Overview of ‘Chin Lead’ Dog Head Collars

Once again, I have given an existing product a more descriptive name. Actually, this product comes in two forms. The pet stores sell a version known as a Haiti®. The other brand is called a Promise Collar® and is sold exclusively through veterinarians. What’s the difference? Price, color, and a fancy video, which is available when you buy the Promise Collar®.

Some of you may think this collar looks like a muzzle when you first see it. Trust me—it’s not a muzzle; dogs can eat, chew, and play happily while sporting their chin lead. If I can take that a step further, it’s probably the most humane way to walk a dog. It eliminates internal or external pressure around the neck, similar to a horse on a halter.

So how does this wonder collar work? It works on the “mommy” principle. When your dog was a pup, his mom would correct him by grasping his muzzle and shaking it. This communicated, “Hey, wild one, settle down!” The chin lead has the same effect. Left on during play, the pressure on the nose discourages rowdiness and mouthing. By placing a short lead on your dog when you’re expecting company, you can effectively curb jump­ing habits. Barking frenzies are drastically reduced and training is made simple as you guide your dog from one exercise to the next.

For those of you who can look beyond its muzzle-like appearance, the chin lead is a safe, effective, humane training tool that will give you a leg up in correcting negative behavior patterns. Another plus is that leading by the chin demands minimal physical strength, so nearly everyone can use it—kids too! Here are a few more notes:

  • Wearing Time. How often you should leave the chin lead on is a question best answered by your dog! If yours is relatively well-behaved, you can use it exclusively during training times. If he’s the mouthing, jumping, or barking type, leave it on whenever you’re around. Remove it at night or when you’re out.
  • Sizing your Chin Lead. Chin leads have a sizing scale. The chin lead must fit prop­erly around your dog’s neck. If it is too loose, your dog will pull it off and perhaps chew it. You want it to fit snugly about his ears, with enough room to fit two fingers under his neck. You may need to tie a knot with the remaining slack once you’ve fitted it to prevent it from loosening.
  • Observe How your Dog Reacts. Initially, dogs don’t love the idea of a head collar. Their reaction reminds me of the first day my mother dressed me in lace—I hated it. But after an hour or so, I hardly noticed it at all. I learned to tolerate it. So will your dog. When you see him flopping about like a flounder, take a breath. Once he realizes he can’t get it off, he’ll forget about it. Some take an hour and some take a day or two. If you want to give this collar a try, you may have to tolerate some resistance. Be patient.

Note:

If a chin lead irritates your dog’s nose, buy Dr. Scholl’s moleskin at the drug store and wrap it around the nose piece. It’s softer and will feel more comfortable. If that’s ineffective, remove the chin lead and contact your veterinar­ian for ointment.

No-Pull Harnesses and Other Gadgets:

There is nothing wrong with no-pull harnesses, though I don’t recommend them profes­sionally. They will prevent any pulling and give you a more pleasurable walk with your dog. However, prevent is the key word. They won’t train your dog to walk next to you and may actually encourage more pulling when they’re removed; for sled dog wanna-be’s, when the leg contraption comes off, it’s like being released from a shoot—see ya!

Regular harnesses encourage pulling because they force your dog in front of you. With the exception of tiny breeds, I don’t recommend them to anyone who has his heart set on a well-trained dog.

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