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 ARTICLES > TTouch > Head Halter Preparation
  TTouch  Article:
Article By: Eugenie Chopin       

More and more people are realizing that the Head Halter (or head collar) is an excellent tool to use with certain dogs. What it is and why we use it is answered in the article ďMaking life a TTOUCH easier when using a canine halterĒ. The article below is meant to help you do the proper preparation work in order to make your dogís transition into wearing something on itís face as easy as possible. Head Halters available to purchase at the TTouch Office are: Haltis, Master Controla, Gentle Leadera & Black Dogs.

While doing the processes below, note that each dog is an individual. You will actually be able to skip some of the steps below with some dogs and yet have to go very slowly with others. It is always worth the effort to take more time to ensure that your dog accepts a new piece of equipment happily and without stress!

  1. Do TTTouches around the nose area, over the bridge of the nose
    • These can be slides or circles or any touches. Just get the dogs used to being touched in that area. Click here for the basic circular touch or Mouth work
    • Keep them gentle and slow
    • If your dog keeps pulling away, place your hand over the bridge of the nose like a Mother dog would do and do touches from the top, doing circles.
    • Sometimes, holding gently with one hand -thumb on top of nose and the rest of the hand under can help steady the dog. This is not meant to be tight or to control him, but to give him information on what is expected.
    • If your dog moves, just go with him!
  2. If you can, do touches inside the mouth. See mouth work on the website for details.
  3. Put your lead over the nose of the dog and hold it just to see how he reacts. Hold for a few seconds and release. You might give your dog a treat when he has something over the nose so that he learns a positive association.
  4. Try an elastic over the nose. Any haberdashery will have this. Put the center of the elastic over the bridge of the nose, cross under the chin and then bring and tie at the back of the head just behind the ears. I usually do a bow if there is enough. The elastic should fit next to the body, but not be pulled too tight. The width of your elastic will depend on the length of the nose. It doesnít have to be too wide.
  5. If your dog wants to take it off you have a few options:
    • You might start by leaving it on for only a few seconds, take it off and after a minute repeat until your dig realizes that itís not threatening. Keep paring the elastic with food or play. Even dinner.
    • Itís useful to distract your dog when the elastic is on. You might:
      • Feed him with it on
      • Play ball
      • Take him for a run
      • Do touches on the nose
    • If he learns that itís safe to have the elastic on, that he can open his mouth, eat and play, then he will learn to accept it.
    • When working your dog, make sure he is on a lead so that you can use gentle containment.
  6. If your dog stills tries to get the elastic off, donít worry, let him! It will then hang around his neck and be easier for you to put back on. You might wait a minute or two, do something else with him, and then pop it back on.
  7. Once the dog feels more at ease with the elastic, you can put on the head halter. Just put it on and leave it without trying to use it!
  8. The next step is to Hook it up to the smaller of the clips on the double clip lead and walk him, but donít use any pressure on the Halter end of the lead.
  9. Only at this point when the dog is comfortable with wearing the Halter that you should start to use it for guidance.
  10. All or some of the above steps can by-passed if your dog has not problems with something on its nose!
  11. If you have real concerns about holding onto your dog in a dangerous situation, you might need to push the process just a little. Although we work with gentleness, patience and respect for the dog, sometimes we have to ask that they go a step further than what they think they can do. If you do this with respect, you will get co-operation!

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