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halti vs. gentle leader?

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  • #21
    I've used both and there are pros and cons about both. The Haltis seem less annoying to my dogs and offer more relief if they're not pulling. They're fairly cumbersome though and there just seems to be a lot of "stuff" on them when they wear them.

    The Gentle Leader fits the best and doesn't come with all the clutter but one of my dogs can't. stand. it. He will have numerous melt downs in the middle of the street trying to remove it from his face and is just generally unhappy when he wears it. I think the nose piece ends up sliding back towards his eyes no matter how much I adjust it and that really drives him crazy. He has kind of a boxy head. It doesn't do this on my yellow lab who has a big head... but not so square

    In the end though, if I HAD to choose, I'd probably pick the Gentle Leader.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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    • #22
      I used the Gentle Leader and found that it rotated quite a bit and seemed to annoy my dog more than the Halti. But he's not fond of either. Either one is absolutely wonderful for a dog who is dog agressive. With these, you control the nose. Turn the nose and you break the eye contact. It's pretty hard to act agressive without eye contact!

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      • #23
        I swore I would never put my dog in a gentle leader because they look so awful on dogs and psh, who needs a gentle leader for a mini aussie?
        Oh right. I do. 43 lbs of pure unabated energy needs a little bit more control than I got with a collar... So the gentle leader has made my life wonderful and now my ridiculous dog walks beside me instead of happily dragging me around the park chasing geese and ducks and squirrels and runners and.. you get the point.

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        • #24
          I've just started using the Gentle Leader, and my dog doesn't like it (tries to paw it off) but so far I do like it. I'm not happy with the fit so far; I need to check the DVD it came with to see if I have it on right. But I'm happy with the effect; pulling the head around really works well for what I want, which is to break her focus on larger dogs and allow us to pass other dogs without huge drama.

          I'm curious as to how people can control a medium or large dog on a harness. Of course the dog likes them - they offer maximum on-leash freedom of movement and quite a lot of pulling ability. But how do you keep from ending up on your face when 70lbs of dog hits the end of the harness?

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          • #25
            The main thing is either of them is training. You have to train them to accept the halter. The first few times I used them I always had treats handy. They got a treat when they put their nose threw the loop and let me snap it on, then more as they walked beside me. I slowly took away the treats and they were happy to have the halter on and there was no fight (pawing it off, rearing up, ect).
            It does teach the dog to not pull, as I think someone disagreed with on here. Once the dog is trained and learns not to pull then I often slip the nose band off. If the dog reverts back to pulling, the nose band comes back up but I've never had a dog still pull, some just take more time then others.
            The fit is basically put up just behind the ears and tight enough that you can get only 2 fingers under it. With the nose band in the beginning I put the snap/stopper thing up tight enough that again I fit 2 fingers under it.
            My originally problem was that I have a chow/shep and she has a TON of skin. She became the master of escaping from the collar. I'm tried everything, all types of collars and harnesses. She had so much skin and a proportionately small head that if she pulled backwards that was the end of it. Her skin would bunch in wrinkles and everything just slipped off.

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            • #26
              My Dal despises the Gentle Leader... but that is because she can't go trying to pull my arm out of the socket anymore. She used to be so bad that even prong collars did not work. Her 50 lb self could send me flying at the first sight of a squirrel or bird. I tried pull harnesses, no dice. Finally I tried the GL... my arm has never been so grateful. She hates it though, and tries to rub it off, but I'll take that over a dislocated shoulder.

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              • #27
                You have to train them to accept the halter.
                I think any training tool you have to expend significant effort to get a dog to accept is a tool that belongs in the garbage. I spent six months trying to train a dog to accept a halter. She would run and hide whenever I touched it even after six months, and if I put it on her she would droop and act totally depressed. If I had simply spent those six months training the dog instead of messing around trying to train the dog to allow me to use a training tool we would have gotten much further along in nice pleasant walking skills. After throwing the stupid head halter in the garbage and working on actually training the dog she now walks happily and well-behaved in a body harness. She weighs 100 pounds and could tow your truck without effort, so it's all in the training, not the devices, that allows me to control her.
                I have seen a lot of dogs walked in head halters, and the dogs universally look unhappy and depressed. You don't have to train a dog to accept a prong collar, and 99.9% of dogs are happy and responsive in a prong. The easywalk harness, ditto, you just put it on and use it.

