. He was happy and wagging but over-excited. He had two times where he lost self control to the point of whining and pulling enough to lift his front end, then was easily put back in a sit. I put him in a down in the grass between two fairly calm but occasionally barking fenced dogs on either side of the street and gave him some treats (I tried to reward attention on me but I didn't get it much). What I want him to be able to do is ignore dogs and stay loose-leash. I was hoping the gentle leader would help with him doing the "I'm trying to stay heeled but totally turned around looking at the other dog not watching where I'm walking" thing. I've worked on turning his attention away and using the leave it command but I'm just not making enough progress that I'm convinced I'm going about it the right way.

Meh. I guess Ziggy's just not a headcollar dog. I don't want to walk tripping over his snout all the time as he rubs on my knees.

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SophiazMom
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Postby SophiazMom » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:46 pm

There's obviously a lot of strong opinions on this topic and there's a lot of great info here.

I currently use a prong collar not so much because Sophia pulls a lot, but because on the occasion when she does decide to pull, I am able to hold her back without injuring myself.

I used to use a standard harnass which worked find for the most part, but sometimes she start to pull with gradual intensity and it was more difficult to hold her back with it. Plus, I have tendonitis and my hands and wrists would just be killing me by the end of our walks, especially when we went to the park. So unfortunately, I was forced to try the prong and so far, it has worked fine for us.

In fact, it has worked so well that I think her and I are ready to wean ourselves off of it (again, tried before but had to go back to it). Any suggestions on a preferred collar for normal, everyday walks?

BTW we're enrolled in a basic obedience course starting this Thursday which I'm very excited about and was pleasantly surprised that they had no problems with Pitters . For the most part, Sophia is a really sweet and gentle dog. However, she does sometimes get distracted by other dogs when we walk even though she's not normally aggressive. Still, I want her to focus on me and our walk when we are walking and not mind the other dogs as much. Also, I REALLY want her to be sure that she comes when she is called, just in case we do have an equipment mishap as others have mentioned in another thread.

Actually, we did have a mishap once but luckily, there wasn't any dogs or squirrels around. She was sniffing around a grassy area next to a trailing blackberry bush with some branches sticking out. I'm really not completely sure how it happened because, it was early, dark and I was half awake, but she stepped forward and somehow, her least unclasped from her collar and onto a prickly branch. I had a hell of a time getting that sucker off because of the prickles but luckily, she didn't seem to notice that she was "free". :)) (or maybe she did but was too amused by watching me struggle). :po:

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Red
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Postby Red » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:56 pm

In fact, it has worked so well that I think her and I are ready to wean ourselves off of it (again, tried before but had to go back to it). Any suggestions on a preferred collar for normal, everyday walks?


Just a solid flat collar should be okey. I would suggest a back up like an O-ring trough the collar and a rope with clips that goes from the O ring to your snap end.Maybe a picture would make more sense cause I don't think I explained it clearly.I can't find a picture with a collar but it is the same thing you see on the harness.See that think black rope that goes from a second O ring on the harness to the snap? It is not hooked to the opening part of the snap, but to the ring looking thing that connects to the leash.I am sorry, I can't find a way to explain it! If my snap opens up the dog is still attached to the leash, trough the black rope.If one of my O ring breaks (talk about bad luck!) the other one is still there.

Image

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SophiazMom
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Postby SophiazMom » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:08 am

Thanks Red, I was actually admiring your pups collars as well as the training videos on your website this weekend. :bowdown:

I will shop around online tomorrow for something based on your description. Heck, I actually like the entire harnass setup you have actually but wanted to get some feedback.

Thanks again. 8)

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Postby crazy4pits » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:16 am

I love the head collars, I used to be a Halti user I liked the way it looked and that safety strap but I prefer the Gentle leader now. If properly fitted you do not need a safety strap. With the Halti I don't like how it fits some dogs muzzles.

I have had great success with Gentle Leaders and recommend them all the time. The people love the difference with their dogs once they get used to the collar.

