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Discussion Starter #1
... I dunno. I bought it in 2 sizes, just in case one didn't fit well. I slipped it on Grimm as he sniffed it, then buckeled it behind the top of his neck, and...... no reaction. I gave him a cracker, a lick of yogurt from my finger, and a lil bit of honey as a snack. He then roamed round the apartment with it on. He really seemed unaware of it. Can it be he didn't know that he had it on? Of course, there was no lead attached-- I just want him to acclimate to it, as the articles on the web suggest I do for a few times each day for a while before even thinking of clipping on a lead.

Anyway, I have had a lightweight nylon muzzle on Grimm a few times for walks, snacks, etc. in the past, as the laws here are now that no big dog can ride the trains here in Germany without a muzzle. It fits on about the same way. Anyway, he hasn't had THAT much practice wearing the muzzle.... I was just surprised he didn't try to remove the Halti at all.

It's actually a Karli brand Halti look-alike.

How do you issue a correction using a Halti? Or, do Halti users simply have the philosophy that removing something the dog wants will be enough of a motivation/correction to stop bad behavior?
 

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I just put the Gentle leader(like a halti) on Onyx for her evaluation today. I bought it about six mos. ago, and only used it once.The last adjustment was so small, she has grown alot around the neck!
So I had to re-watch the dvd that came with it to refresh. For correcting, just change direction, DON'T pop, like a prong or choker. It also said if the dog is pulling too much to raise his head, w/ your hand in a cupping motion under the chin and put him into a sit. As soon as he lowers into a sit, release and reward. I was surprised how well Onyx did on this,no pulling and she had it on for over an hour and only tried to paw her nose a few times. My trainer informed me to keep it just under the "crinkles" of the ears, as there are calming nerves there, and the pressure of the collar helps. I am going to use this instead of the prong collar, due to Onyx fear aggression.
 

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You don't make the correction using a head halter for dogs. They will give themselves the correction when they pull.
I use Gentle Leaders on my own dogs, and love the results. Good luck!
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #4
But... he needs a correction the split-second BEFORE he pulls, to break his train of intent. The reason I got the Halti is not to stop pulling, he walks fine. I got it because it was suggested it can help with a leash-reactive dog who lunges/barks at other dogs when on lead.

Therfore, what I do NOT want, is Grimm charging headlong into the Halti in a sudden, extremely powerful burst.... this is what he does, the lunging bit. I don't want him to be hurt by the Halti, nor, God forbid, for the thing to break.

Leash with prong in one hand, leash with Halti in the other? Correct his train of thought with prong, then lure him towards treat with Halti for Watch command when highly distracted?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ideas?
 

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I used a Halti on my girl for a while. Keep him close, I think the danger is when they run and hit the end. If you keep him close you can prevent that. I always considered it like I would when I had horses, the more unrully they were the closer up the lead I was.
 

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The one thing I just thought of, is this training kind of sounds like crittering.....if you get as far away from other dogs until you can get his attention and work on the focus thing, then get closer and closer...if he stops responding to you, you have to back up and start further away again. Until when he sees the other dogs he automatically looks to you for the treats or reward or whatever you are using.
 

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From my experience with it with one dog, leash aggression isn't going to go away with a Halti...and somehow,
I doubt 2 leashes is going to lessen it, but possibly increase it.

You can't correct with a Halti, and if he self corrects hard enough, he could injure his neck. Be careful there...keep him close is good advice.

Hadn't heard about the crinkle ear pressure point before though, maybe that would have helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Slipped the Halti on just for him to acclimate a few nights ago, to wear around the house, Dicd it again this morning, and-- decided to try a walk with it on.

Findings: The Halti does the opposite of keeping the dog exactly where you wish, as you cannot truly correct for heel position to get *accuracy*.

I found I was nervous about hurting him, scared to put any pressure and upset him. Grimm did GREAT.. but his person was anxious.

We walked a lil, and he adapted to it without so much as a head-shake, nose-pawing,... nothing. I was starting to relax as much as he was with this Halti thing.

Suddenly, about a half block away, a collossal black Giant Schnauzer appeared on the scene! Eyebrows and beard bristling with indignation, tail cranked over his back, strutting: "Yo Mama wears army boots!" kinda 'tude. No barking, but clear bodylanguage and 'real terrier character.'

For the first time, Grimm only made a minor brush (only slight hackling), and tried a low-key "Wiff" instead of an explosive volley of barking. I broke out my "aahhkk-aaahhkk, pfuuuuii..." and he settled very slightly... but still looking at the Black Terrier O' Death.
I asked for "Watch"-- and slowwwwly got it, without Halti pressure. I *clicked* my clicker and treated, giving low, slow, gentle praise.

The Giant Schnauzer got closer, so I heeled Grimm away a little to get distance-- and he actually was relaxed enough to heel and not try to fight to get closer to the other dog and rumble!

