We have a 5 month old black lab bitch, going through obedience school, and slowly getting the hang of things with lots more work to do.
At the request of the training school we have put our dog on a Halti collar which she absolutely hates to the extent she will back off when it's produced and, on occasion, will refuse to walk or even leave the house. I understand this isn't unusual and we are continuing to persevere with the collar.
My question is where is this all leading? Our dog walks beautifully on the Halti when she is in the mood and she pulls very hard when on a normal flat collar - so the Halti is doing its job. However at what point is she actually learning how to walk properly WITHOUT the Halti? Is it the case that the Halti is a permanent part of her life now? Is it not possible/desirable to really put effort into training our dog to walk to heel on a flat collar using the same technique as we use with the Halti (ie: lots of rewards/treats and lots of repetition) but without the upset of the Halti?
Whilst I fully appreciate that our dog is intelligent and will be testing out our appetite for "being the boss" and enforcing her use of the Halti collar I believe a puppy her age should be doing cartwheels at the propsect of a walk as opposed to backing off and refusing to walk down the drive? Apart from anything she needs the exercise but a walk should be something she looks forward to surely?
In summary if I understood what LONG TERM benefit the Halti was delivering (and that the Halti is a temporary phenomenon) I would persevere but it concerns me that we have an unhappy dog (at walk times) and that there might be a better way to train our dog on a flat collar?
I'd greatly appreciate any help with this and any advice would be welcome.