- Why use a head collar?
- What to consider when choosing a halter
- Best Dog Head Collars – The Top Seven
Looking for the best dog head collars? This article will cover the basics of halters and review the following top seven for your dog:
- The Company of Animals Halti Dog Head Collar
- Big Dog Styles Head Collar [for Larger Breeds]
- Dog & Field Figure 8 Anti-Pull Head Collar
- Pawaboo Dog Head Halter
- Dogmatic Head Collar
- K9 Bridle
- Mikki Walk-Ease Head Collar
This is the second in our series on headcollars. Our guest writer covered a complete beginners guide to headcollars in this article, but here’s a quick summary.
Dog head collars are an excellent tool to help pet owners control their pesky pooches during a walk. Many dogs develop a tendency to drag their humans around their walking route, leaving the owner with aching arms and the dog himself out of breath from the constant pulling. In this article, we’ll discuss why head collars can help alleviate this problem and point you in the direction of a few options you may want to consider purchasing.
Why use a head collar?
As any dog owner will tell you, our furry friends simply adore going for walks. The very word ‘walk’ or ‘walkies’ normally sends most dogs into a frenzy of excitement, and that feeling doesn’t dissipate until they’ve returned home or are back in the car. Dogs live for that time outdoors with their beloved owners.
However, depending on the size and nature of your dog, walkies can be an exhausting and potentially stressful time for the dog walker. It can be difficult to manage your canine companion during that period of heightened excitement when pulling incessantly on the lead becomes a natural but frustrating by-product of outdoor euphoria.
Halters can help an owner guide their dog in the same way in a halter can assist a rider in handling a horse. If the owner can control the direction their dog’s head is moving, they can control the dog in general – if the dog can’t move his head any way he wants, he can’t strain on the lead during the walk.
There’ll always be a ‘break-in’ period for dogs when a head collar is introduced, but once he becomes accustomed to wearing it, the impulse to pull against his owner will drastically reduce. Dogs are creatures of habit and quickly adjust to new items, situations and routines. If you’re tired of being dragged around during every walk, a head collar could be the answer.
What to consider when choosing a halter
There are several things to consider when preparing to purchase a dog head collar. Each of these factors will, of course, depend very much on the size and strength of your dog, as well as their behaviour during a walk.
- How does it look?
Head collars come in a wide range of looks in a variety of colours. When choosing the head collar that’s right for your dog, you’ll need to take into account exactly what size and breed of dog you have.
For instance, a sparkly lime green head collar might look nice on a Bichon Frise, but it might look a bit unusual on the muzzle of a German Shepherd. If you have a large, handsome canine of a classic breed (like a Golden Retriever), you might prefer a more elegant option in leather. This is all down to personal preference, of course.
- What size is it?
This one’s probably more important than the actual look. You need to choose a head collar that properly fits your dog’s head – it can’t be too tight or it could cause injury, too loose and it could slip off at the most inopportune moment.
Headcollars normally come in sizes extra-small, small, medium, large and extra-large, so there should always be at least one size to fit your four-legged friend.
- Can it be adjusted?
Some dogs, especially larger breeds, will grow at a lightning-fast rate – one day you’ll have a puppy you can scoop up in your hands, and before you know it, he’s a thirty-plus kilo beast smothering you with kisses upon your return home.
If you own a breed that you know will grow rapidly, buy a head collar that can be easily adjusted to compensate for that abrupt change in size. However, if your dog is smaller and is unlikely to grow any more, it’s probably ok to opt for something less flexible – in fact, with small dogs, this may be a safer choice.
- What’s it made of?
Halters come in a range of colours, sizes and, of course, materials. You might want to use a tough leather head collar for your large-breed dog, or if you have a smaller canine, you may choose to buy something made from a softer material like nylon.
In this instance, you may want to involve your dog in the selection process by trying on several kinds of headcollar and observing which he seems to find most comfortable (that is, the one he doesn’t immediately try to paw off his muzzle).
