Head Halters are basically smaller versions of the halters used on horses. Mainly used for training a dog to walk properly, they give an owner additional control over a dog’s movement by giving an owner control over his head. Head Halters are not a collar, but they are still a useful training tool used by many dog owners.
They are made of soft nylon and have two straps. One strap fits behind the ears and the other wraps around the front of the nose. It is important to note that while a Head Halter may look like a muzzle, it is not. Dogs can still eat, drink, breathe, and play with one on. They are safer than most training collars as they are made so that they do not apply pressure to the dog’s throat.
- Helps control dogs who pull while on walks
- Eliminates internal and external pressure around the neck when walking or correcting a dog
- It takes time for dogs to adjust to them and some dogs will fight wearing the Head Halter
- Jerking on the collar could serious injury to a dog
Fitting the Head Halter
The head halter is comprised of two straps, a neck strap and a nose strap. The neck strap sits high on the dog’s neck, right behind the ears. It needs to be fitted snugly in order to prevent escape from the halter. An owner should only be able to fit one finger between the strap and a dog’s fur. The nose strap is then left loose and sits at the base of the dog’s muzzle so the dog is still able to eat, drink, and breathe. When the nose strap is fitted properly, it should loosely rest on the dog’s nose and then tighten on the fleshy part of the nose when the dog pulls forward. When the Head Halter is fitted properly, there is less risk of potential damage then when compared to some of the training collars.
How it is Used
The Head Halter is used to correct a dog’s behavior. The Head Halter is designed to give an control over the dog’s head. If a dog is wearing a head halter and pulls ahead of his owner, the tension on the leash will cause the dog’s head to turn back. With his head turned back, the dog will have to wait until the owner catches up and then tension is released so they can resume walking again. If the dog lags too far behind his owner, the tension on the neck strap will encourage the dog to catch up with the owner.
The Head Halter allows an owner to provide a safe, natural correction to their dog which mimics the methods dogs use to correct each other. The first strap that wraps around the neck is designed to work how a mother would bite down on the back of her pup in order to punish him. While the prong collar and to some extent the choke collar are designed to work the same way, the corrections provided by those collars put extra pressure on the trachea and have an increased risk of damage that the head halter does not have.
The second strap, which wraps around the dog’s nose, will tighten when pulled on. This resembles the way dogs will sometimes bite down on the muzzle another dog in order to punish him.
When to Use
The Head Halter is recommended for use by owners who have struggled with teaching their dogs to walk properly. Leading with a Head Halter requires little strength, making it is easier to correct a dog’s behavior using a head halter than it is with a choke or prong collar. Trainers also recommend using Head Halters on dogs who are strong pullers. Some high energy breeds such as Siberian Huskies are notoriously difficult to walk because their bred to pull and so a Head Halter may help a struggling owner.
Some trainers use head halters for general training, in addition to just teaching a dog to walk properly. The halter gives an owner increased control over a dog’s movement and can be useful if you are having trouble training while using a buckle collar.
* While these collars do help many owners train their dogs to walk properly. It is important to still work with your dog on a leash and with a regular collar, or they could become dependent on the head halter forever.
Never jerk or pull sharply on the leash when it is attached to the halter, because this could injure your dog. You should also never allow your dog to hit the end of the leash with his full weight because this can also lead to injury. It is recommended to use a second leash, attached to the dog’s regular collar, to absorb these types of potential impacts. A second collar will also prevent escape in case the dog slips out of the head halter.