International Positive Dog Training Association
Setting The International Standard For Humane Dog Training
Tool: Head Halter; Gentle Leader ®, Promise System TM, Easy Way Collar TM, Halti Brand head halter
Rating: Acceptable when fitted properly and used following the criteria described in these research findings as long as the dog does not have an adverse reaction to it. Not acceptable when used as an aversive or when used on stressed, anxious, fearful or aggressive dogs.
Note: The intended use of the head halter does not include an operant sequence as its purpose is for safety only, when attached to a leash or life-line and/or to control the movement of the nose, head and neck of an otherwise powerful dog or a dog that chokes when pulling on a collar. However, some dogs find the feel of the head halter and the pressure caused by tightening around the nose, eyes and/or neck unpleasant and/or frightening, in which case it becomes an aversive. When used as an aversive it works with the following quadrants of operant conditioning.
Operant Sequence: Positive Punishment or Negative Reinforcement
• Pulling on the leash to cause tightening around the nose, eyes and/or neck and restriction of movement to decrease the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated.
For example, adding tightening to stop the dog from pulling.
• Stopping the tightening to increase the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated.
For example, loosening up on the pressure of the Halti in order to maintain heel position (avoidance conditioning).
Note: ACTT – Applied Canine Therapy and Training and Canine Correspondence Studies do not recommend the use of head halters as they increase stress and anxiety in many dogs. Putting a head halter on a reactive dog is on par with putting a person in handcuffs then forcing them into what they perceive to be a dangerous or unpleasant situation. And putting a head halter on a fearful dog can cause the dog to panic, further harming its temperament and emotional wellbeing. Instead we recommend the Sense-ible or Sense-ation Harness.
Conclusion: Potential to be an aversive.
Download Full Research Findings Below