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                • #28
                  Not a fan of the gentle leader

                  Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                  Prong collars are cruel! You just need to do proper training, look into Crad Pattisons books....
                  I haven't read all the responses, but I totally and respectfully disagree. A dog straining at the end of a collar, especially a choke collar is cruel. A properly used prong collar is anything but. Put it on your arm and tighten it and see what it feels like--I did.

                  For my two young, strong, big dobermans I use a prong collar. FYI, these dogs are obedience trained and if I ever quit showing horses and have more time, I'm going to finally work on obedience titles for Zelda. With the prong, I rarely, if ever, have to correct my dogs and they walk besides me in heel position (not on a long line) with slack in the leash. I tried the gentle leader and Zelda just HATED it. Yes, I watched the video, I gave treats, I was patient, but after a week of walks I gave up. She started to NOT want to go for a walk!! Which is nuts, because both dogs LOVE walks. When she would throw a fit about it, the nylon over the muzzle would slip into her eyes (and I did adjust it per the instructions).

                  The other, probably worse thing is adults and kids kept asking me if she was a biter because they think the gentle leader is a muzzle. Dobes get a bad rap as it is, and I don't need to perpetuate it.

                  Finally, regarding harnesses, I don't want to die. My mother-in-law used a harness and her lab laid her out on the concrete one afternoon! My dogs have a keen prey drive and I think it would be a shame to break my back because one of them saw a bunny!
                  DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by vacation1 View Post

                    I'm curious as to how people can control a medium or large dog on a harness. Of course the dog likes them - they offer maximum on-leash freedom of movement and quite a lot of pulling ability. But how do you keep from ending up on your face when 70lbs of dog hits the end of the harness?
                    The Easy Walk harness has the attachment in the front of the chest, and it has a bit of slip in it to tighten if the dog pulls. So by trying to pull they manage to pull it tight across the chest, and it turns the shoulders in towards each other, making them unable to pull effectively. I work in a veterinary clinic that does a lot of rehab post surgery, and for our patients pulling can be devistating to their injuries. For the majority of our big dogs, and even most of the smaller ones we swear by the Easy Walk harness. Our biggest success with it so far is a very over excitable Lab who dragged EVERYONE around. We put him in the Easy Walk, and from the moment it went on no more pulling. I will say that it doesn't work if you put it on so the attachment is on top of the back, we found out because his owner kept complaining it didn't work. quick adustment and even she said wow!!
                    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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                    • #30
                      FWIW

                      My daugher raised 3 guide dog puppies in the 90s. They used haltis then I think they switched to gentle leaders when they came out.

                      of course guide puppies have a different role in life, when they get older they are supposed to lead.
                      A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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                      • #31
                        A gentle leader/halti isn't going to work for every dog just like anything else in life. Nothing is perfect. It's just a try it and see what happens. If you like it and it works, great. If not, oh well.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                          I haven't read all the responses, but I totally and respectfully disagree. A dog straining at the end of a collar, especially a choke collar is cruel. A properly used prong collar is anything but. Put it on your arm and tighten it and see what it feels like--I did.
                          My arm is not my jugular, and I am not pulling all my weight through my arm.

                          I believe proper training can solve almost all problems, my dog is a great example of that. Unfortunately like the horse world people want short cuts.

                          My dogs last owner used a prong AND a halti, he was aggressive to the point she couldn't walk him. I walk him in a martingale collar and rarely have to tighten it. I've spent 5 months graduating from the halti to this.

                          Time, patience, understanding. Read some books, I recommend this one

                          http://www.bradpattison.com/index.ph...art&Itemid=214
                          Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
                          https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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                          • #33
                            Gentle Leader was originally the "Promise System" and was available only through veterinarians. It didn't come out on the general market until halti started getting OTC market share.

                            The neat thing about the "Promise System" was that it included videos and it also included in house training of both the dog and the owner.
                            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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                            • #34
                              "I'm curious as to how people can control a medium or large dog on a harness."

