Head collars

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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Odnarb
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Re: Head collars

Postby Odnarb » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:33 am

I use a Gentle Leader for Stan if we are going to be around a lot of people. It's nice for keeping that adolescent Malinois banana snout out of trouble! My biggest complaint is that if we use it often it rubs the hair off his muzzle.

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randomroads
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Re: Head collars

Postby randomroads » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:03 pm

While a flat collar does not directly operate on a dog's muzzle


You're right. A flat collar does not yank a dog around by it's head. I think everyone here knows that.

It shouldn't be a correction, it should be gentle pressure


Wait.. what?? A 'gentle pressure' isn't a correction? Since when? If a 'gentle pressure' isn't correcting the dog's movement then what is it doing?

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Red
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Re: Head collars

Postby Red » Sun May 12, 2013 12:36 am

randomroads wrote:
While a flat collar does not directly operate on a dog's muzzle


You're right. A flat collar does not yank a dog around by it's head. I think everyone here knows that.

It shouldn't be a correction, it should be gentle pressure


Wait.. what?? A 'gentle pressure' isn't a correction? Since when? If a 'gentle pressure' isn't correcting the dog's movement then what is it doing?



A head collar does not necessarily "yank a dog around by it's head" either. Keep in mind that yanking can happen on a simple flat collar, whether it is done on purpose or the dog hits the end of the leash.

I am reading that a gentle pressure is a correction by definition, in your eyes. You would have to define what a correction is to you, and then you would have to ask the dog if said correction is indeed aversive anyway, which is quite important information.Since dogs do not talk we have to monitor body language, when we do things around them.

I took this video two days ago, of my foster Loggy, who had seen the head collar only when doing pairings with a reinforcer. The head collar, a Halti, has not been put on before, but behaviors such as touching the collar and pushing into it were reinforced. I am recovering from a significant surgery, have trouble bending over or kneeing, and skipped a step in the conditioning to take this video. I took it anyway, because I thought it might help those who are interested in the use of a head collar and go through each step. Helpful videos are not just about the final product, but the steps in between, and mistakes (and how to solve them) if they happen.



Too much time bending over the dog's head and closing the collar, including putting the security attachment in place, sloppy and slow treat delivery and clicking (a bunch of painkillers are good for some things and not so much for others!) , for the records. Clicking, or verbal, happens in different moments but it mostly follows a pressure on the lead. That is a gentle pressure in my book, based on the dog's overall response. Please do not confuse chop licking in anticipation of food with stress related lip licking. Each dog worked on a head collar is introduced and conditioned to that pressure, because in the case I need to apply it I want the dog to perceive it as something positive. I like to do the same with flat collars.

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ChelseaB
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Re: Head collars

Postby ChelseaB » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:40 am

I had given up on the idea that my red dog, Dante, would ever be able to enjoy a walk together. His anxiety over every stimuli made walking very miserable experience for both of us. I decided to try the Halti as a last resort. I spent about a month getting him used to wearing in the house and on short walks in our yard only. The first actual walk was such a night and day transformation I almost cried. The pulling was gone, the weaving back and forth was gone, the lunging at and away from flying birds and moving vehicles was gone. His anxiety level in general decreased so much it felt like I had a different dog. Walks are more enjoyable for both of us, meaning we do it more often, meaning he gets the exercise he had been craving all along, meaning his behavior in the house has improved as well.

randomroads wrote:
In my opinion dogs should never wear something wrapping around their face unless it's a muzzle, because you don't control a dog's direction of movement with a muzzle. I fail to see the point in giving corrections by forcing a dog's head to turn. If you're incapable of walking your dog on a loose leash with a flat collar, you need to learn how to train your dog to walk on a loose leash on a flat collar.



For me, the head collar isn't about forcing a dogs head to move. Dogs don't derive strength from their heads and face, they use their neck, shoulders, and chest. So, if Dante tries to pull towards or sideways anything that excites him I simply stop walking or apply a gentle correction for a split second, and the resulting tension makes him unable to continue the behavior since he doesn't physically have the strength in his head to do so. Using a head halter correctly is actually almost identical from a mental standpoint to the recommended loose leash "stop and start" training method. That is, the dogs "reward" for not pulling is continuing the walk, while the "punishment" for pulling is being made to stop or turn around. While this method is affective for lots of dogs(albeit requiring almost saint hood patience for some more stubborn trainees) there are cases, like with my dog, where the behavior is so ingrained, that an additional tool is necessary to lessen the anxiety burden on both dog and owner. Lots of people at that point resort to choke, prong, or pinch collars, which aren't my personal cup of tea in the least.

The most ringing endorsement I have for the head collar is that when it is used correctly, it's extremely effective without being negative or painful. Love it.


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