What’s my favorite Head Halter/Headcollar?

There’s great news in the world of training equipment; things are changing for the better. What we commonly used a decade ago like “choke chains” are a thing of the past. New technology gives us new choices; now we reach for effective and friendlier products. The choices are vast.

One of the options for equipment is commonly called a head halter or headcollar, I normally call them the former because it really functions just like a head halter for horses but they are made for dogs. There are different styles and bands but their job is the same- to gently control the dog. Myself and many veterinarians and fellow trainers and behaviorist like these as alternatives to collars that go around the neck. Here are some pluses to why we like head halters.

  • Discourages pulling on a leash
  • Never causes choking, gagging or coughing
  • Helps prevent jumping and lunging
  • Helps manage behavior problems such as fear, anxiety and aggression
  • Helps control excessive barking
  • Give extra control (i.e., vet’s office, busy streets)
  • Use to help walk pups as young as 8 weeks
Understand that a head halter is NOT a muzzle. A head halter allows a dog to eat, drink, walk, run, play fetch and yes, even bite. On the other hand, a muzzle is a protective device which covers the mouth so the dog can’t bite. There is a clear difference between a muzzle and a head halter.

I carry two brands of head halters in my studio: the Gentle Leader Head Halter and the Halti headcollar. I like them equally. I think either brand works really well on most dogs. The Gentle Leader head halter is by Premier Pet Products and is made in America. It comes in two styles; the original and the Deluxe. The Deluxe can be hard to find as its usually only sold by trainers and behaviorist and online. The differences in the two are that the Deluxe has a soft felt cushion on the nose which makes it a little more comfortable than the original. It also comes in cute patterns and offers a matching leash. I carry and use both styles.

The Halti headcollar brand is made in England by The Company of Animals, LTD. The company prides it product by advertising that, “The Halti has become the world’s favourite canine headcollar because it has been designed to combine maximum steering efficiency with unequalled comfort for the dog.”

You can find both brands online or in some stores but in my opinion; having a trainer like me helps when learning how to fit and use these products properly. Its really important that your dog feels comfortable and confident in his Halti or Gentle Leader.

Thanks to TryNot Productions, we have a great educational video for you to watch at our website on the Gentle Leader. It gives a very good explanation and you see several different size dogs and their owners telling about how much they like the product. Go watch it, its short and well done.