2001-Sat Mar 25 21:31:08 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Head haltersfor dogs,commonly sold as the Gentle Leader, Halti or Snoot Loop, are devices that fit over a dog’s nose and neck. The halters are not to be mistaken for a muzzle, but they are a walking device that gives more control than a collar or harness. The basic premise of a halter is: Where the head goes, the body will follow.
Head halters fit similarly to a halter on a horse; the leash attaches just under the mouth. There may be some similarity between the head halter tightening on the muzzle and a mother dog correcting her puppies by putting her mouth over their nose.
Head halters are beneficial training tools, but there is also the possibility for misuse. For this reason, involving a professional, starting with your veterinarian, is always recommended to see if the head halter is the right fit for your dog.
Not every dog is a candidate for a head halter, but the devices are valuable in certain training situations. Dogs with aggression issues are one example where head halters may be recommended. Owners with limited physical ability walking a hard-to-control dog can also better direct the dog with a head halter than with other walking tools. The halter minimizes forward motion, such as pulling, and gives directional control. By pulling gently upward, the person can use the halter to close the dog's mouth, which can help control nipping and mouthing. When the halter is used in combination with training a desired response, such as teaching a loose-leash walk, it can be a transitional training tool that is used temporarily to teach a particular behavior.
Opponents of head halters note the possibility of damage to the neck if the dog hits the end of the leash and his head is snapped back. There is also the possibility for misuse of the halter if sharp-jerk corrections are made. Head halters that fit too tightly can also cause eye damage or rub fur off the muzzle. Some dogs also become distressed or depressed from the halter, especially if gradual adjustment to the device is not made.
When the head halter is used properly, it can be a safe and effective tool. Dogs should be gradually accustomed to wearing the head halter by encouraging them to put their nose through the muzzle loop of their own free will. The fitting should be associated with treats and should only be done over a period of time as the dog remains relaxed. If the fitting is done right, the dog better tolerates wearing the head halter, because it’s associated with reward.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.