As a pet owner, proper care for your dog is most important but so is proper training. Dogs that tend to pull hard can create an issue for you; however, with products like the Gentle Leader or the Halti, they can be quickly trained. These two products provide a safe and humane substitution for choke chains and pinch collars. Each product has its pros and cons but overall the Gentle Leader stands to be a sturdier product.
One of the most important features of the Halti and Gentle Leader is to reduce pulling, which causes distress to you and your furry friend. Dogs that wear these products often accept it relatively quickly. After months of use, the dog can be weaned off for a lasting effect. When the dog has become more comfortable using the training collars, using it less and less will eventually allow the dog to use a regular collar.
Although the Halti and Gentle Leader are safer than choke collars, the friction placed on the dog's nose area can become irritated and at times scrape off hair. Generally, if a dog is walking calmly and not trying to fight the effect of Gentle Leader, no pain should be caused to the dog. It's also important to properly adjust the straps on the training collars so that it's not to tight on the dog's muzzle. The product shouldn't prevent the dog from opening its mouth, but should be snug enough so it can't be pawed off.
The Halti is generally the same thing as the Gentle Leader, although there is an additional strap that makes it easier to adjust. The additional strap, on the other hand, is placed in such a way that the dog will eventually chew through it. Every time the animal opens its mouth, it will bite down on the strap and eventually cause it to break.
The size of an animal is important when deciding if the Gentle Leader or Halti is right for you. Using these products on a dog with a small muzzle area can be difficult. At times, the strap can be easily pulled off, but dogs with longer muzzles should be unable to remove it when properly adjusted. The design difference in the Gentle Leader makes it easier to use on animals with a shorter muzzle area as well.
The Gentle Leader is a more well known or strongly advertised product, but generally customer reviews describe it as being a stronger product. There are fewer straps on the Gentle Leader, which can make it seem confusing at first. Once the product has been properly adjusted for your dog, it's much easier to apply it onto the dogs muzzle again.
The use of these training collars should not be permanently substituted for regular collars. The Gentle Leader and Halti are simply training tools to help deter dogs from pulling. Although choke and pinch collars also reduce pulling, at times they can be considered inhumane. Generally, the pinch and choke collars do not inflict any real damage but cause pain to produce the same effect that the Gentle Leader and Halti do without pain. Proper care and full knowledge of the product's instructions should be read before using it on your dog.
- Photo Credit Elliot S. Volkman