Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Halti or Not To Halti

So we got our dog Porter from the animal shelter almost 2 months ago. She has been a very well behaved little girl for the most part.

A couple accidents in the house the first few days we had her, no chewing on furniture or shoes, very temperate around other animals, loves babies, etc....

We do however have what we see as one big problem..."Crittering". She loves to chase squirrels, birds, leaves, basically anything that moves. Now in the back yard, that's not so much of a problem. However, when you're walking her, chasing after a squirrel poses a few issues, one being that she could easily chase the animal into the street and quickly be run over by a car, or two pull your arm out of its socket and in the process, practically strangle herself on the collar. I vote no to either option.
So, to combat this issue, we've invested in a multitude of products. The first being the front hook harness. This is supposed to help prevent the dog from pulling. As the dog runs away, the front of the harness pulls together. This worked to successfully pull her feet out from under her as Porter would take off running. It didn't seem to deter her from trying over and over again. So we returned it...
The second attempt to squash all bad habits has been a try with the Halti. We've been easing Porter into the contraption similar to torture gear found in the middle ages. This works by leading the dog using the restraint on the face. The idea being that where the dog's head goes the body will follow (I know...complicated logic). It's also much easier to pull/turn a dog's head than it is their body. We've consistently been putting it on her any time she eats. This gets her to associate the Halti with something she Then you begin with taking her on short walks and eventually she "should" be okay with wearing it all the time. The issue is that she hates the thing being attached to her face. When it's on her she continually paws at the side of her face. The first time we walked her, she pawed every 2 or 3 steps and only got a block away before taking it off. I've since walked her 2 or 3 times using it and she seems to progressively be getting more used to it. Don't get me wrong...she hates the things and paws at it, but now it's every 5 or 6 steps. Progress.
Another attempt to quell the pulling on the leash has been the common Choke Chain. Porter has now worn this on 2 walks. She still pulls, but the choking part seems to make her give up the chase a little sooner. Stu thinks this is the way to go.
I'm still torn.
Feel free to vote for your opinion on the poll at top right of page -->

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