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"No, it's not a Muzzle. It's a Halti Collar."

by Dika Golovatchoff, Ph.D.

7 Golden Retriever Puppies

"Does your dog bite?" "Why do you have a muzzle on your Golden Retriever?" These are the questions I am asked at least once a day. And I asked the question too when I first saw a Golden wearing a Halti Collar. Since getting one for Genevieve, my seven-year-old Golden, I can do nothing but sing it's praises. The small investment has saved me many a visit to the chiropractor.

Golden Revriever with Halti Collar

So what is a Halti Collar? I often liken it to a halter for a horse. However, it is neither a halter nor a harness, but actually a collar that fits over the dog's face and fastens above the neck. The lead is attached to a ring below the dog's throat. The image on the right describes it better than words. What does it accomplish? It allows a dog who might otherwise pull on the lead to self-correct without any jerking, yanking, or pinching. It is made of nylon, is quite durable, and comes in one of six sizes and must be fitted to the dog.

Invented by a Dr. Roger Mugford it works on the principal that no animal likes to walk with its head turned to the right or left. As a dog begins to forge ahead, reaching the full extent of a short or long lead, the halti will gently turn the dog's head. The dog learns very quickly not to forge ahead. If he does not remember, a slight wrist pressure will remind the dog to stop or slow down.

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Although Genevieve has been well-grounded in AKC obedience (she has earned a CD and is working toward a CDX certificate), she nevertheless becomes extremely excited when approaching the B E A C H or when meeting some approaching friend (human or canine). I generally use the Halti Collar only when I walk her on lead or am training her. As you can see, the collar does not prevent her from eating, drinking, barking, biting, or carrying her favorite Kool Kong. Be advised that an intelligent dog will easily learn how to slip the collar off the head, even one that has been correctly fitted.

A collar that is similar to the Halti Collar in some respects is called a Gentle Leader. With either kind of collar there is some acclimating period required before a dog is comfortable with and accepts the collar. I made the mistake of putting the collar on in the pet store and immediately taking her with me into the car. Needless to say, she chewed the first collar off in minutes, but since the Halti has a lifetime warrantee it was replaced free of charge.

 

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