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I have/am trying to train Reuben to walk to heel and sometimes he is really good and other times awful, especially in new places and first walk etc. I will keep perseveering and am patient. However he is so strong now and my shoulder is really hurting and maybe I need something to help me along or at least use in the morning when on the school run and holding school bags, dog and child! I have never used a Halti or anything as I was worried that this would just mask the problem and not teach him how to walk nicely. I have tried a half check collar but am not convinced this has helped much and I don't want to be yanking him about.

Any ideas?

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Hi Louise, Halti's are the best thing to stop pulling, you would probably need a Size 2 and later change to a Size 3. I walk my two setters with halti's and if you walk with your hands quite low beside you, they don't pull. My 8 year old grand-daughter can walk my setters wearing their halti's, I think they are the best solution, whatever you do, don't get a harness as they don't work, the halti was designed by Roger Mugford the animal behaviourist and if you think about it, you would not lead a horse by a collar and that is the principal of the halti, try it, you won't be disappointed, and make sure you attach the link which comes with it, to your dogs collar as this is a safety device should the halti come off, you would still be attached to the dog. Good Luck, regards Linda.
Haltis are great as Linda says but lots of non-doggy people think they are muzzles so shy away from the dogs; I switched to using a Gencon head halter........they are made by the lady who designed them & come just as a head collar to use with your normal lead or an all-in-one version with lead attached. Just type Gencon into any search engine & Irene's details will come up. They wash really well in the machine.
Whichever product you buy Linda is right, head collars are the way to go. :))))
Rio, after a great start on the lead, has also started pulling, I'm persevering with the stop and hold every time he pulls, but agree it is exhausting and painful when they snatch the lead to investigate something 'just out of reach!', as yet I have not resorted to a Halti or similar, I think part of it is just his age - eight months now and curiosity but will see how we get on. I won't repeat the mistake of putting him in a harness - I did that with Jinty when she was young, thinking it would be better for her it proved even harder to hold her as she 'threw' her full weight into the harness and powered away. I did use a Halti with her for a while and it worked but she never took to it and would try to rub it off, - she eventually calmed down and walked to heel.
Good luck am with you in spirit!.
I think Jennifer is doing the right thing by persevering instead of going for a "quick-fix".
And yes the Halti works, but does it actually teach the dog anything?
I dont think it does.
Thank you for all your replies - my goodness, so many things to try! My trainer from class let me borrow one of her head collars tuesday and it does stop the pulling but does tend to ride up the nose and in to Reuben's eyes. I tried adjusting it, so bit trial and error at the moment. I will look at your recomendations Fran as I am sure I have read you mention these before on this site. May comeback to you with questions! I also agree with you that it is definitely not cheating and I don't want a quick fix but just something to assist especially as I have a sore shoulder and now suspected arthritis in one hand. Today Reuben had the headcollar on in the morning when walking to school but then for the rest of the time it was off and lots of patient practice. On his second walk we started with it on (still training/treating asking to heel) and then took it off again after 10 mins or so. i would rather use a training aid as opposed to getting extremely frustrated/upset and yanking on his neck especially as Reuben is still undergoing investigations for his cough/oesephagas problems. And I totally hold my hand up and admit to losing patience sometimes and know it is not Reuben's fault but feel he gets the brunt of it.
I do make sure that one of our walks is around the local shops where there are lots of people and dogs to distract Reuben and I have noticed (as of today) he is not so completely obsessed with trying to go up to people. Even managed to get him to sit and wait whilst a cyclist went by!!!! Anyway sorry to go off the subject and good luck Jennifer, lets hope we both get there in the very near future as I am sure people think I am potty, stop, start, stop, start, yap, yap, yap. In fact I think I even train in my sleep now...
Thank you Fran, I had a look at a few of your videos and they are really good, Dottie is also such a sweetie! I will keep an eye out for your update.
Hi Louise, Having 2 setters and one very powerful male that can pull in certain situations, I tried haltis fairly successfully but then came across the Dogmatic headcollar which is very similar to the halti but the fit is much better (several sizes available) and is also designed not to ride up into the eyes. Both dogs took to these very quickly. I wish I could say that our dogs don't pull but we're still working at that one. In the meantime if I need to be in total control, they are very useful. www.dogmatic.org.uk.
I have not tried these but they were recommended by agility friends Run Devue Leashes I think their website is www.stores.run-devue.com.
Hi just a thought - do you free run Reuben before you put him on the lead to take the edge off his excess energy and natural exuberance, I play with Rio out in our field for ten minutes or more before we go out really wouldn't expect him to settle down or listen straight away if I just put him on the lead and walked him, - I don't walk him very far - do think little and often is the way to success but then I guess I am lucky in so much that we have 2 acres to let him run in and the fact that I don't work. Good luck with the Halti and the other training aides recommended on here, as I said I tried many thing's with Jinty but then one day it was as if something had clicked - she 'got it' and she never pulled again. There are also dog trainers who will look at how you handle your dog - and your body language etc.
We also had trouble with the halti riding up under the eye. We now use a 'gentle leader'- very similar to the halti but it seems to stay in place better
That's my experience also. Haltis ride up into the eyes, and can break! Gentle leaders are much better for setter type heads. Tip - If you find yourself without a head collar and he is pulling - try passing the lead in front of his chest (difficult to explain but T Touch websites should have pictures) this works quite well. Also bungee type dog leads will cushion the shock on your shoulder (dog games.co.uk website). Can you tell I have a big Gordon boy who pulled like a steam train? He's a lot better now, but it took 12 months of chiropractor treatment to fix my neck!
I use a gentle leader aswell on 2 of mine, they work really well, no problems with them riding up, they are also designed so that the dog can still eat, drink and pick things up.

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