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Dog slipped halti off going for small dog

Poe
January 8th, 2006, 02:46 PM
Hi,

I'm taking care of my sister's large breed mutt for a month and we went for our first walk today. She was going fine on the way to the dog park and I had exercised her off leash for a while, but on the way home I walked on a main street to do errands. Things were going fine until she saw a small yappy dog in the window, went after it, slipped out of her halti, and pulled me to the ground while I tried to grab her collar to keep the halti from breaking. After I finally got the halti back on she seemed very excitable and started playing leash tug of war all the way home.

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions that might help me get her attention while she's chasing a small dog, or any experience at all that you might think is relevant with haltis or dogs that chase. Do dogs tend to get more excitable heading towards home?

Thanks in advance.

tenderfoot
January 8th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Many dogs actually act more calmly when heading home because they know the outing is over. I think she got an adrenalin rush, learned you have no power and took full advantage.
Personally, your story reinforces our belief that gimmicks don't teach - they control. This dog has not learned not to chase - she has simply been stopped by the halti and when the halti failed so did she.
This dog does not have a strong relationship with you as her leader and is therefore not likely to listen very well. The more you ask of her and she obeys - the stronger your relationship will grow. Having her on the leash attached to you in the house is a great way to get started. It reminds you to communicate with her, takes her out of recess, and gives you the chance to correct any bad behavior and reward the good. Start asking her to do lots of things, set boundaries for her, play games that you win. Behave more like a parent and less like a playmate and you will start to see some changes. Unless you are able to get some professional help that your sister approves of I would say keep using the halti (it was your sisters choice) and add a regular flat wide collar that is also hooked to a leash for back up.
You are kind of stuck in a quandary. If you went ahead and changed her training methods and she didn't like that then there would be problem. It's like you disciplining her child in a manner she disapproves of. The flip side to that is if you trained her dog with better methods and got great results she would be thrilled.

doggy lover
January 8th, 2006, 05:15 PM
I have used a choke chain and a halti on my large dog, I know it doesn't change the behaviour as only training will but if you are scared of the dog getting away on you and into the road it won't be able to slip the choke chain. I use to use the flat collar and the halti but Travis would just slip both, so I found I had peace of mind when I used the choke.

Poe
January 8th, 2006, 05:50 PM
Thanks Tenderfoot. I agree that the halti doesn't make me feel like the dog and I are working together--it just makes me feel like I have far less control, especially if it slips off all the time! Since my sister has insisted I use it, though, I'll try a second leash on the collar. That should help prevent any accidents.

Doggy lover, my sister is actually training the dog with a choke chain, but it didn't work for me because I had to pull sideways every ten seconds or she would get ahead of me and start choking. Thanks for the advice, though. Hopefully she won't start slipping the collar, too.

I think I'll do training only for a few days before I try to take her out again. She's pretty good indoors, but maybe if I reinforce that she has to listen to me for a while she'll be better outdoors.

Thanks for the advice! Wish me luck. :fingerscr

twodogsandacat
January 8th, 2006, 05:51 PM
Unless you are able to get some professional help that your sister approves of I would say keep using the halti (it was your sisters choice) and add a regular flat wide collar that is also hooked to a leash for back up.

Some Haltis came with the safety but if it didn't this is great advice. Go to a pet store and ask them if they have one. I own a large breed dog also use a small prong with a safty connected from the flat collar to the leash. When he pulled and the collar broke (popped open) the backup kept him on leash. In his case it was a rabbit crossing the street right in front of us...the worst possible time I guess as there were cars coming. He sat as I yelled sit but I felt much better knowing that he was really still on leash and couldn't bolt without it I may not of felt as confident - and if he noticed he would of been gone.

Poe
January 8th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Thanks twodogsandacat. The halti comes with a safety but I've been warned that the dog breaks her haltis and thinner leashes, so the thin nylon doesn't really make me feel that safe. Since I doubt she would sit if she were in the midst of a chase, I'll try a second leash hooked to her flat collar and see how that goes.