My dog hates the Halti -grr

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by xanny, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. xanny Well-Known Member

    I must admit that in the past I've used a prong collar on my precious pooch.... I have back issues and have been desperate to be able to take him for walks. He LOVES the prong collar and walks much better on it even when around dogs (he is dog aggressive on leash). I know about the potential problems with adding punishment when around dogs so I would really like to be able to have him under control in another manner without risking hurting myself more.

    So, I tried a gentle leader and a halti. I couldn't figure out how to get the gentle leader to fit him (he has a very blocky lab head) without the nose strap rubbing his eyes, but the halti seems to fit him well. However, he HATES it!! I have tried habituating him to it and he is fine walking around the house, fetching etc. with it on, but once we come to another dog or rabbit, and needs the pulling up action of the halti (with quick release when he is sitting), he goes nuts!! He drops his head to the ground and paws at his face. After such an incident, he runs from the halti the next day when I get it out so I have go through the entire habituation process again. This really seems like punishment to me (adding a correction similar to a choke collar but to his face!!). From my understanding the corrections for the halti are not given as quickly as a choke collar and are released after the dog obeys a command like sit. Is this a correct understanding? What are your views on the halti being + punishment? For now, I'm going back to his flat collar and avoiding dogs as much as possible.

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Did you positively habituate ur dog to the halti with food? Did you watch the videos on ARBI to help?? Go to ABRI Videos and Podcasts and scroll down FIRST watch near the top Conditioning an emotional response by Jean Dodson. Then near the bottom and watch fitting the gentle leader and loose leash walking tips. Same techniques apply to the halti which BOTH of my dogs like better and frankly looks much more comfortable on them. Puppy hated the GL no matter how much I made it fun and treats and wheeeee. It can become it's own punisher too--so if ur dog is running it may have crossed the line to punisher rather than management tool. The gl left a mark on my dog's muzzle that lasted for a while and other friends have rub marks where fur is rubbed off. The halti has a looser muzzle piece and is not so tight. I always walk with either of this and another leash on the buckle collar which i clip to my belt and don't use unless they pull out of the head collars. Which can be done with determination.

    my dogs much prefer the easy walk front attach harness and i've seen some HUGE puller shelter dogs be under good control with these harnesses. Easy Walk Sometimes if you really realy change things including getting a new leash-even a cheapy he's never seen the associations are all different and stress is less. Most dogs generally don't like the head harnesses and it's all in how you condition and use them. you use a gentle SIDEWARD pull to turn the dog's head, not pulls up or back. The last two videos i names illustrate nicely. Good luck....
  3. xanny Well-Known Member

    Thanks snooks!! I have used lots of yummy treats and fetching before walking with him and while walking with him on the halti. My mistake was looking to youtube for halti walking tips, which suggested the upward pull aghh. i didn't know about ABRI, i'll have to check out their tips. I think the harness is a great idea though and probably what i'll try next. I've started doing the Calming Ovals with him on his flat collar and his overall anxiety on walks has decreased a lot. I've also started fetching more and shortening our walks some because he seems to get more stressed out on the 2nd half of a long walk. I'm not exactly sure why, but I'm thinking it has to do with me being tired and not doing as well as i should. Anyhoo, thanks for the help!
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    cool glad to help. my sweet heart of a pup was getting really bummed by the gl..halti a little better but there is a point where some of our management tools become punishers despite me doing it right--or as right as I could. she's an individual and that was her reaction. the shelter dogs i'm starting to work with are CHARGED and a friend took me and showed me the ez walk front attach. most people don't walk these dogs that she and her hubby walk b/c they pull so hard. my friend is tiny and manage superbly w/this harness. i wish the other volunteers would use them and these pullers would get more walks and prob'ly pull less.

    Try stopping in the middle of ur walk and do some focus exercises, drink water, for really YUMMY meaty treats. Do some Zen breathing of ur own and massage ur clever good dog and praise him. My favorite mantra Breathe in I happy, Breathe out I smile and feel the tension drain into the ground and awayyyyyy. :dogrolleyes:

    I have so many POSITIVE sites. feel free to ask...use youtube with caution. For example one of my fav trainers Leslie McDevitt has a youtube group and she's awesome but do check creds of the creators before u use. Esp head harnesses there are some cruel and or uninformed folks out there with the right way and it's hard to tell. Some great stuff there but also not nec professionals or right for ur dog.
  5. akisha New Member

    try putting the halti on after a long walk, he would be tired and this is generaly the best time to try it.
    leave it on him for as long as you wish, but DO NOT take it off when he starts srachting at it, if you do that he will believe that he is the boss and can take it off whenever he feels like it.

    good luck

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