                              roller blades and good balance. Just kidding.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                I have seen a lot of dogs walked in head halters, and the dogs universally look unhappy and depressed.
                                Mine just looks peeved. Seriously, though, I think that most training tools will work with some dogs, and are outright abusive to others. The hard part isn't using the tools, it's figuring out which is which for any given dog. I do think some tools are easier to make abusive than others, and chokers and prongs fall into that category because their design enables them to be used punitively where the worst you can do with a clicker, say, is irritate the dog.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                  I haven't read all the responses, but I totally and respectfully disagree. A dog straining at the end of a collar, especially a choke collar is cruel. A properly used prong collar is anything but. Put it on your arm and tighten it and see what it feels like--I did.
                                  Agreed! A properly used prong is a tool, and as horse people we are acustomed to using such tools. We put chains over noses, use gag and shanked bits; we carry crops, use spurs, martingales and draw reins. ALL of these things can be severe, but they don't have to be, and aren't in skilled hands.

                                  If you are a person that is not capable or does not have the training to use such a tool... DON'T. You are going to hurt something and cause problems. Not ever tool is for everyone.
                                  Riding the winds of change

                                  Heeling NRG Aussies
                                  Like us on facebook!

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                                  • #37
                                    Was going to post this all in one post, but changed my mind.

                                    I have a halti for my female aussie. It's been the tool that worked for her. Her body structure is such that a flat collar only slides around on her, and can't give a decent correction; She drops her head down when she walks, and pulls through it. It just slides down to the fleshy part of her chest (think sled dog).

                                    She hated the halti! At the begining she would have meltdowns in the most public place she could find. But administer a correction and keep walking and she got over them. She likes to walk, and if she wants to go for walks she was going to wear the halti. I also found that her meltdowns were sometimes because her jowls were being pinched. So every 5 or so minutes (or when we came to a corner) I would readjust it a little, and smooth out her jowls. It was also a reward because she loves her face touched. So if she was walking very well, we would stop and readjust, pet, etc, keep walking.

                                    I chose the halti over the GL because of the price (half the cost) and the additional strap I could attatch to her choker (both my dogs wear fine chokers with their tags and ID attatched, its all they wear in the house). She slips collars with the best of them, and since she was a nervous dog I didn't want her slipping off the collar or halti on a busy street and running into traffic.

                                    They can't slip a choker. My male wears a flat nylon collar but the leash is attatched to both the nylon collar and the choker. There is no action on the choker, but if he happens to slip the collar, I've still got him.

                                    I could have just done all this leash training on a flat collar, but I had a time constraint. My mother (who babysits) lets my 90 year old grandmother take Ceidleigh out for walks. I couldn't have Ceidleigh pulling her. My mother uses nothing but a flexi leash (she bought the peice of crap, not me) with her because she sometimes pulls her (don't even get me started), but at least she puts the halti and 6foot on her for Nana.

                                    I got Ceidleigh at 15 months, she had never been on a leash, so we had a lot to cover.
                                    Riding the winds of change

                                    Heeling NRG Aussies
                                    Like us on facebook!

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                                      Prong collars are cruel! You just need to do proper training, look into Crad Pattisons books....

                                      I definitely disagree with you, but am curious as to why you say this?

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                                      • #39
                                        I use a prong collar and properly fitted and used it's great, the dog never has to feel it, my arm does not get pulled off and I have yet to meet the dog you can pull someone around in one. I dislike choke collars of any kind and I don't like those head collars for two reasons 1) risk of neck injury seems incredibly high and 2) the dogs look universally miserable in them and the whole point of walking your dog is that it's supposed to be fun for the dog. Maybe I'm too soft but anything that makes the animals miserable and they actively dislike I don't do.

                                        Those harness things have good potential but one of my friends dog has passed out several times in it because she hits the end and it constricts around her chest and ~konk~ she's out on her side. She is not the smartest dog (husky).

                                        The main thing is being aware though- if you are walking around daydreaming and wait until the dog is already lunging to correct it the dog will never learn. You must pay attention and give the dog a command before it makes the mistake, then correct it if it ignores your command. That way the dog learns to obey you and not that you can force it to do things using a tool it hates.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by silver2 View Post
                                          Those harness things have good potential but one of my friends dog has passed out several times in it because she hits the end and it constricts around her chest and ~konk~ she's out on her side. She is not the smartest dog (husky).
                                          Cruel to laugh, but what an image. In the dog's defense, she is hard-wired to hit the end of a harness.

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