does the halti hurt my dog?

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does the halti hurt my dog?

Post by mrs.betty » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:50 pm

I've just got a 2 year old german shepherd dog from a friend of a friend who recommended walking him in a halti as he is extremely strong. i'm training him to walk to heel so eventually i can walk him with a regular collar and lead, but until this is done i need the halti as he is stronger than me!!

My problem is that whenever we get on to grass, he rubs his face along the floor trying to remove the headcollar. he also rubs on any bushes or hedges we walk past, and on my legs when there's nothing else!

I'm now worried about how uncomfortable it seems to make him and i'd like to know if the action of the halti hurts the dog. It fits him properly, I never tug on it or use it unfairly and the only time it pulls on him is when he pulls on the lead.

Any advice please!!

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Post by emmabeth » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:36 pm

No, it shouldnt be hurting him, and i suspect it isnt....

But he doesnt like the feeling of something on his face so hes trying to rub it off.

You can try speeding up your pace, making him pay attention to you by having treats and chucking different commands at him to keep him focussed (ie sits, downs, changes of direction).

If you want him to walk properly to heel you will have to do this anyway.

If he really is distracted by the head collar to the point where he wont listen to you, then you should try a different one. I know people have had success with the halti harness that fits around the dogs chest, and i know others have had success with GSDs with the Canny Collar.

Whatever you use though you will still have to teach him to pay attentionto you and reward him for walking on a loose lead/give him no reward for pulling or going ahead, or he will carry on doing it whenever he is not wearing the headcollar/harness.


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Post by D » Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:46 am

My GSD scratches at her halti when she doesn't get her own way when on a walk. We go through a halti linker every few weeks

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head collars

Post by mothergrizzly60 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:11 am

A lot of dogs do this with head collars in general. I like to make the head collar a good thing. Jean Donaldson demonstrates this beautifully in a video available at I feed them with their head collars on, play ball with it on, and so on, just to make it a great thing to have around. The advice to change directions, and redirect their attention is a great one, I also add a treat too for leaving the head collar alone. It is a great tool, do not give up on it. :D
"Who are we to say you must or I will hurt you."
Monty Roberts

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Post by Owdb1tch » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:14 am

Just to add that horses aren't all that impressed with having bridles on for the first few times, but they have to so we persist and eventually they get used to them and realise that nice things happen when the bridle goes on.

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Post by Mattie » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:44 am

What worries me about halties is like choke chains they can be bought anywhere without any advice on how to use them. I have seem many dogs nearly being swung round on them, with extending leads on, etc. The damage that can be done but using them wrong doesn't bear thinking about, dogs have ended up with broken necks. :cry:

All tools can do damage if used wrong, but some do more damage than others.

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Post by Ocelot0411 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:05 pm

Owdb1tch wrote:Just to add that horses aren't all that impressed with having bridles on for the first few times, but they have to so we persist and eventually they get used to them and realise that nice things happen when the bridle goes on.
Oh most definitately!! And me being a horsey person (as well as a doggie person obviously) should have thought about this when trying to get my pup to wear a Halti harness :oops: But oh no I just expected her to accept it and was astounded and horrified in equal measue when she nearly chewed my hands off when I tried to put it on her. Oh dear silly me :oops: :oops:

But now her little tail goes mad at the sight of the harness as she knows it means 'walkies' yey!! And I got her to wear it by following the advice given above, i.e. make it a good thing, when harness apears so do treats etc. He will get used to it but just as with the horse analogy you have to give them time and encouragement to accept what is really a quite alien concept for a dog.

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