What’s the best dog headcollar or harness for stopping dogs from pulling on the lead?
In this blog post, we’ll attempt to answer that question. There is a lot of lively debate about which works best – headcollars or harnesses. We’re going to look at some of the research and recommendations about both and show why we believe that the K9 Bridle is the best dog headcollar for stopping dogs pulling on the lead.
Headcollars stop dogs pulling by giving you more control over the dog’s head and taking away most of the dog’s strength when he pulls. As one dog trainer told us, “if you have control of the head, you have control of the dog”.
There are a number of brands of headcollar, and many dog owners that we spoke to were relieved and amazed by the instant effect of headcollars in stopping their labs pulling.
However, the problems with most of the headcollar options currently available are:
The k9 bridle was designed because we were frustrated by seeing dogs at shows with their headcollars pulling over their eyes and across their mouths. The dogs often looked miserable and depressed. Our aim was to find something different.
There are 5 good reasons why the k9 bridle is the best dog headcollar for helping owners to control their dogs:
Dog trainers are divided about the use of headcollars in dogs. Many dislike the fact that some dogs don’t like the sensation of having something over their nose and will fight to get the headcollar off. It must feel strange to the dog that is unfamiliar with anything going over his head, but most headcollars do not hurt. It is just an unfamiliar sensation. This can be avoided with gentle training where the dog is introduced to the headcollar gradually at the same time as playing with the owner, being rewarded with treats or praise or just having the headcollar on before being fed. In this way, the dog associates the headcollar with nice things, is not scared by it and is much less likely to show any other signs of irritation or distress.
As with all dog restraints, if headcollars are not fitted correctly, or if the dog is a very strong puller, occasionally the collars can rub on the dog’s face causing sore places if unmonitored.
This very occasionally happens with the k9 bridle. If it does, we will provide the dog with a bespoke bridle with a softer, wider noseband.
As with headcollars, dog trainers’ and vets’ opinions also tend to be divided about harnesses.
There are three types of harness available:
Don’t buy one of these unless you want your dog to pull like a steam train! As we have already described, the oppositional reflex means that as soon as your dog pulls on this harness and you, by holding the lead, pull back, he will just pull harder. His attention is directed away from you, facing forwards. This is why sled dog back-fastening harnesses are so effective.
Your lead attaches to the front of these harnesses, somewhere on the chest. These are somewhat successful in stopping dogs pulling. When the dog pulls against the harness, the force of his pulling against the force of you holding the lead, swing the dog’s body round to face you. His attention is then diverted from where he was pulling back to you and he cannot go forwards in the direction he wishes to.
As with all no-pull management or training devices, there can be issues with the front-attaching harness:
These are operated using a double ended lead and help to ensure that the harness doesn’t slip round the dog when it pulls forwards. They also give the handler more control over the dog’s body as well as his front. With these harnesses, the handler has the choice of controlling the dog’s front end and swinging him round to stop him pulling, or just pull gently on his back to give him a warning to slow down but allow him to keep going forwards.
Some respondents on our survey reported that when a harness doesn’t work they also use a headcollar, usually with a double-ended lead. This gives them choices about the type of control restraint they use on the dog and with particularly strong dogs, has been shown to be what they needed to ensure that they can continue to walk the dog.
As mentioned above, using both headcollar and harness can help control an aggressive dog.
Hopefully this post has helped you to decide which is right for your dog, a headcollar or a harness. It should also have helped you to decide which headcollar or harness you will select.
If you have any further questions or would like to know any more, please get in touch on 01205 460090. We offer a money back guarantee, so if your dog is one of the 4% that doesn’t get on well with the bridle, we will give you a full refund!