A head collar is an excellent tool for keeping a rowdy dog under control when he’s on leash. This type of collar isn’t actually a collar at all. It’s more like a halter for a horse, except your dog wears it. And just like a horse halter, a head collar controls the head, which in turn allows control of the body. It is completely painless, and in fact, it is a fantastic alternative to pinch collars, because this halter setup relies on redirection rather than pain correction. Which I think is SO awesome.
I came across a question in the forums from an owner who was looking for one of these collars. She was looking at a Halti Optifit and wondering if it was a good brand. I know that a lot of people are moving to this kind of collar, so I thought I’d go over what makes a good head collar.
Related: Dog Shock Collars: Yay or Nay?
Not Every Head Collar is a Winner
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When you’re looking for this halter-type collar, it’s important to realize that not all halter collars are created equal. This is not the kind of collar you want to cheap out on. Unlike traditional collars, these head collars have a couple of different adjustment areas for fit, and they get a lot more wear. That means you need a collar that can stand up to walking, pulling, and the occasional scratching from your pooch.
The first thing you want to look for in a head collar is a durable sliding clamp design. When you adjust a halter collar like this, you need those adjustments to stay in place. If the collar loosens, you’ll lose control, and maybe even the dog. Look for sliding clamps which are thick and substantial. You DO NOT want clamps that look thin. This goes double if you have a big dog.
Double D Ring
The doubld D ring in the center of the harness is what keeps the nose loop and neck strap in place. Like the sliding clamps, you want a D ring that is substantial and strong. If that breaks, your dog is gone.
Quality Collar Material
When look at a head collar, you want to make certain that the collar itself is made of nylon. You want a collar that has nice, thick nylon with quality stitching. Just like the sliding clamps and the D ring, the nylon and the stitching need to be tough enough to stand up to the pressure of walking a dog with this sort of collar.
Don’t Cheap out on a Head Collar
When choosing a head collar, don’t look for the cheapest. Look for the best. A head collar is a tool which will allow you to walk your headstrong dog with a minimum of stress on both of you, so opt for a head collar that is well-made and can stand up to the abuse that it will see in the first few days to a week or two. After a little time and patience, your dog will get used to the halter, but you still need an extremely sturdy one so you don’t lose your pooch on your walks.
A head collar is an invaluable tool for walking any dog, and I highly recommend them over harnesses and traditional collars. I especially recommend them over pinch and choke collars. They are just painful and uncomfortable.
Have you ever used a head collar for your dog? Share your buying tips and experiences below!