The head halter is a hybrid piece of equipment. It works on the basis that where the dog's head goes, sooner or later the rest of the body has to follow. It is an adaptation from head halters used for horses. Whereas the pinch collar looks downright menacing, the head halter looks more inviting and almost user friendly. Interestingly, your dog's reaction, and he is the one that counts, is likely to be quite the opposite. He will readily accept a pinch collar but vigorously and determinedly object to the halter, at least at first. The following list describes the principal advantages of the halter, once your dog has learned to accept the effect it has on him:
Calming and tranquilizing: A head halter is helpful with nervous, timid, shy, or hyperactive dogs.
Equalizing: It helps smaller handlers with larger dogs as well as senior citizens and handicapped handlers control their dogs
Muzzling: It helps with inappropriate sniffing behavior, whining or barking, some forms of aggression, and play biting or nibbling.
The following provides some additional advantages to the head halter, as well as some disadvantages.
Benefits of the Head Halter: Available in pet stores and online catalogs; not expensive; required minimum strength to use. On the other hand, disadvantages of wearing a head halter are the following: Potential for serious damage to your dog's neck; considered as a transition tool; your dog does not learn to accept responsibility for his behaviors.
The great potential for damage is due to the nature of the halter. Because it controls the head, a strong pull by the dog or the handler can do serious damage to the dog's neck. In this case, it is not quite the same principle as the head halter for horses. Because most people are smaller than horses, the halter is used to control the horse's head from below. In contrast, most people are taller than dogs, and any pull or tug is going to be upward and, at times, simultaneously to the side. Tugging the dog's neck in this way creates great potential for injury.
Finally, the halter is a transition tool at best, because it does not teach the dog to assume the responsibility for his behavior. The muzzle instead of being trained by the Yes and No model is guiding him. In addition, the dog is not learning through positive/negative reinforcement what is expected from him.
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