We worked with the head collar (Halti brand, Premier makes one called the Gentle Leader) for a couple of weeks while dog walking. It did give great control over Ellie and almost completely took care of her jumping. The only problem is she does not like it and has to stop a couple of times during the walk to roll around on the ground and scratch her nose, preferably on the grass. So I decided to try the Premier Easy Walk Harness instead.
I actually liked this design of the premier easy walk harness from the beginning. I have used harnesses on a lot of our dogs and although they give good control the dogs pull like mules. Researching the different collars and harnesses available to help train to walk on loose lead I read something about an “opposition reflex” which refers to hooking a dog into a harness that the lead buckles on the back. This creates the same situation with a dog pulling something and may create a situation where the dog will pull harder since that is what they think they should be doing. So the design of harness should be where it hooks into a ring on the chest area instead of the back. Makes sense.
I purchased an off brand of harness for our eight month old pup Otis. The design was such where it hooked into the chest area and does slow him down. He still pulls and is all over the place unless I shorten up on the lead.
The Premier Easy Walk Harness has a very interesting design which does work. It has a martingale type design on the strap that goes across the chest. This way when the dog pulls instead of just pulling the harness off to the side while the dog continues on the Premier harness tightens on the chest while pulling the dog off to the side. Using this with Ellie (I will need a smaller one for Otis right now) brought immediate results. I think working several weeks with the head collar with the goal of getting off of it as quickly as possible had done some good. When she would stop and look back at me she would get praises. She has continued this with the harness.
The only downside about the premier easy walk harness is it does not control jumping very well. The head harness does nicely for this and gives the added control if you need quick control for any aggression as you can shut the mouth with the lead.
I find both the premier gentle leader head collar and the premier easy walk harness good designs to help you gain control over a spirited hound. The head collar will give you the best control but takes longer to get your dog used to it. Easing into its use is time well spent. Even though Ellie doesn’t like it she will put it on because it means going for a walk and ultimately that is all that counts. She tolerates the harness much better which means a good walk for both of us.
The Premier products are top line in design, materials and manufacturing. I think they are the best on the market. On the easy walk harness the martingale design on the chest strap makes a big difference and is the best design I have seen. Also the chest strap goes across the chest instead of going under each of the front legs which could cause some friction rubbing. These devices are great training aids for us owners and are much better for your dog than a Woodhouse collar, pronged or electronic collar. Remember any training device is to be used to train you dog and the final goal is walking without these devices as quickly as possible.
Note: As of April 2012 I used the Premier Easy Walk harness for the largest part of the winter on our youngest dog who is one and a half. An additional downfall of this harness is the dog can jump out of the strap that runs across the chest and possibly get loose. I had this happen several times but did not experience the dog getting completely loose. The harness wound up around his back legs and I was able to grab him by the collar.
The Premier easy walk harness did work for the pulling.