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Dog walking query - The "Happy At Heel" Dog Training Harness

Errol has got used to the Halti and is starting to muck about again. It also sits very close to his eyes despite it only being size 2 (meant to be for a Cocker!). I inspected this harness at the petshop the other day but it's an expensive piece of kit and I didn't want to invest in it without gathering some genuine feedback first. Has anyone tried it? It's fairly new on the market...



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Thanks for all your fab suggestions. Will have to look at these when I have a minute.

I totally agree with Howard. It's the walk to the local fields that's the worst - once exhausted Errol is usually OK or resigned to the fact that the fun is over.  :)

However, the shorter morning and evening walks on the leash are also an issue although I must say that Errol is not as bad as the dogs in some of these videos. I make repeated stops to get him back at my side and make him sit at every kerb to keep him focussed. But a soon as he gets a whiff of something juicy he starts to strain against the head collar which makes me think that he's now got used to the thing so maybe another head collar won't be the answer.

I will look at how a handle the lead although I don't like the idea of janking the dog (not that it hasn't happened). I heard somewhere that the head collars are worst for spinal injuries and I'm starting to get paranoid.

I'm afraid mushing or jogging aren't an option for me.  :)


I swear by the gentle leader (having tried a lot of the others), but one thing I always do is walk the dog inside the house with the new lgentle leader on so he gets used to it in his home environment.  I still walk with a normal lead during this but after a weeks acclimatisation in the house I then use it outside.... all the time.  eventually it works!!!

Hi Martin, we used to use Gentle Leaders and sell them at one point.  When a dog responds better to a head collar we now use the Infin8  they are brilliant. The lead from the top of the neck rather than under the chin, and  they are more adjustable too, ensuring a more comfortable fit. My main criticism of them is that they are very fliddly to put on until you are used to them.


I think the Gentle Leader is brilliant for dogs who focus on other dogs and distractions rather than take notice of their owners commands.

The Gentle Leader means you can steer the dogs head away from approaching dogs or get the dog to watch you rather than what is distracting it.

The Infin 8 might be good at stopping a dog pulling during a walk, but how would you divert a dogs attention away from what it is focused on with a Infin 8?

Amazingly easy Torie. It does everything the Gentle Leader does with a great deal of ease and a lot more comfort.  I have actually known dogs who have bust out of Gentle Leaders and Halti's and owners who have vowed never to use headcollars again, giving the Infin8 just one final chance who have then been amazed that 1) their dogs don't seem to mind wearing them and 2) no breaking out and disappearing. I have used the Infin8 on aggressive dogs too and managed to turn their heads without any difficulty. Most headcollars are based upon the figure of 8 principal anyway. Just that with the Infin8 the point of contact is different, and more of those adjustment bits.  We tried Canny Collars for a time which also have the point of contact at the back  of the head. Out of all the head collars I dislike those the most..  Dogs seem to flick the nose bands and get them off far too easily. Its no good the manufacturers saying that it doesn't really matter because it still becomes a collar, because when you have a huge dog who takes a sudden lurch, the poor handler could still loose control of them anyway.  I have also used the Infin8 on car focused collies and have had no problem with turning their heads :-D

That's interesting Fran, I must tell my neighbour to try one on his collie, his dog is a nutter, especially with anything that moves fast. Saying that, every collie I have met has had loads of weird habits....give me Setters any day!

I totally agree with you Torie.  I have always replied to people at agility shows "you think Setters are mad, just take a look at your collies" some of them are out and out lunatics.

Yes, we used Gencons too for a while, but again found dogs could escape those too, especially some of the collies.

I've tried most of the headcollars with my Lab, and the only one that didn't irritate his eyes was the Canny Collar. Couldn't recommend it enough - the way it controls from the top rather than the bottom also makes it much more effective. The Gentle Leader would be my second choice but it gives him eye infections because it rubs :\

Hi There,

my 9 month pup walks well as in loose lead walking on a soft collar and a ten foot lead. If he  pulls I stop wait till he either returns to heel or just looks at me and I say off we go and he is fine. I would hate to use a head Halttie of any kind on him.

The only time I have a problem at all is walking him in company with another reative Setter he will settle after a while. Heeling for a long time can get him a bit edgy but on the whole he is good for a youngster. It takes paitence to teach any dog to stop pulling but well worth it in the long run.


I so agree Sue. I have had some successful outcomes with  the "ordinary" lead  and collar training over the years, but also have resorted to using "aids" with some dedicated pullers! I've never seen it as a failure, after all, people use crutches to help them walk until they are able to do without..hearing aids, glasses, communication aids etc.etc....just tools or aids to achieve something. If you can do without later,all well and good, if not, but you achieve a satisfactory outcome...great!

N.B. some really useful insight into different bits of kit...thank you to all!

Agreed that that technique does work - as long as you have the time and patience to not once let them get away with pulling. I'm slowly but surely getting there using this method :)




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