Using a Halti to train your dog
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Using a Halti to train your dog

Dogs
Life As A Pet Parent

The Halti is a recently modern addition to the standard pieces of canine kit such as the collar, lead and harness, and while it can be very useful for certain dogs and provides several advantages over other restraint methods, it is also still very widely misunderstood. The chances are that if you are not sure what a Halti is, you have nevertheless spotted a dog out on a walk wearing one, but you may have mistaken it for a muzzle, or simply not realised what it is or how it works.

In this article, we will look in more detail at the function and use of the Halti, and the pros and cons of using one on your own dog. Read on to learn more.

What is a Halti?

If you are familiar with the use of a halter on horses, the Halti for dogs is an approximate equivalent.

The Halti is worn over the head of the dog with one loop passing around the neck and another going over the muzzle, ensuring a close but comfortable fit. Haltis are made from fabric webbing, and should be soft and comfortable enough to wear on even the longest of walks. If your dog is not on the lead or is just relaxing at home, the Halti should be removed.

Because the Halti passes over the muzzle of the dog, they are often thought of as being a type of muzzle, to keep the mouth closed at all times and restrict the movement of the mouth. However, the Halti should not be thought of as a muzzle, and this is not its main purpose when working with your dog.

What does the Halti do?

The whole point of the Halti is to provide a greater degree of control over the dog than can be achieved with a collar and lead or harness and lead. The Halti controls the head both at the neck and at the mouth, which can have advantages for training and managing dogs that are apt to pull on the lead or lunge around. They can be particularly useful for controlling and managing very large or strong dogs, or those that are apt to be unresponsive.

The pros of using a Halti on your dog

  • The Halti provides an enhanced level of control over your dog’s head, which can make walkies a lot more pleasant if your dog is apt to pulling on the lead.
  • The Halti provides a viable alternative to choke-chain collars for strong or unruly dogs that tend to pull, without placing undue pressure on the neck or potentially pinching the neck itself.
  • The Halti should be soft and comfortable for the dog to wear, and should not restrict them at all other than when direct pressure is being applied to the lead.
  • While the Halti is not designed to be an alternative to a muzzle, due to its role in closing the mouth, it can be effective at providing better direction and control over the mouth if your dog is snapping or barking.
  • The Halti allows the dog to pant and breathe naturally, which fabric muzzles greatly restrict.

The cons of using a Halti on your dog

  • Wearing a Halti can take some getting used to by your dog, and some dogs simply do not take well to the additional feeling of restriction it provides.
  • While the Halti is designed to enhance your level of control over the dog, some dogs will become overly submissive and subdued when working in a Halti.
  • There is a small risk of the Halti potentially inuring your dog if it is used incorrectly, as the Halti may pull the head and neck sharply if your dog lunges and turns at the same time.
  • The Halti should be viewed as an aid to proper control and training, and not as a substitute; you will still have to work pro-actively with your dog when they are wearing one!
  • Because the Halti is close-fitting and designed to restrict, getting the right size and fit correct is vital. A poorly fitting Halti can rub and be uncomfortable, or if too small, can restrict the breathing and the natural movement of the neck.

If your dog walks happily on the lead, is not prone to undue pulling and is not hugely strong, a Halti is more than likely unnecessary for them. However, if your dog is a bit of a handful, and is large or strong enough to prove a real challenge to you when they decide that they want their own way, the Halti can prove to be a useful training aid.

If you are considering using one on your own dog, it is vital to go to a knowledgeable retailer that can advise you on the correct fit and style for your own dog, and how to attach and use it correctly.

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