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kailey lane
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Postby kailey lane » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:32 pm

well im not sure about gentle leaders,i used it on my lab/border collie mix....i had it fitted right and also use a back up collar for safety,well it was great until one day a womans dog got out and bella went insane,the genlte leader snapped! i dont think any one should use on unless they have a back up collar its vary unsafe,i actually knew a woman that used them for years and loved them until hers snapped also and her dog got hit by a car:( im now using a prong because of both of my pups pulling and DA and its working like a charm and has been for months.i do not actually pull on the prong barely ever,just having it on them makes them alot more and completely controllable.

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Postby squid » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:09 pm

thank you made it so much easier. the head collar made it so much easier when walking yuhndi since she has grown she can drag me no matter what since she has been using a head collar, my arms don't hurt at all when we get back from walking and she is a lot more calmer when another do is around.

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Postby Tula » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:34 pm

Disclaimer: I don't have a ton of personal experience with any of this equipment, however I have witnessed the use of these tools by others.

All of the veterinarians that I respect, the good humane societies, and my behavior professor ALL preach the use of gentle leaders. They all put emphasis on proper introduction of the halter to your dog, my behavior prof showed us videos of a DA dog being trained to ignore other dogs and focus on his handler, and it seemed to be a very effective tool.

However; I do believe that part of the reason that the vets and humane societies preach about the gentle leaders is because we are going to assume that most owners are NOT trainers. When you think about the majority of complaints we see from the average owner about their pet I'd be willing to bet pulling is on the list. I know it was when I was 8, and owned a 60 lb 1 year old lab ;) The gentle leader would allow the average person to physically be able to control their dog, without going to a choke chain which, IMO, has a much greater potential for abuse.

I've found that with the gentle leaders you just don't HAVE to jerk, or yank. Gentle corrections are the only thing required. That said I haven't yet dealt with a severely reactive DA dog.

I can definitely say that I've seen quite a few dogs that really aren't keen about their gentle leaders. Tula is one of them; I spend a few hours with her before I adopted her and she was SO food motivated, very keen to show me all her foster mom taught her. However when I picked up her gentle leader to take her outside to pee her tail went between her legs and she slinked into the corner. Although I will try to reintroduce it to see if she grows fonder of it, I'm probably going to try an easy-walk harness to see if she likes that better. Shes not HA, and I don't think shes DA at this point, so I'm not too concerned about having control of her head/muzzle.

We had to practice fitting/putting on gentle leaders for school, and we use teaching beagles ( :inlove: ). Mine was a real submissive little guy, but you should have SEEN him when we put the leader on. He almost went catatonic. Totally checked out. My prof said she'd never seen anything like it, it was really strange. So I can totally see the "breaks their spirit" thing; I'm sure their spirits just fine, but some dogs definitely do NOT do well with head collars.

As for public perception: coming from someone who was introduced to prong collars by an ex boyfriend who trained his GSDs for schutzhund... my first impression was :O :O :O My first impression of the gentle leader was: look at the little halter for doggies!!! How cuuuuute!
I myself was very intimidated by pits when I first was introduced, having only heard the "bad". You can bet that a pit + a prong collar (which I, AT THE TIME, thought was a very harsh means of control only needed for powerful mean dogs) would have been MUCH more intimidating than a pit with a gentle leader.

Just my opinion though ;) But I honestly doubt prong collars are better for public perception than head collars.

:headbang: <--- freaking LOVE this emoticon, couldn't wait to post so I could use it

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jazmins mama
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Re: Head collars

Postby jazmins mama » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:26 am

i put the cute over on my prong collars when i use,when i used to use gentle leaders,on a daily basses i got people asking me why i have a muzzle on my dog........it was non stop every day...way more people took there kids to other side of the street when i walked with the gentle leader....not that i care about looks at all.i use what works best for my dogs and there specific situations . but both tools are good imo

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Red
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Re: Head collars

Postby Red » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:26 am

b_elissa_d wrote:I would like to be able to have her behave like this without the halti as she is getting to the point where she will need to be doing some off lead work but as soon as I remove the halti she is back to pulling extremely hard!! Any tips for weaning her off the halti???


Hi Elissa. If she is pulling when you take off the Halti the actual work that needs to be done with the dog is somewhat missing.
What are you doing as far as training when the dog wears the head collar?

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Red
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Re: Head collars

Postby Red » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:28 am

I don't even get the opportunity to praise her on a flat collar as she is so busy pulling.


Look at smaller opportunities to reinforce non pulling, rather than expecting the same behaviors you see when she wears the collar. Is this happening on walks or during classes as well?