So, now that we’ve got the basics of head collar selection down, let’s take a look at some of the top products available right now.
Best Dog Head Collars – The Top Seven
1. The Company of Animals Halti Dog Head Collar
|The Company of Animals Halti OptiFit Headcollar, Medium||382 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The Halti head collar is, according to Halti themselves, the “patented, original and best dog head collar on the market” because it provides excellent steering ability for the owner. It’s easy to fit your dog’s head and has a simple on-off function that keeps the dog’s jaws closed, making training a breeze.
Its lightweight webbing design gives dogs the freedom to yawn and pant, and it’s approved by vets.
This head collar can be used to deter dogs from pulling when out for a walk, or as a training aid when teaching a younger dog how to behave in the company of his master.Key features: Neoprene-padded noseband lining; safety clip connects securely to your dog’s collar; easily adjustable for long-term usage; comfort-oriented design allows dogs to eat, drink and pant as required; dissuades dogs from pulling on the lead.
- Cushioned inner lining for added comfort
- Attaches safely to the collar in the event of slippage or breakage
- Effective at controlling a dog while walking
- Roomy, allowing dogs to eat, drink, yawn and pant without restriction
- Can be adjusted quickly and easily
- The dog may struggle to adjust to wearing it at first
- Looks a lot like a muzzle
- The risk of neck injury always exists if dogs lunge with the head collar fitted
- Better for smaller dogs, according to some reviewers
2. Big Dog Styles Head Collar
As the name suggests, this is a head collar geared specifically towards larger-breed dogs. It’s handmade in the United Kingdom using extremely strong webbing and “wetsuit-quality neoprene” for added comfort. According to the maker:
“Having had large breed dogs all my life (most of them weighing more than me), I found that the only way I can control my dogs safely is with a head collar, as “where the head goes the body must follow”! I have tried various makes, but none seemed to combine all the details that I wanted and needed in a head collar, so I decided to start making my own.”
This product is all about strength and durability, with a 4mm-thick martingale chain used to connect a lead to the collar – dogs should have no chance of chewing through this one. Like many other head collars, its muzzle loop closes the dog’s mouth when required, but does so gently.Key features: aimed at large and giant breed dogs; greatly reduces pulling; anti-chew design; lined with 2mm wetsuit-quality neoprene; adjustable neck strap; handmade in the UK.
- Perfect for very large dogs who are difficult to control
- Comfort-oriented design to avoid chaffing
- Strong and durable
- One of the most expensive head collars on the market
- Not always the right size for all dogs
3. Dog & Field Figure 8 Anti-Pull Head Collar
|Dog & Field Figure 8 Anti Pull Lead / Halter / Head Collar (RED) - One Size Fits All - Super Soft...||746 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The Dog & Field Figure 8 head collar is a bit different from most traditional halters. It brings together the dog lead and collar to create an anti-pull system designed to give the owner much more control over their pooch during a walk. The producers of the Dog & Field Figure 8 claim that it “will make any dog that pulls a joy to walk” due to how effective it is.Key features: rope made from soft cotton that’s highly durable; design feels comfortable for dog and owner; 200cm lead length; sliding rubber stopper for extra security when walking.
- Cotton rope design is comfortable on the dog’s snout and owner’s hand
- 8mm diameter muzzle fitting suits all dog breeds
- Effectively reduces pulling
- Essentially a length of rope with a loop at one end (reviewer perspective)
- Rope is too pliable and can stretch, encouraging dogs to pull harder
- Collar attachment is too flimsy
- More expensive than some other brands
4. Pawaboo Dog Head Halter
|Pawaboo Dog Muzzle, Pet Dog Nylon Reflective Adjustable Loop Bite Bark Control Easy Fit Dog Head...||81 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The Pawaboo head collar is a training halter that’s perfect for training a dog to walk properly alongside his owner. According to the company themselves, the Pawaboo “provides your dog with a comfortable lead walking experience”.
