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Best Dog Head Halter

The best dog head halter is PetSafe Gentle Leader Dog Head Halter.

If you’re looking for a way to give your dog more freedom off-leash, without worrying about them running into traffic or getting lost in the neighborhood, then it’s high time that you considered a head halter. Head halters are one of the best tools for training and managing dogs safely when they have some level of leash reactivity.

A head halter is worn around your dog’s head and has 2 different loops. The 1st loop goes around the back of the head right at the base of the skull, while the 2nd loop goes around the nose. It provides gentle, yet firm guidance by placing pressure on the neck of the dog when pulling occurs.

We will be walking you through the best dog head halters that will change the way your dog walks, forever.

Budget Conscious Pick

Halti Head Collar

Our Top Pick

PetSafe Gentle Leader Dog Head Halter

Readers Pick

Dogs My Love Dog Head Collar

01 PetSafe Gentle Leader Dog Head Halter

When customers say in their reviews that this a life-changing product, they mean it. It’s one of the few, if not the only head halter on the market that not only helps to control your dog’s pulling but also trains them and makes them stop pulling completely.

The PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Halter comes in a simple but surprisingly effective design that makes your dog’s head turn around when they try to pull, and they stop pulling immediately to look forward again. Some of the more aggressive pullers will try to pull a couple of times or so, but they will eventually learn they can’t do it and stop pulling completely.

A great thing about this dog head halter is that it causes absolutely no choking to your dog (unless you pull the halter, which you should never do) even when they try to pull hard, which is very important as constant choking can cause damage to their neck.

Perhaps the best thing about this product is the comprehensive training DVD it comes with, which allows you to train your dog and make them get used to it. Most customers feel like they are walking a different dog within just a week of using it.

Pros
  • PetSafe is a brand synonym with quality dog products, and this PetSafe dog head halter is no exception. In fact, it’s a revolutionary product for dog owners that struggle walking their dog due to their furry buddy’s aggressive pulling, making the dog stop pulling entirely within a week or less.

02 Halti Head Collar

Coming in a similar design as the above product, the Halti Dog Head Halter is our most value-for-money pick. But more importantly, it’s particularly a good option for dogs with a slightly unusual head shape.

Furthermore, it also works exceptionally well for large dogs that may otherwise give you a hard time walking them.

Even the largest and most powerful of dog breeds can’t find a way to continue with their aggressive pulling when wearing this dog head halter. However, it doesn’t trouble them in any way when they are friendly.

The reflective straps would undoubtedly come in handy as well for nighttime walking. 

It’s also safer than most other head halters on the market, as the safety loop is connected to the D-ring of your dog’s collar, meaning that your dog wouldn’t end up in danger even if the headcollar comes off suddenly.

Pros
  • If you have a large dog or the shape of your furry buddy’s head is slightly unusual, then this dog head halter is going to be right up your alley. It works just as well even if you have an aggressive, powerful dog, without troubling them when they are non-aggressive - thanks to its padded noseband and secure but comfortable design.

03 Dogs My Love Dog Head Collar

This isn’t the best dog head halter but it could turn out to be better than the best in some cases. A particular customer mentioned how the Dogs My Love Head Collar turned out to be better for them than the Gentle Leader, although that has more to do with their dog than the Gentle Leader not being as good.

It’s not as sturdy and durable as the Gentle Leader, but it’s softer and thicker. It also doesn’t fit your dog as tightly as the Gentle Leader, making it more comfortable for dogs that feel annoyed when wearing the latter.

It even allows your dog to easily do things like drink water, which is excellent for dogs with a larger mouth.

All said and done, this can be an excellent choice if the Gentle Leader doesn’t work for your dog for some reason.

Pros
  • We like this product because it’s an excellent alternative for dogs that don’t take well to our top picks above. It would also be a better option for smaller dogs, as it’s softer and not as tight as many of the other head halters.

04 Training Unlimited Head Halter

This is the most expensive dog head halter on our list, but it’s well worth the money if you have a dog that doesn’t take restrictions easily.

For the more resistant dogs, even the Gentle Leader may be too much restriction, and they may either feel very uncomfortable wearing it or go crazy trying to get it off.

However, customers mention that their dogs take to this dog head halter much more easily, and it also allows them to open their mouth just as easily and comfortably.

It’s also made using a more comfortable material that will not irritate your dog, while also causing little to no choking to them even when they are pulling hard.

Pros
  • It’s one of the few options for dogs that put up a lot of resistance to things like a head halter. It’s not as dominating, and aggressive dogs will take to it more easily. However, it’s sufficient enough to control even large, aggressive pullers, and make them correct their behavior over time.

05 GoodBoy Dog Head Halter

Let us tell you right off the bat that this slightly different than a typical dog head halter, and we wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a specific reason for not going with any of the products above.

With that out of the way, if you’re looking for something to train your dog in general rather than just handle heavy pullers well when walking them, then this product might turn out to be a better fit for your needs.

It’s one of the few training muzzles that isn’t too hard on your dog, and even lets them open their mouth to drink water.

It’s both comfortable and adjustable, while doing its job well. However, it doesn’t work as well for large dogs, so you may only want to consider it if you have a small dog.

