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  #1  
Old 04-21-2016, 03:21 AM
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Default Head collar

Has anyone used a head collar/"halti" on their Chi? We just bought one for Finley...our trainer suggested it as the next step in curing his fear aggression issues. He's making progress with the BAT training, but not the way he should/we and she had hoped, so we were discussing additional things to try after his last obedience class. The head collar was just delivered today, so I'm looking for some tips on the best way to get him used to wearing it and "like" it. Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:54 AM
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Treats, treats treats treats and praise. If walking along and he paws at it then stop him from doing so.
Only know as saw it on 'it's me or the dog' lol Victoria is all about positive rewarding and not like caesar. Possibly check out her videos?


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Old 04-21-2016, 01:47 PM
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Thanks, I'll take a look. It actually came with a training DVD as well, we just haven't had a chance to look at it yet lol.
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:57 PM
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I didn't really bother with the DVD, we just practiced putting it on and taking it off with treats once a day for a few days. He didn't really like it much the first few times on walks but he has completely changed when he wears it. We can walk within a few feet of pitbulls, dogo argentino, rottweilers even dogs that lunge at him or are very excited he doesn't really care about them anymore, although I will admit he has suddenly calmed down in the past few weeks.

Usually the bigger the dog the more excited he got to see them on walks. Now he only seems to get excited when coming head on with a big dog when we just start out our walk and he's got a lot of energy.

I tried out the head halter because I read that it was very good for excited/fearful/reactive dogs and everyone had such good reviews for it. I honestly have never seen another small dog wearing one (only larger pullers/lungers) but seriously, it works!
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:13 PM
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Most dogs need to be conditioned to like head halted. There's a nice video here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1wakterNyUg

My question would be what is your trainer trying to achieve with the use of the head halter?

Some dogs will shut down and therefore show less 'reactivity' to other dogs when they are wearing them but it doesn't change how they feel and they are still scared. This can then increase their fear and make the problem worse.

If you're using it for better control of the dog then I'd suggest that you may be moving too quickly and that you are working too close to the decoy dog.

Head halter a aren't commonly used on tiny dogs and I'm not sure how well they would work given the great distance between the halter and the end of the lead.

Good luck with it, I know how tough it is. I have been working with Nibbler for more than 18mths on his fear, anxiety and reactivity and he only recently was able to meet and play with a strange dog for the first time.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:41 PM
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I agree, I have seen many dogs who totally shut down when wearing a head collar, but the owners misinterpret this as improved behaviour.
I am not a fan of gadgets, especially with tiny dogs.
I would just keep working on the BAT technique, it is a slow process but will get to the bottom of his issues, there are no quick fixes with fear reactivity.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2016, 08:06 PM
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I'm not looking for a quick fix, just a fix - I expect that it will take forever, but forever with no progress is not what I'm after.

The reason she suggested the head collar is because he is very "prey driven" when he gets within a certain distance of any the dog. He visually latches on with eye contact just LOSES it. She suggested this may be a good way to simply break the eye contact and divert his attention back to us.

I am not set on any one technique to help him, but I am certainly open to new ones if I think they're safe and will help him. I will see how he feels about the head collar - if he shuts down, hates it, is miserable, or whatever, then that will be the end of that. I know my dog and I know how to read him. But it seems like some people have had some success with a head collar so I'm willing to at least test it out.

Last edited by SinisterKisses; 04-21-2016 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:10 AM
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All right, let me ask you this then. How often should we be doing BAT training sessions for it to be effective? Right now, we take him out 6 days a week for about 15-30 minutes each day to work on desensitizing him around other dogs. We give him one night a week as a total "off" night. But - going out every single night for the next year and a half, two years, is not likely going to be very realistic. We are totally dedicated to doing what we have to to fix him and if it takes two years, so be it...but...is every night overkill?
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