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And so it goes with pulling on the leash: Until he is trained otherwise, your dog is likely to exhibit the opposition reflex that prompts pulling against his leashed collar. When a dog is a world-class puller or is also reactive on leash to either people or to other dogs, a head collar is my tool of choice. Regardless of which brand my client selects, I encourage them to slowly condition the dog to wearing the head collar for short periods before the appointment in which I demonstrate how to use it for leashed walks.
Your dog must be slowly conditioned to wearing the head collar for a week or so prior to using it for leashed walks. My clients are often amazed the first time we take their dog out with a head collar because, instead of pulling ahead on a tight leash, he’ll instead trot close in a heeled position for the first time ever—the opposition reflex is no longer in effect. A note on corrections:  I am loath to use the term “correction” for the motion we make using the leash and head collar to communicate with the dog.
NEVER use a retractable leash with a head collar because you’ll be sending very mixed, confusing messages to your dog, which could result in injury.
Do not allow your dog to wear the head collar except during walks, especially not when he is playing with other dogs. People often ask if their dog will wear the head collar for life, and the answer is (as is often the case):  it depends. If your most pressing concern is pulling without leash aggression, I would recommend combining the head collar with positive reinforcement to teach heeled walks, then wean your dog off the head collar as his leash skills improve. A head collar is simply a tool, and like all tools it can be used correctly or incorrectly. This entry was posted in Dog Training and tagged gentle leader, halti, head collar, head collars, head halter, loose leash. Today I wrote a post for a training list about head halters being my tool of choice in training.
A dog in training on a head halter receives more reinforcement from their owner than dogs on a flat collar and a dog in training on a flat collar receives far more reinforcement from his environment then dogs on a head halter. That is what you are doing when walking your dog in a distraction filled environment on a flat collar or harness where you can’t control what the dog is focusing upon. The halter allows me to create great rehearsals of behaviour so that when I fade the use of the halter  I end up with a dog on walking ona flat collar but with the good responses that were established while on the head halter.
I am not saying all of this is not possible with some dogs on a flat collar but I am saying this reality IS possible with ANY dog on a head halter (and in my opinion you will get there faster).
There will always be nay sayers who want to finger point at head halters as a potentially injurious tool.
FYI, I have a chapter at the back of my book Shaping Success dedicated to teaching how we use a head halter here at Say Yes. With RZ reinforcement, I rarely had to put a collar on my dog and she’s wanted by anyone who meets her. Janine, I have not had that problem but from what I have heard you should just keep on walking at a good clip so he can’t rub his face. Hope this helps, overall when your dog acts out related to the head halter act like nothing happened and keep moving in the direction you intended on going until the dog refocuses their energy on the correct behavior. I recently went to a match held by UKI in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and was surprised to see how many dogs, walking around on the grounds, had head halters on.
I feel that a collar, even a leash, is noticed by the dog; if the experiences are positive, then wearing a collar or being on a leash becomes positive. I’ve used head halters ever since my first seminar with Susan and have been enthralled with them ever since.