Pros
  • If you’re looking for something beyond a typical head halter, and have a puppy or a small dog, then this product might make more sense for you.

Buyers Guide

Dog Head Halter Buyer’s Guide

While most of you likely already know what a dog head halter is, for those that do not, let us simply tell you that it’s a kind of dog harness, but specifically designed to be put on your dog’s head.

Getting a dog head halter is widely believed to be an effective training tool for aggressive pullers that don’t give in to a dog harness. If you are unsure of your dog’s genetic aggressiveness, be sure to determine its breed using a dog DNA test kit.

Dog head halters are much better than choke and prone dog collars though, as it usually doesn’t choke your dog and is a much safer option in general.

Related: Best No-Pull Dog Harness

Why Is A Dog Head Halter Effective?

However, that doesn’t take anything away from its effectiveness. If you go with the right products like the ones we reviewed above, you wouldn’t have a problem controlling the most aggressive and the most powerful of pullers.

This is because a dog can use their legs to generate a lot of force to pull even when they are wearing a harness, but they can’t do the same when they are being controlled at their head. It works in more or less the same way as a head harness for horses.

And while their strength to pull you reduces significantly with a head halter, they also can’t do it if you’re using the right product as it will either make their head turn behind you or the ground.

A head halter is used with a regular leash, although most dog head halters only work well with a shorter leash. When taking your canine companions out during hot weather, be sure to let them wear dog boots.

Some of the best dog head halters – like the ones we reviewed above – would not only make your dog stop pulling but also improve their behavior significantly in general during the walks. If taking your dog out for a walk always leaves you exhausted due to their aggressive pulling, then a head halter is likely precisely what you need.

What To Look For When Buying A Dog Head Halter?

One of the most important things to look for is fitting. The fitting needs to be spot on, or else your dog would not only hate to put on the head halter, but it might also damage their neck or eyes. 

If you order online and the fitting is not right, don’t try to make it work somehow. Just return it and request a new size. If the seller refuses to accept your request for the replacement, get a new one but never take the risk of using the wrong size.

You must make sure that the head halter you’re using isn’t rubbing hard against your dog’s head, or hurting or irritating them. It must also stay in place firmly to not slip into your dog’s eyes or get off your dog’s head.

However, it must not be too tight. A super tight head halter would make your dog feel uncomfortable, and that could do more harm than good.

If your dog is not able to hold a ball in their mouth comfortably when wearing a head halter, it likely isn’t the right size or the right product for them. The dog head halters that don’t even allow your dog to open their mouth to drink water from its dog bowl are terrible options, and you must avoid them like the plague.

Always Remember To Use A Short Leash

Also, as mentioned above, most dog head halters would also require you to use a short leash. If you’re using a leash that’s too long, the dog head halter won’t be effective at stopping your pooch's pulling. Retractable dog leashes are a good option to pair with the head halter, as it gives you the flexibility of a long and a short leash together in one.

Finally, a significant safety warning you must keep in mind when using a dog head halter is never to use it to influence your dog’s behavior, guide them through the way, or pull the leash to make them look where you want them to.

It can not only choke your dog, but it can also be dangerous and cause serious damage to your dog’s neck, even if you’re not doing it often. Not to mention, it could also make a part of the harness slip off into your dog’s eyes.

Training Your Dog For The Head Halter

First things first, you must never force your dog to wear a head halter. If they associate it with negative experiences and a restriction on their freedom, you would have a harder time training them for using it and can even make them feel angry or annoyed.

That said, training a dog for using a good head halter would be a relatively easy and straightforward process for most dogs. While some dogs can take longer, they will eventually get there with the right kind of training.

You can always seek a professional’s help if you’re finding it hard, but for most dog owners, some quick 5-minute training sessions with lots of tasty healthy treats for their dog would do the trick.

Our top dog head halter reviewed right at the top comes with a comprehensive training DVD that can make the task a lot easier.

The underlying idea for the training sessions should be to associate the head halter with treats for your dog and introduce it to them in a positive way using the treats.

A Couple Of Important Notes

You would ideally want to go for a head halter that comes with a safety strap, especially for strong, powerful dogs. This would ensure your dog would be safe even if the halter slips off or breaks.

All the products we reviewed come with a safety strap, some longer while some shorter. If you have a large, powerful dog, you would want to go with the former, meaning our top two picks would be a perfect option.

The other important factor is fit and comfort. While we have already covered the fitting in detail above, the dog head halter should also be comfortable enough for your canine companion.

Our top picks come with a well-padded nose loop, while some of the other products have some form of padding too. This will prevent the head halter from causing any discomfort to your dog. Also, do be sure to remove the head halter when not in use. This is especially so when your canine buddy is resting comfortably in its outdoor dog kennel. Dog head halters are never meant to be worn permanently.

Related: Best Escape Proof Dog Harness

Conclusion

If you have been struggling with your dog’s pulling big time and even a harness isn’t doing much to stop them, then our top two picks may very well turn out to be a life-changing product for you, as they have for thousands of customers.

There’s a reason they are extremely popular – especially the PetSafe Gentle Leader – and they would help you stop your dog’s pulling and turn them into a completely different, much better dog when walking.

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