As the other dog strolled about 5 car lengths in front of us, Grimm didn't wanna respond to Watch, so verbally, I "ahhkk-aaahhkk" then I gently but firmly used the Halti to turn his head, he made eye contact, got *click* treat, and the subsequent Watches went easier. He did keep trying to swivel his head to watch the dog as it went away down the sidewalk. I did need to use the Halti a few times for subsequent Watch commands, but, he realized there just was not gonna be a rumble with the other woofer, and then just responded to voice alone.

Halti Conclusions:

Crappy ability to achieve any accuracy with placement during a heel.

MUCH more relaxed dog!!! He seemed LESS reactive in the Halti. Truly, a huge difference-- Grimm seemed less stressed, more attentive, less likely to fire up!!

I feel nervous about this little wimpy Halti thing if he ever DID lunge/charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Grimm's Halti experience!

Still not 100% sure if the Halti made the difference, but he WAS much, much more relaxed in this situation, and easier to work with in this.
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

I would recommend that you run a short line between the snap on your leash and his regular flat collar. So leave his flat collar on and just have this extra strap that connects the leash to it, so if for some reason he gets his head out of the halti you still have the connection between leash and the other collar.

That's what we did with my Mom's dog and it worked well. Only once did he get his head out of the halti and he couldn't go anywhere because he was still attached to the leash.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

Melanie, thanks for the idea. I am unclear how I would do that.
But I see the wisdom in it. I bought a normal, soft nylon flat collar at the time I bought the Halti. Do I have to somehow make a little bitty leash (not sure how?) to go from the leash snap to the flat collar's ring?

NEWSFLASH: Just back from another Halti walk. Yet again, I can honestly say that accuracy is totally out the window with this Halti.
There is also a sense of loss of control here, as I can't get the more immediate communication, nor response, that I could with the chain or prong.

The big plus-- we walked by 2 more dogs, maybe 3-- I couldn't see why an old man was waiting patiently by the bushes, methinks another dog was there that he was waiting to do it's business. Anyway, each time, Grimm was distracted-- but NOT unmanageable! Grimm's stress is much, much lower in the Halti. Yes, again, I was using the clicker and the treats to mark the Watch command when dogs were in sight. (but in the past i tried that with the prong too, and it was harder to get a good response)Again, I occasionally had to gently use the Halti to guide Grimm's face towards me to mark/click/treat when I asked for Watch. But-- everything-- and I do mean everything-- was easier in getting him to DO stuff. To heel away from the other dog, to get the Watch, everything. He is much, much calmer in the Halti. His stress in this situation is markedly less. Yes, he is edgy, distracted, and still hackles a bit. But now I actually CAN get him to respond-- walk away with me or do Watch. Plus, I think the old man I was talking about had a dog sniffing in the bushes-- and we walked within 1 - 2 car lengths of him!! Grimm did growl softly, but-- did NOT pull on the line, did NOT bark, did not hackle-- and-- gasp!!-- followed right along at **** as I turned us into our driveway. NOT possible before!

I hate the lack of being able to communicate immediately with the Halti regarding precision and placement for things when he drifts out of where I need him to be. But, I LOVE that Grimm, so far, only 2 walks where we saw other dogs, seems to be less stressed and more responsive to me and my voice using this! Yay!
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

Patti my personal opinion is if the Halti fixes the dog reaction problem work on that now, once that is more under control you can work on the heeling accuracy. Fix one thing at a time, then work on the next.
 

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If it helps Brightl elf......Ava never broke through hers....and she was/is very reactive.
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

Originally Posted By: Wisc.TigerPatti my personal opinion is if the Halti fixes the dog reaction problem work on that now, once that is more under control you can work on the heeling accuracy. Fix one thing at a time, then work on the next.
I agree. He is young and has lots of years to learn a formal heel. With my young dog we are working on socialization and manners. I've found that when the dog is under control, well-socialized, and alert to the handler they almost start to heel naturally.

Also remember that the halti or prong is simply a tool, a training aid. The halti does not fix the reactivity or teach the heel, you do. As I understand, a halti is supposed to give you more control and avoid the dog's oppositional reflex (pulling harder against whatever is on the neck), but it's up to you to constantly mark and reward for the correct response/behavior and shape what you want based on your communication of what is correct. I don't think the halti is designed for leash corrections.

As for safety, you can clip it to a well fitted flat or a choke collar. I use an Easy Walk on my Coke and I made a little attachment that hooks the harness to his collar. If he steps out of the harness I still have him by the collar.
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

I agree with everyone else. Fix the reactivity, then work on heel position.