The halter fits snuggly to the dog’s head and really increases the owner’s ability to guide his or her furry friend in the direction they need him to go and not in the trajectory his nose tells him to beeline for.
Key features: made from top quality nylon that’s strong and long-lasting; comfortable for the dog; lightweight and straightforward to adjust; luminous reflective threading for increased visibility during night time walks; high-quality stitching and lead attachment.
- Good quality for increased longevity
- Easily adjustable
- Comfortable for the dog to wear
- Cushioned muzzle area
- No additional collar attachment for extra security
- Some customers complained about the buckle being faulty
- Online measurements aren’t always accurate
5. Dogmatic Head Collar
|DOGMATIC HEADCOLLAR PADDED CUSHIONED WEBBING PCW - BLACK - SIZE 3L||176 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Dogmatic has produced another head collar that offers good levels of comfort for your dog without sacrificing any of the control you’d expect from the brand. Strapping around the chin keeps the Dogmatic from riding up into your dog’s eyes, which can cause stress and irritation during a walk.
Perhaps unique to this head collar, however, is the loop beneath the chin that allows the owner to alter their dog’s head position easily without interfering with any of the other straps – it can be moved forwards, backwards, back, upwards and sideways, giving the owner complete control of their canine companion.
The Dogmatic can also be used to close your dog’s mouth and turn his head in an emergency, though the loop releases again straight away, allowing him to carry on eating, drinking and panting as usual.Key features: padded webbing that’s soft and light; comfortable for your dog to wear; fully-wipeable material; adjustable neck straps on either side; available in a range of colours.
- Padded for extra comfort
- Effective at reducing pulling
- Easy to adjust and clean
- Some customers don’t like how it looks
- A dog can chew through it
- One of the more expensive head collar options
6. K9 Bridle
|K9 Bridle - to stop your dog pulling (Medium, Red)||29 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The K9 Bridle is designed and produced in the United Kingdom. According to the company, it “provides effortless control when walking with the lead” and “stops your dog pulling by delivering subtle but precise corrections to the back of the neck in a way that he or she can actually understand”.
This particular head collar won’t get twisted or irritate your dog’s eyes, and it helps keep his spine in line during walkies.Key features: adjustable; comes in a range of sizes, grants good levels of control to the owner during a walk; helps reduce aggression.
- Effectively reduces pulling
- Doesn’t twist the dog’s head
- Doesn’t ride up into the eyes
- No metal components in direct contact with the dog’s mouth
- Slightly expensive for what it is
- Some issues with backwards pulling
7. Mikki Walk-Ease Head Collar
|Mikki Dog Puppy Harness, Walk, Ease Headcollar, Anti Pull No More Pulling, Tugging, Choking, Medium||97 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The Mikki head collar, like many others, claims to be unique amongst dog head halters – however, in this case, the makers may be right. The Mikki features an “easy-steer” system that gives your dog total comfort while granting the owner complete control over their four-legged walking companion.
A floating lead attachment allows the walker to guide the dog from either side and prevent tangles when turning. According to the company, “the main priority was to ensure the comfort and safety of your dog”, and this certainly appears to be the case, with the Mikki featuring a padded and reflective noseband and an additional attachment for securing it to the dog’s collar.Key features: hand-picked materials tested on a range of breeds; ‘easy-steer’ system; padded, reflective noseband; comfortable for your dog.
- Reasonably cheap option
- High level of comfort for your dog
- Collar attachment for added security
- Reflective nose band
- Made from material that can be bitten-through
- Dogs can slip out of it
- Causes irritation for some dogs
So there you have it – seven dog head collars currently available online for your consideration. There’s plenty to think about when choosing the right head halter for your dog, and you may need to try and test a few different brands before settling on the one that’s perfect for your canine companion. However, it’s definitely worth it if you have a dog that makes life difficult during every walk!