Some people mistake a halter for a snout-covering, freedom-restricting muzzle device. It's not. In fact, today's head halters come in a variety of cheerful colors and designs.
Halters are very effective for training strong and exuberant boxers, preventing pulling while allowing gentle correction at the sensitive muzzle point. One strap of the halter attaches behind your dog's head, while another goes around his snout. With a properly fitted halter, your dog can comfortably pant, drink, bark, and eat.
Ensuring the right fit
In the past, boxer owners have been reluctant to use halters because they believed the breed's short nose made it easy for them to slip off. Today, many equipment makers offer models that fit well on the boxer's head shape, including the Snoot Loop, Black Dog, and Gentle Leader brands.
When fitting, make sure the collar strap rides high up on your dog's neck, closer to the ears than shoulders. The snout or nose strap should fit snugly around the muzzle and not too close to the eyes. Your veterinarian, breeder, or pet supply store will be able to help you with proper halter fit.
Benefits for boxers
A halter that fits properly offers advantages like:
- No Choking. With a halter, corrective pressure is applied to the snout and back of the neck, not the front of the throat.
- Ease of Use. Behavioral corrections can be made with just a light flick of your wrist instead of heavy pulling or jerking. Halters are lightweight and comfortable, and can be used for dogs as young as 8 weeks old.
- Freedom with Control. A halter gives you gentle control, while ensuring that your boxer can act like himself. He's free to be a happy, playful, and well-behaved dog.
- Effective Training. Some of the behaviors easily prevented with training and a head halter include excessive pulling or lunging, jumping up on people, and—potentially—even barking and growling.
A smart breed with a desire to please, most boxers will respond quickly to gentle halter training. Just keep the treats nearby and be patient.