The 3rd Assistance Dog Blog Carnival:Reactions To The Halty

I wasn’t going to participate in this carnival this month, but then I thought of a good post. This time, the carnival is being hosted by
The Trouble Is
I’ve never read her blog, but thought i’d contribute anyway. The topic for this month is “reactions”. This is quite a hard topic, and I thought about putting up the reaction to
Ushi being attacked,
But then thought that I would write about something else. So here goes.

Oh, by the way,
Here is the link
For the post about the carnival.

I use a
Halty
Sometimes with Ushi. This sort of looks like the head part of a horses bridle. It has a clip that you clip onto the collar, and the lead can clip on to it. It also straps around the back of her head. She hates having it on, but I use it for taking her to the vets as she would pull you along to get out of there, when i’m meeting other guide dogs as she wants to play and becomes very hard to handle, or when doing a free run. This is basically where the dog gets to be a dog for an hour or two, and she can run around and sniff until her little heart is content. If she knows that she is near a park or field where she knows that she can run around, she would pull uncontrolably. The Halty calms her down and she walks just calmly whilst i am being guided. (She hardly moves when working with it on).

The halty doesn’t hurt Ushi at all, and it is not a muzzle. She can still open her mouth and that.

The first time I had any bother with the halty was at one of the fundraising meetings I would attend. One of the people there were like “what is that thing around her nose?”. (I had it on because there were other guide dogs, but i take it off as soon as she gets into a “down”.). I explained that it was a Halty, and stops her pulling. That seemed to satisfy the person. At the last meeting I went to, alot of the other volunteers commented. “do you not like having your muzzle thing on?” was one comment. This really annoyed me. The Halty is not a muzzle and will never be. Plus why the hell would I need to muzzle my guide dog? I felt as if I was being cruel to Ushi then. The other comments I got were along the lines of “do you not like getting your “head harness thing” on?”. Those comments didn’t annoy me too much, but the “muzzle” one really irked me!

Maybe I was over reacting, but I just felt terrible after that. I have now got to the point where I even explain to the receptionists at the vets what the Halty is and that it is to stop her pulling!

Have any of you other Halty users ever had these problems?

This has been my submission for the third assistance dog blog carnival. I hope you have enjoyed it. I think the deadline for posts is the 25th April? But i’m not too sure. Hopefully someone can correct me on when it is.

Happy writing!

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9 Comments on “The 3rd Assistance Dog Blog Carnival:Reactions To The Halty”

  1. Reddunappy says:

    Yeah as a Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy raiser we get the Halti/muzzle questions all the time!!!I usually tell people its like a halter on a horse. I try to avoid using the word muzzle at all, just because of the conotations.I have a neat story about the Halti though,I used to work at a feed and farm store. One day a young girl came in with a 120lb german sheperd type dog. She was having problems with him running off with her and dragging her, she was all of 90lbs soaking wet. I introduced her and her dog to the Halti. Her story was that she had been attacked and physicaly assaulted and the dog was for her to be able to get out and about and get over the fear of leaving home. About two weeks after I sold her the Halti she came in and thanked me, she said that it was the best thing that happened to the pair of them! She now could control her dog. It made me feel good.Our first pup didnt like his much.the second pup he didnt care much weather it was on or off, each dog is different.Good luck!! Dont feel bad about using it, it is a wonderful tool!!!!

  2. Torie says:

    I'm glad i'm not the only one who has had this reaction! I remember the first day we took her for a free run on class. She pulled me all over the place, and to be honest I felt helpless as i couldn't control her that well. When I heard we were going to free run later that week, that and a combination of other things made me burst into tears lol. My instructor then gave me the halty, and if i am taking her to the vets or just taking her for a run, I never leave without it! It is a really useful tool and I love it!Thanks for the reassurance! Xxx.

  3. aftergadget says:

    OMG, I got this all the time with Gadget, when I used the Gentle Leader, which is pretty much the same as a Halti, just a different brand.People think it's a muzzle. I say no, it's not. It helps prevent pulling.Then they would ask, but can he breathe? Can he pant? Can he drink? etc.I said yes, yes, yes, it doesn't stop him from opening his mouth. He can pant, drink, eat, even bark.Sometimes I would give him a treat to show: "Look! He's eating!" I sometimes would stick my hand in his mouth so they could see, "Look! His mouth can open this far!"But people would give me horrified expressions, as if I was somehow hurting him by putting my hand in his mouth.I have learned that some people get it, and some people are determined to think it's some form of abuse, no matter what you tell them. You are definitely not alone.To these people who think it's a muzzle, I want to ask, "Have you ever actually seen a muzzle?? How on earth would this work as a muzzle??"Rant, rant, rant.

  4. Torie says:

    Good point. I felt terrible though when i was told that it was a muzzle. It would be a pritty ineffective muzzle lol. I'm surprised people don't object to dogs having leads and collars on!Xxx and glad i'm not the only one!

  5. Martha says:

    The same things with Dee. Like Sharon, I use the gentle leader. People are always commenting on it; I put it on Dee when we go to the county fair or the cafeteria. My friend's grandmother actually started crying when she saw it and said that Dee was a poor abused puppy who never got to have any fun.

  6. Torie says:

    Martha that's terrible. I'm sure that made you feel terrible. I only use it because Ushi sometimes gets really hard to handle when at the vets/free running in a park/meeting other guide dogs such as at a fundraiser. It's so hard sometimes though to explain why you use it. I bet you people would complain if you were letting the dog pull you around!Ya can't win! Xxx.

  7. My Hudson is an extremely nosey boy, so he always wears his Halti when he's working. I've probably had a dozen people ask me if it was a muzzle in the two years that I've had him. My service dog school uses Haltis or Gentle Leaders as part of our standard equipment, so I was pretty well accustomed to the idea of using them by the time we graduated. It does bother me a little that people think I might be tormenting the poor boy with a muzzle, but most people seem to get it when I explain. Like Reddunappy, I describe it as being like a horse's halter, to direct where his head goes, and that seems to work well as an explanation.~Kali

  8. pattib says:

    Torie–good choice of subject for the Carnival. I think in everyone's experience you meet people who just don't "get it," no matter how hard we try to educate them–their minds are already made up. Too bad that you have to go through this all the time, and as you say, if you didn't use it, people would complain too!

  9. Torie says:

    I bet the people who complain when we use the Halty have dogs that can't even sit on their own. If only all dogs were as obedient as guide dogs or other service dogs.Take care, xxx.


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