I'm glad he seems to be much calmer and easier to control on the Halti. Hooray! And it sounds like you've had ample opportunity to test it out. Keep up the great work. I hope Grimm continues to improve.
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

Well, last dog-likely walk of the day, and.. no dogs on this walk.
But, we tried the Halti out twice today, and as noted above, things are improving.

I'm just flummoxed. After being urged by friends who do dog sports to get harder and harder with Grimm, (and I believed in that idea, too... he is a workinglines dog, right? Czech, tough cookie?) I had to try these methods when Grimm seemed to be edging away from me emotionally, and the prong and corrections weren't working, and the problem seemed to either be getting worse or just never going away.

Maybe now Grimm will have alot to think about when he sees another dog-- will I ask for a Watch command, so he gets a treat? Will I ask for a left circle, so he looks up at me, and gets a treat? What if I want a kinda sudden but nicely focus-y fig. 8 heel pattern, finishing with a sit and treat?

I wonder just how much extra stress the prong added? He doesn't get leash corrections in this method, (maybe that takes stress away, too?) but I do have my patented Thundering "PFUUUII!!" if I need it.

Sorry for so many questions, but doing things this way is new to me. I can't believe a change in my thinking & approach is having such a good impact, so far.
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

It's possible this method will help you guys in new ways you hadn't thought of. Afterall, the main 'thing' with positive training is teaching your dog that what he does matters. If I do this, I will get a treat. If I don't do this, I won't get a treat. Hmmm. . .I wonder what I can do to get a treat. Let's see what I can try!!!

Not to mention being a human treat dispenser can help your dog see you as a good thing (treats are weaned off later, of course). Whenever I'm out and working with Mom, I get treats! Yippee!

I know with Ris' reactivity, it got pretty bad and I was always getting upset with her. (Can't do leash corrections with Risa.) But once I started thinking of it in a more positive light, things worked better. "Ooo look, another dog. Oh, you want to bounce bark and lunge? Fine. Go for it. But if you want to play tuggie or get a treat, you'd best look to me. Oh you did!? Isn't this much more fun?"

I bet, with time, you won't even have to ask him to watch you when you see another dog. His eyes will instantly meet yours. And that day, I hope you give him a BIG jackpot of treats!
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

I hope an Oinkpot is in the future for us.
Thanks so much for your Risa stories, Jamie.. this REALLY helps right now! To be honest, changing my own mind about methods was hard, and it felt risky. I had to have the courage to go against advice of trusted friends with workingline dogs who do dogsport and are really experienced. But, Grimm was becoming 'closed' to me, instead of open and eager to work with me, and.. my corrections, even with prong, were annoying/wimpy anyway. I am starting to try this in the hope things will finally change. If I keep doing things one way, and it isn't working, I need to try another way.. radical phase shift that this is, i do see a better, more responsive, less stressed dog so far.

What helped Risa's reactivity the most? Anyone else got a reactive success story to share? hmm.. smells like another whole thread to me.
 

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Re: Grimm's Halti experience!

I've been in your shoes. I started Ris with correction-based training but it didn't really work. And I thought clicker training was stupid. I'm so glad we ended up in a clicker class.
It really changed my view of things for the better. And it helped us become a better team. Nothing happened overnight. It's taken months for me to notice. But she's an entirely different dog than she was when I took her home. And her love of working with me is apparent. I like that I'm no longer just the anchor at the end of the leash.

I think if you continue with the positive training, you may very well find that Grimm is more attentive to you. I know he LOVES to play with other dogs and that's highly rewarding to him. Basically, you need to make yourself more fun than those other dogs. Make silly noises, smile, get excited. And always bring treats so you can reward him for the behaviors you like. If it weren't so inconvenient, I'd tell you to bring raw goodies with you. Afterall, if he's willing to jump out a window for a wrapper, his eyes would probably never leave yours if you had a bag of ground beef in your pocket!


Ris is still reactive. But it's getting to a point where I can manage it a bit better. The thing that I think helped the most was when I realized I needed to change my attitude. Once I stopped getting so frustrated and angry with her about her reactions, I was able to redirect her focus to me easier. She starts curling her lip at another dog, I just ask for her attention. Once she gives it, she gets a click/treat. Oftentimes she'll see another dog and will just turn and look at me. Click/treat. Sometimes, I just have to manage the situation better. If I notice another dog is getting close, I will keep Ris' focus on me and have her follow me away from that dog before she even notices it. Sometimes I can keep her focus on me and not the other dog practically on her butt without moving. . .but not always.

Playing tuggie also seems to work better on curbing her reactions when we're out on walks. Since she gets so revved up I know she needs a release. Tuggie does that for her. Plus it is an activity WITH me which redirects her focus. I also try and avoid passing close to other dogs because we're not there yet. And I know if we had to walk alongside another dog on the sidewalk, she'd try and lash out at it. Not to mention I can never count on other people to have control of their dogs so I avoid getting so close that I risk problems.
 
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