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head halters/gentle leaders

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Karin
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head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Karin » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:47 am

I am familiar with them and used it with an aussie but he didn't really need it. So it was not long term and he HATED it.

My question is that there are some in the protection breeds that seem very very against these devices and I"m not sure why. Can anyone enlighten me? :huh: :huh:
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Raven » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:23 pm

Until someone else chimes in with more information, some trainers (not saying those who train for protection/sport) see the halter as an unnatural correction, for lack of better description. It focuses on the muzzle. And for the same reason that improper use of any tool can harm a dog, the halter can as well. I've also heard it said that dogs (some) can easily shut down with a halter. Depends upon the dog. But that can be said for any tool or training technique.

It seems a halter would be counter-intuitive to those training in ring, etc. (?) IDK....
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by LyonsFamily » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:22 pm

I think my biggest problem is the fact that positive reinforcement only extremists tout head halters as a perfect tool for teaching heel and loose leash walking, but slam trainers and owners that use prongs or other corrective collars. A head halter is very much a corrective tool. They can cause a lot of damage if used wrong or fitted improperly. I don't prefer them on strong breeds because they're easy to back out of and a strong dog can quickly flip themselves on their back and cause neck harm. People should be using them with a backup collar to prevent accidents, especially when working with reactivity and aggression, but a lot of people don't.

I've used them before for various dogs and reasons, but I prefer prongs for what I mentioned above and for ease of weaning the dog off of the tool. I feel a prong is much easier to communicate with. The average joe doesn't have as big of a learning curve with putting one on and using one. I also prefer to get dogs proofed off of tools and it's much easier to go from a prong to a flat collar or a martingale or choke that's accepted in the ring than completely changing from a head halter to neck collar.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by johninny » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:11 pm

i once [ briefly ] used a gentle-leader for walking a dog in public that could have truly extreme reactions to dogs, so much so that keeping any control was a real issue. i had never had experience with them or prongs and was very resistant to both. finally it was urgently necessary; the prong brand i wanted was only available on-line so i went with a gentle-leader that i could buy in town. it made keeping physical control much easier [ thus ending my terror of going for walks!], but did nothing to improve the under-lying problem. my experience so far as is relevant confirms everything Stephanie said. need a another collar/lead to use simultaneously [ i did not ''know'' that, but it was obvious from the time i first fitted it to him, so...] and the primary problem is total lack of clear communication. the dogs hate it for good reason, so you go from light constant punishment to severe punishment. i have never seen a dog get accustomed to one of these no matter how long they deal with them. it was a huge mistake i made not being quick and decisive enough to get the prong collar when i needed it. a prong would provide correction that correlates in time and and magnitude to the dog's behavior - simple and direct.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Gunda Van Blauw » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:33 am

I have owned powerful working breeds my whole life and have never seen the need for the halter style gentle leader on these types of dogs .Behaviors can be molded by reps of training sessions I personally prefer a small prong Properly fitted as my method of training tool along with food or toy whichever the dog I am working at the time is motivated for as my sole tool . I think the biggest thing is that what works for you and your dog I have learned over the years that Herding breeds are extremely in tune with their handlers because you are their flock and they are more sensitive as far as wanting to please you . I must also mention that I never have a heavy hand when working on a prong a well timed correction is all that is needed followed by reward once the desired behavior is given back to me . I am currently working as a dog groomer and I see lots of dogs that are working breeds come into my place of employment wearing the gentle leaders (still pulling)and most of them have also developed a thick hairless wear patch across the top of their stop (muzzle)from use over time as sole method of training tool . I hope my opinion could help on this subject .

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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:47 pm

For me a prong is the way to go. They know its there and respect it. I never use heavy hands as I really dont need to because they know.

I find people who slam prongs really have no clue about them and how to use them. I have pretty prong covers on mine so when I am out walking, I get less comments about how bad prong collars are. Not that I care but I still dont want to hear it.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by HeatherH » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:23 pm

They don't like them and they are too smart for their own good. I tried one once. Dutched just backed out of it and used it for a chew toy.

