Roger Mugford invented the original head collar called the Halti in the early 80’s. Like many trainers I could not accept the idea of the head collar.
Over the years I began to realise that pet owners did not want to go on to competitive work they simply wanted the dog to stop pulling and for the dog to come back.
George Grayson approached me around 1990 and asked me to try his redesigned Head Collar. Only because I was aware that George an old friend who was head of the Yorkshire Police dog unit was a top trainer that I accepted his offer to give it a try.
I never looked back, I was able to kindly have any dog under my control in a few minutes and most important teach people how to do this in 5 minutes. My schools were large I had at least 50 dogs each session 15 times a week. I was doing what people wanted I stopped their dogs pulling on the leash and taught them in around 5 minutes how to do it.
Although Head Collars are sold in most pet shops and vets I believe it is unwise for anyone to try to use one without professional help. The dog must be treated gently and introduced in such a way that it is a game.
Four head collars available are the Halti, the Gentle Leader, the Dogalter the Kombi. The Halti is a U.K. Registered Design made in five sizes of very fine nylon and is loose fitting.
The Gentle Leader is a design first patented in the United States and then Europe. It is made in three, snug fitting, sizes of 19mm nylon and has five snug fitting with a padded nose band. It can be left on the dog and can also be used for problems where it is necessary to correct the dog, i.e. whining, chewing, excitement etc.
The calming effect on some excitable dogs can be remarkable. Personally I use the half-check collar which was designed by George Grayson. The advantage of head collars is that they control the dog by the head, like a horse, and using one increases the handler’s control.
They also have a calming effect on some dogs putting pressure on the shoulder and neck, even though not all dogs like them. They are, therefore, a training aid, assisting control in many cases. If the dog is anti-social or too strong for the handler, they are vital as long as the owner is taught how to use them properly.
Many people do not like them because they look like muzzles, but most find that their use has enabled them to walk happily with their dog when before it was a struggle.