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If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for your dog, consider getting them the gift of freedom with the Halo 2+ collar! I had the opportunity to try this out with my Labradoodle, Waldo, and this is one of the best options out there to give your dog freedom while keeping them safe at the same time. Move over invisible fences! The Halo 2+ collar is a GPS dog collar by Cesar Millan that teaches your dog to stay within the boundaries by a series of alerts to notify your dog when they are getting close to these boundaries. One great thing about this collar is that you, the OWNER, have to be trained as part of the process as well, along with training your dog to be attentive to these boundaries. It takes approximately a month of solid training (give or take a few weeks, depending on schedule). This process took me on the longer side, as I am a single mom of a competitive dancer. My schedule is all over the place, but if you can get it done you and your dog will benefit in the long run. The training is also an opportunity to make a deeper connection and bond with your dog, as long as you include a lot of positive reinforcement in the training and make it a positive experience for you both. Waldo seemed to enjoy his training time and loved all the attention on him!
The Halo 2+ collar serves many functions, acting as an activity tracker, GPS tracker, and invisible fence. All of these features you can control using your Halo collar app. Once you set your boundaries (you can set up to 20 fences), think of all the places you can go and the freedom for your dog! The wireless GPS makes sure your dog stays within those boundaries by signaling your dog through a series of stimuli to let them know they are getting close to their boundary or breaching their boundary. It takes time and training for your dog to learn what each stimulus means, and where their boundaries lie. If your dog does breach the boundary, the collar can even encourage your dog to go BACK into the boundary by another stimulus (I have mine set as a whistle). Even if your dog doesn’t respond to the stimulus for some reason or another, the collar will make sure you can find your dog through the GPS function as well. There are three levels of stimuli set on the collar. There is a sound, a vibration, or a static stimulation, all of which are customizable through the Halo app. [Editor’s Note: According to Halo, Static Feedback is described as providing a sense of “touch” that feels like a tap on the shoulder for your dog. This breaks your dog’s fixation in dangerous situations and distraction-filled environments to keep them out of harm’s way. You’re never required to use static with your dog’s Halo—the Halo training process will help you customize the feedback that your dog will respond to. With a range of static levels available, you can provide the right tap-on-the-shoulder effect that is most appropriate to keep your dog comfortable and safe.] If your pup gets a little too close to the boundary, it will trigger the sound. If the dog ignores the sound and continues to breach the perimeter, the vibration will be triggered. Then if the dog continues, the static will be triggered as emergency feedback to let your dog know it has breached the perimeter. Again, the owner is in full control of what settings apply to your Halo collar. Every dog is different, so set your collar to the settings to best suit your dog!
Another cool feature you should know about with the Halo collar is the indoor features as well, with the use of Halo Beacons. This I thought was cool, because Waldo really likes getting into the trash bin at home. The Beacons are sort of the introduction to the boundaries outside. Place a beacon somewhere in your home that you want your dog to stay away from (the trash, in my instance), and it will teach your dog to stay away from the beacon, using similar feedback as when you set boundaries out in the real world. I’m considering ordering more beacons in the near future to set more boundaries inside my home, this just works SO well!
One feature I really appreciate with the Halo collar is that it is WATERPROOF!!! My water dog will very much appreciate this feature during the spring-summer months in the upcoming year! Another point of praise I wanted to mention was the training. The step-by-step videos on how to use the collar and train your dog is top notch, and not only that, but there are other training videos as well, making this an AMAZING opportunity if you have a dog that needs a little extra training with behavioral issues, etc. You can really see Cesar’s passion for communicating with dogs with this app when it comes to training.
The Halo’s activity tracker is another feature I find helpful too. I have been working over the past year training Waldo to run with me, and of course, we do regular walks as well. But as a health nut, who has an activity tracker of her own, I find it fun to check Waldo’s stats and make sure he has plenty of exercise, and to keep tabs on how active he dog is, and how much rest he is getting as well. Kind of interesting to see how lazy they can actually be!
As you can see, I am a big fan of the Halo collar and the capabilities it has. It is on the expensive side, selling for about $999, however I’ve seen many sales knocking it down to $699. Keep on the lookout for those sales! Also, note that this requires a monthly subscription for service, however, there are different plans for different budgets (It ranges from $4.49 per month to $29.99 per month). But if this makes you want to just opt for a wired fence for a cheaper cost, consider HOW MANY fences this would build for your dog, and how much freedom this would give them! Can you put a price on freedom?
The only sad thing about the Halo 2+ is that they don’t have a collar available for toy dogs…my Yorkie, Bella, was excluded from this training, as the smallest size they have fits around an 11” neck. However, she got to test out another device, which we will talk about in my next review!
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