Measuring your dog for an Haltermate
You could guess the size, but it would be like buying an expensive outfit without trying it on, so here is info on how to get the best fit for your dog.
Dogs' muzzle sizes vary, even within the same breed type, so guessing by breed isn't as good as Measuring your actual dog - either a Neck measurement or the Figure 8 Measurement.
Use a soft tape measure to get your dog's unique Figure 8 Muzzle, or Neck size, then check the size charts to see which size is best for your dog.
Figure 8 Measurement: Place a soft Tape Measure at the back of your dog's neck, then wrap it under the dog's jaw and around the muzzle, then back around the neck to form the figure8, as shown above.
Pull to a snug fit and write down this measurement - This is your dog's Figure 8 Measurement - check it on the size chart below...
Important: If your dog fits between 2 sizes, then go for the smaller size - Unless your dog is still growing, then you might select the larger size to allow for future growth.
Use your Figure 8 Measurement on this chart to get the correct size for your dog.
|Figure8 chart||Min (cm)||to||Max (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 1||33 (cm)||to||47 (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 2||44 (cm)||to||66 (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 3||57 (cm)||to||84 (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 4||67 (cm)||to||100 (cm)|
Or ... use this Neck Guide to get an estimate of the best size.
|Neck Chart||Min (cm)||to||Max (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 1||24 (cm)||to||36 (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 2||28 (cm)||to||40 (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 3||35 (cm)||to||53 (cm)|
|Haltermate -Size 4||40 (cm)||to||65 (cm)|
Here is an article on "Pulsating the Leash" to help stop your dog pulling on lead.
Dogs pull on lead for a range of reasons, but the most common is that we humans keep tight pressure on the lead.
When a dog pulls against its lead, either because it wants to get to sniff something interesting, or because it naturally walks faster than its human, the human at the other end of the lead tends to pull back. When the human pulls on the lead, the dog tends to pull back against it - it seems like a natural reaction for both of us. Over time this just becomes expected - the dog leans forward against the lead while the human leans back, and thus the 2 are balanced, one against the other, as they tug each other down the road.
To break this cycle, we need to change the way we use the lead - we call it "Pulsating the Lead".
When a dog pulls against the lead, our immediate response should be to pull, release, pull, release, pull, release on the lead, making a pulsating action down the lead. The first few times you do this, the dog will usually respond by stopping, or turning to see what is going on - you immediately then stop the pulsating and quickly reward your dog.
What you are doing is training your dog that when it pulls on the lead this pulsating will happen, making it uncomfortable, the moment it comes back off the end of the lead the pulsating stops and things become more comfortable (and it may even get a treat - but not always). The dog has the choice between uncomfortable pulsating, or slack lead, in essence the dog rewards itself for not being against the end of the lead. If you also add other rewards when the dog stops and faces you, this will further encourage a Stop and Turn response.
The Pulsating needs to happen quickly, not so hard as to pull your dog around, and it should continue until your dog responds. The dog needs to work out what to do, it is not up to you to pull the dog back off the end of the lead. It is about creating an annoyance any time your dog chooses to pull on the lead, then immediately removing the annoyance when the dog comes back off the end of the lead.
If you do this consistently, the dog will learn not to pull on the lead. If you are not consistent, and you pulsate sometimes and not others, the dog won't learn much at all, except that you can sometimes be really annoying on the other end of the lead.
Successful re-training often comes down to a mixture of Consistency and Persistence – if it is going to be successful you need to apply this consistently, and you need to be More Persistent than your dog (this is often where most humans slip up).
When we show people this technique, it usually takes the dog between 2 to 5 minutes to learn not to be on the end of the lead, but it is all about consistency from the human. It often takes humans longer to teach ourselves not to hold the lead tight, so we also need to teach ourselves to change the way we use the lead.
If you have been hanging on tight to your lead as your dog pulls you down the street, then your muscle memory will continue to default to that action, so you’ll need to retrain yourself as well.
The easiest way to do this is… any time you feel the lead go tight, count 1…2…3 with a pulsate action on each count. Keep in your mind 1 (pull), 2 (pull), 3(pull) and make sure you release between each pull. This will help retrain yourself to pulsate the lead.
But you also have to be very conscious of what you do with the lead when you are standing still – keep it lose and if the dog pulls, start pulsating. Make it the dog’s choice – either it can pull against the lead and have that crazy person pulsating on the lead, or it can stand a little closer and everything is cool (and it may even get a treat).
Lead Pulsating can be done on a Flat Collar, a Training Collar, a Balance Harness, and on Head Halters, but you need to modify the technique to suit each type of equipment.
On a Head Halter the Pulsating would be much softer than on a Flat Collar, because a Head Halter is like Power Steering. You take your guide from the dog’s response – if your dog responds to light pulsating, then leave it at that, if it doesn’t respond at first, then pulsate a little harder. Once you reach the point where your dog is responding, continue at this level for a few more times, then slowly reduce the pulsating slightly to see if you can fade down the pulsating strength. What you are aiming for is a slight twist of the wrist to pulsate the lead on a Head Halter, but it might take a little while for the dog and human to learn to communicate at this softer level – particularly if the dog has been a strident puller.
Typically, people with pulling dogs have learnt to hold on tight - when they try this pulsating action they pull from the shoulder which gives a slow, harsh reaction down the lead - their action looks like pulling the starter cord on a lawn mower and is equivalent to yelling down the lead. It is best to change the movement to the wrist – this gives a quicker, softer, more refined reaction to the dog on lead. It is the difference between continually yelling down the lead, or speaking softly down the lead to communicate with your dog.
The Haltermate is Black Dog's new figure 8 head halter.
It is our Second Generation figure 8 halter - we re-designed the Infin8 and it has evolved into the Haltermate.
It is easier to fit and adjust, yet keeps all the great features which made the original comfortable and effective. It sits securely and will not ride up into your dog's eyes, the lead attaches at the back and dogs respond quickly and easily to lead pressure.
But the Haltermate is even better - it can be left on your dog without a lead attached, it is simple to adjust and sits centered on the dog's neck. We've retained all the great features of the Infin8, without any of the hard bits.
The Haltermate is essentially a Flat Collar with a Martingale Loop and Noseband attached. Your lead is clipped at the back of the dog's neck, so it feels just like a normal collar and the noseband only tightens when the dog pulls. This gives a very clear On/Off signal, so your dog will respond quickly and learn quickly, even to light pressure on the lead. And no matter how the lead is used, the nosebend will not ride up into the dog's eyes.
The Haltermate is extremely effective in calming a pulling, boisterous dog, without the need for harsh corrections or gruff training techniques.
Fitting is easy - clip the collar on, then wrap the noseband 1.. 2.. 3...
When you first get your Haltermate, take a little time to read the instructions and to understand the full possibilities of this halter. It won't be long before you and your dog will be enjoying walks, with your dog accepting and respecting your fingertip control.
Check out the Downloads and Which Size Info Tabs (above) - these will give you more information on how to use this Haltermate and on selecting the correct size for the best fit on your dog.