Head halters are okay if properly conditioned. But they too can cause injuries if a dog jerks against it hard enough or keeps pulling. The muzzle loop can rub the muzzle raw.
I should have been more complete in my description of the use of the head halter. My instructor made it clear this was a temporary measure to be used with other techniques to stop pulling. She advised using both a head and a buckle collar switching back and forth till the use of a head collar was slowly phased out.
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Jazz is now trained to not pull and it is working well. I never did get a choke chain. This is the way I did it:
treat bag, clicker, regular collar. Walked him by himself until he was reliable.
first- the name game: call his name and everytime he turned his head a click and treat (lots of treats). After a week or so he could be deep into play/roughhousing and I called his name and his head whipped around to look at me.
second- watch me. I trained him to watch my eyes, staring at me for up to a minute. click and treat.
third- on the leash. If he pulled- name game, watch me. At first, I was calling his name tons of times. As time went on less. Every time he pulled I stopped until he watched me. click, treat and go on. If the leash got taut I stopped walking and he would come back to me. Lots of practice. If he saw something interesting and pulled hard , I turned around and calmly walked the other way (no jerking) so he realized that when he saw something interesting, the best thing was to NOT pull because then he got to watch or see it at least.
fourth- two dogs (the whippet and jazz). Echo never pulls. When I mastered that
fifth- three dogs. Bonnie pulls sometimes, but now Jazz is trained even better than she is. The moment I call his name he immediately stops, turns and comes back to me!
NO MORE PULLING!
My success was based on The Name Game and Watch Me. The leash training hardly played a roll. The true test was a week or so ago when we were walking and a cat appeared. Jazz started to pull, I called his name- head whipped around and he came back to me. A treat was given. All in the presense of a cat!
Jazz is a gentle dog and pretty easy to train. This may not work for a more bold dog, but it worked for Jazz!
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That's awesome, outwest, I'm going to use that method with my two. It's a bit embarrassing that I now own the 2nd smartest dogs of all breeds and they sometimes pull me all over the place, when my pit bull was so easy to train not to pull (and she was probably 2nd to least smart!). But mine don't always pull, for instance never when we're running, just when we're walking or at other occasions for reasons they don't share with me
Indiana, do the name game and the watch me without walking until they have those two things down. Then add the leash walking. Now I bring the treat bag on the walks. He is really good because you never know when a treat might be forthcoming. If he is walking nicely I sometimes call him over for a treat telling him what a good boy he is. I was afraid I might train him to pull, stop and come over for a treat if I only gave him one after he had pulled! So, don't forget a treat when they are doing it right.
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Thanks! I will do that. I've been working on recall with them on my holidays, and they're doing really well with it. Also with their cat obsession, and that's coming along too (more slowly). Somehow this very basic walking manners fell through the cracks!
I taught Gryphon to "touch" and since he is going through his teens he has been slightly less leash-reliable, but whenever he looks away and I feel that he is contemplating to dart for something I ask him to touch. He then has to square up with me and touch my hand and then he gets a reward/praise.
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