After seeing dozens of dogs slip their collars, and having one of my own be particularly good at slipping a collar, I only use and only recommend to my clients, the martingale collar (over a flat buckle collar). I’ve tried to train 3 of my dogs using the head halter, and universally all 3 dogs hated it with a passion. I have never had to use a head halter; Clicker training to heel is done so quickly, and it lasts. The biggest problem with prong collars is that new dog owners don't know how to put them on, how to size them or how to have their dog wear them. Prong collars are meant to be put on and taken off before and after daily training sessions.
A common problem new trainers have is they don't remove enough links to get the correct snug fit.
The correct position for a prong collar is to sit right behind the ears and up under the jaw line like you see in the photo above. Some people mistakenly try and put a prong collar on their dog by slipping it over the dogs head and then moving it down on the neck. Most of the time when a collar is put on a dog the handler connects the collar with the links behind the dog's ears - this is the easiest place to access the links (by the red arrow in the photo above). When the snap is on the live-ring the correction is amplified because more slack is taken out of the collar when the correction is given and the leash is popped. A perfect safety procedure is to use along with a prong is a Dominant Dog Collar™ I offer this advice to ALL those trainers who use prong collars. It is not unheard of (see the email below) for a mistake to happen and a prong collar comes apart when you need it the most. Look around at folks struggling to walk dogs on leashes and you’re likely to find all sorts of gadgets intended to stop the pulling, including choke chains, prong collars, shock collars, front-clip harnesses and—the subject of this article—head collars, also known as head halters. The Gentle Leader did provide the cam, but did not include a safety strap to connect the head collar to the dog’s buckle collar, a feature included in the Walk n Train which I consider crucial:  In case any part of the collar fails, you still had your dog. As you can see in the photo above, the design includes both a locking cam under the chin and a safety strap that secures the head collar to the dog’s flat buckle collar. Head collars are deemed effective and humane by both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States.  You can read their official statements on the collars as well as their recommendations for conditioning your dog to wearing one by clicking on those links. If he does start pulling ahead, a quick, gentle tug-and-release will guide him back to the correct position, his head adjacent to your leg. The head collar is meant to keep your dog near you while the retractable leash tells him to go as far away as the leash will extend. It’s too easy for another dog to grab hold of the collar, a distinct disadvantage and potentially dangerous. I am nationally-certified through the highly-respected Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and am a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
One of the best services I provide is taking the guesswork out while lending a sure, guiding hand in successful dog behavior development and modification. I could not imagine the frustration of raising a motion sensitive Border Collie without one (oh wait, I can, I tried it with Buzz  “. Also, you might want to leave the GL on the dog during the daytime, even when not walking with you (as you do with a flat buckle collar) so that it is not novel to have this halter on. 22 inches long etc.) Prong collars are ordered by size (small, medium, large or extra large).
Unlike a choke collar that is often left on the dog all the time (in some cases this can be a dangerous practice).

When that happens the collar hangs down on the dogs neck which results in the collar not working the way that it was designed.
Once the collar is on the neck the rings to connect the leash to are under the dog's chin - which is the wrong place for them to be.
When a correction is applied and the leash is attached to the dead-ring the correction will not take as much slack out of the collar as when it is attached to the live-ring. By having a dominant dog collar on the dog at the same time as the prong this will never be a problem. Likewise, it is completely normal for an animal to protect his resources, but we teach our dogs to not snarl and snap when we take their toys away to avoid excessive resource guarding. But the most aversive gear —choke chains, prong and shock collars—do nothing to address the opposition reflex, instead relying on pain.
I don’t use choke, pinch or shock collars because they inflict pain, and I certainly do not advocate hurting dogs with harsh leash corrections. So if a dog is highly reactive, the head collar might be your best option for the long haul. So my goal when first putting a head halter on a puppy is to get it off as fast as I can — but keep the good behaviour that is established by using the halter. But each time the dog is dragged away from the distraction (be it other dogs running, children skipping, wildlife  etc) on his flat collar and lead you are helping to the evolution of this curiosity into drive towards– and potentially aggression targeted at those distractions. But if you make it a game from the start like Susan does, I believe no healthy dog will have a problem with it. I recommend them to new dog owners, new trainers and people who own dogs with behavioral problems.
They all come in a standard length which is adjusted to fit the neck of the dog by removing or adding links to the collar.
Prong collars are designed to be put on and taken off by unhooking links and actually unsnapping the collar from around the neck.
Simply attach the clip on the leash to both the prong and the ring on the dominant dog collar. Mugford scaled down the head halters that had been used for thousands of years on horses (bridles), cattle, camels and lamas, and then adjusted the construction to fit the dog’s facial anatomy. While all head collars allow dogs to open their mouths (for panting, eating and drinking), this is the first design with side straps that angle back so that the mouth remains complete unimpeded. I recommend hiring an experienced trainer to demonstrate the head collar the first time you use it following the desensitization period.
I have now trained all 5 of my dogs on the Head Halter and if I even bring the Halter out they all get excited for training time!
While some think a prong looks nasty the fact is they are far more humane than a normal choke collar.
In the Ruff love program, the dog has to wear the harness when not crated, at least for few months.

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Comments to «Head collar vs prong»

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