I use a body halter he can back out of that too but he knows better.
I don't like the idea of using a prong I'd be too scared of hurting him. There's no need he listens anyways. Such a good boy.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:46 pm

you are not going to hurt them with a prong unless you really yank them over and over and that would just be abuse and I know no one here would do that.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Mobil » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:47 am

Under what circumstances do you guys use a prong? I am admittedly very leery of them after my experience with Delco.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Dutchringgirl » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:02 pm

When I walk the two of them in town, they both will be on them, its my power steering. Its more because two of them weigh as much as me.

When I am hiking, Sadie will be on a prong with a long line, she has a high prey drive, her recall is good, but she still has a mind of her own.

I never have to "use ' it but just having it on keeps her a bit more under control. When she was a pup, I had her on a regular collar and she twisted my elbow and it hurt for a long time. My feeling is Id rather have it on her and not even touch her than risk my body. She listens well, but im not taking any chances.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:53 am

My guy went onto the prong around 11 months for walks since he was such a bad puller and would yank me off my feet if he saw a squirrel. So on walks he's on it all the time and it's nice having that little extra control if I need it for prey or the sudden "not sure about this guy so I'll ignore you and glare at him" showdown we have once in the blue moon. It's usually a quick jerk (and that's even too harsh a word for the movement) and he's back on track, never a hard yank or prolonged pronging. We still use a fursaver for OB but I'll bring the prong out if he's being a turd on things he knows well. Never takes more than once or twice in combination with a reward for the right behavior and he's accurate again.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by Christie M » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:44 am

I think the head collar is like any other tool. I LOVE them and use them on every aggression case that I treat, and even put them on my old dogs when we go for a leisure walk because I don't want to be dragged, but I also don't want to have to correct when we are just hanging out. Like anything, they have to be conditioned to it. But I value it as a very important tool in my toolbox and see it as different than a prong - and use it for different reasons.

And like Stephanie said, I think the head collars biggest enemy is the pure motivational trainers that preach it.

Its funny though, the prong or e-collar is hated by one side. The head collar is hated by the other. They all have value.
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by steph90 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:14 am

Just want to chime in and say the halter has done great things for Kodi. I have also been weary of prongs, my dog is really sensitive and I put one on him once and he shut down. But it is very true that as with a halter, there should be a bit of conditioning that goes along with the use of a tool like that. People also tend to use the prongs as a quick fix, though, and I have seen them used in some pretty nasty ways. But I guess its harder to use a halter wrong because you need to have at least a little commitment and knowledge to get the dog to even go for a proper walk wearing it. Either way I know it can also be harmful. Anyway, the main point of why I really, really like halters is the control you have of he head of the dog. In some situations this can make a big difference. My pooch became really dog reactive and when I began training him it was hard to break his stare, even at a distance. Noises or his name wouldn't work, and he isn't too food OR toy motivated so luring his attention to me wasn't working well either. The halter allowed me to bring his face in my direction and once his stare was broken he could quickly make eye contact with me and accept treats. Tugging a collar was useless, and grabbing his face with my hands would be intimidating. If another dog is passing us, a regular collar still allowed him to swivel his head at another dog even in heel, but with the halter I could easily control where it's going swiftly and gently. Not watching the dog pass or not making eye contact allows him to stay under threshold and keep walking, or take treats. I also find he gets much less frustrated when presented with a difficult situation than with a harness or collar. I mainly use it as a correctional tool for situations that I know might be difficult for him, or for when we go somewhere to specifically work on training. But hopefully, one day, we won't need anything and he can just have a normal collar and no corrections and never worry about anything on walks! A girl can dream, right? :yernuts: :pint: I would definitely recommend a halter for this kind of training, though!
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Re: head halters/gentle leaders

Post by centrop67 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:10 pm

I'd like o say ditto to Steph's post. I had the same exact experience using the halter with Radar.

So much more control to get him to focus on me in reactive situations.

I have recently gone back to a harness on walks even though Radar isn't fully controlled in dog spotting situations, but I have been able to get his focus when I spot the signs of reactivity early.
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