Some asked me why we were using a prong collar vs an easy leader head halter, and the answer is multifaceted. I actually bought a head halter and put it on Apollo. And made some rather annoying discoveries (one of which SHOULD have occurred to me when looking at the package.)
1: the big one…..when he pulls to the point of choking himself he generally hits the end of the lead with some signifigant force. If he does that, even once, wearing the head halter he’s going to potentially do major damage to his neck. Oooops.
2: the package and all info on the head halter says that when adjusted properly the dog can still open his mouth normally. No dice. Maybe its a side affect of the mastiff head structure, but no matter how I adjusted the straps, if it was loose enough that he could yawn then he was also able to pull off the muzzle portion.
3: by the time I put it on him for the third time it was leaving a dent in his nose, even though it was too loose
4: and as soon as I strapped it on he flopped flat and refused to move, I was able to get him to his feet and out the door (so I won not him) but after that third time I said no more.
So onto a prong collar….have you ever actually handled one? They look mean as heck, but those prongs aren’t sharp, and you can even get plastic covers for them, or even plastic versions of the collars. A prong collar thats properly fitted and used doesn’t cause discomfort to the dog unless he pulls against it, especially one with the thick coat of the Tibetan Mastiff.
There are dogs for whom the Easy Leader is a good solution to the problem. I’ve seen it on dogs, and talked to people who use it, but its not a good solution for us. On the other hand I think a prong collar will likely solve the problem, and hopefully once he learns pulling is bad I won’t need it any more.