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Red
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Re: Head collars

Postby Red » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:38 pm

b_elissa_d wrote:It seems like instead of the vocal cue for "working" she associates the halti with when she is supposed to do as she is told??


The head collar is most likely an environmental cue for her and she has associated other cues and behaviors when it is present (on the dog). I would start working her on flat collar during the class, since that is where it might be easier, before you go on walks, due to the fact that on a walk there are distractions that are going to elicit certain behaviors and they are hard to compete against. Until you get reliability in the class environment, on flat collar, use the head collar when you go on walks. The reason is that it is not productive to continue to reinforce her pulling behavior on walks and reinforcement happens each time she is successful moving forward. You loose the dog and you loose your vocal cues. Get compliance in one environment and then move to another. Your are right, you have to be consistent and focus on getting behaviors on a flat collar and that is mainly a matter of patience and perseverance. She has those behaviors already but she has not learned to perform them when she is on a flat collar.

Lower you criteria a little when the head collar comes off. If you take it off and the dog takes a few steps by your side, up your reinforcement rate without asking for a long heeling pattern. You are introducing a change (no head collar) so in order to set the dog up to succeed you want to lower some of your criteria, which might be duration. Your rate of reinforcement needs to be different as well. If, for example, you deliver reinforcement after a one minute heeling pattern with the head collar, you will start delivering when the dog is moving with you on a flat collar and maintain a continuous rate of reinforcement initially. Don't use cues when you start this, no point in telling her to "heel" when there is a chance she is going to brake the position to go check out something. Let her figure out that being by you or simply orienting toward you is going to bring reinforcement, no matter what she is wearing . Same with any other behavior, lower you criteria a little, initially.
Do you happen to have a video of a training session in class, where the head collar comes off?

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Re: Head collars

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:37 pm

I LOVE head collars!!!

I originally trained both my dogs to the gentle leader, but now have a halti for Sheila after stepping on the plastic buckle and breaking her GL... having tried both, I'm sortof indifferent, I think they both work well.

Romeo now walks on a flat leash, mostly because he tries to rub the head collar on people he meets, and being greeted by a dog rubbing his head between your legs is awkward.

I recommend gentle leaders to my clients because if they buy the right set, it comes with an EXCELLENT training video.

As for the "muzzle" association... I carry treats with me all the time anyway, so when someone asks why the dog is muzzled, I feed a treat and say "actually, its just a halter, like they use on horses" and I use it because she's so big that if she takes off after a squirrel, this way I don't end up doing a faceplant... people suddenly understand. And honestly, head halters are so common these days, most people already know what they are.

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Re:

Postby Shylee » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:44 pm

kaytenmags wrote:
pitgrrl wrote:Has anyone had any experience with a Newtrix head halter?

I'm just curious because I have heard from a few people that they far prefer it to a Halti or Gentle Leader.

yes! i have one of these for maggie and i REALLY prefer it over the GL/halti. Reason being, it doesn't pull her head around from the front. it also has a 'safety clip' that connects to the D-ring on her collar.

maggie isn't much of a puller, but i used this for some time while she was getting used to living in my condo building. she needed to learn that not everyone in the elevator/stairway/lobby was there to pay attention to her, and their little yappy (vicious!) dogs were not food.

the newtrix harness basically took away her strength/leverage, so i could hold her back with minimal effort. this, combined with training, means i now have a much more polite dog, even tho she rarely wears the head harness now.

fantastic product! :thumbsup:



*Must buy one, must buy one*

Halti's and Cody do not work together, he still pulls and usually finds a way to swipe them off his nose, it seems i can never get them tight enough, he has a LARGE neck and a strange nose <_<
Keona sulks when wearing one but behaves a lot better, though she does make me feel bad after a few minutes so i end up taking it off and praising her quite a bit. I relent, but she usually desrves it. My dogs do usually use harness's though.

As for the Newtrix H/H can you get them in england? =/

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Re: Re:

Postby kaytenmags » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:20 pm

Shylee wrote:As for the Newtrix H/H can you get them in england? =/

i ordered mine online. i'm sure they'd ship it.
if not, there's also the "canny collar" (sp?). i think that's available in England, and it works on the same principle (attaches at the back too). :)


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