The Head Halter & Harness Police VS Montreal dog owners!

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Montreal dog owners or the Majority
paying for the Minority!

Recently, I read the by-laws 16-060, about
animal control, and other than a certain number
of corrections to make about it (such as
dropping the ban of the “Pit bull” type dogs),
a Section sticks out like a “sore thumb” as an
illogical requirement and represents a total lack
of empathy toward the vast majority of
Montreal animal guardians .

The big mistake here is that the City of
Montreal (and other municipal authorities)
is choosing the use of a “TRAINING TOOL!” to
control aggressiveness and misbehaviour in dogs
where only proper education with the guardian
of the animal and proper training as well,
with true professionals , works!

You do not use an “inanimate object” to control  
the mind of a living being…you use common
sense and understanding the animal psychology
(with true professionals)! So here again
politicians use illusion and other make-believe
“shananigans” to achieve a “quick fix /swipe under
the rug” solution and avoid resolving a problem
correctly, thus creating a false expectation
within the population of protection and security.

Even the RSPCA (Royal Society for the
Protection and Cruelty of Animals of South Australia)
says this about the Alti (head halter) and
the Harness: 

Back Attach Harness

Back attach harnesses are the most common type used, especially
with small dogs. However, they are often ineffective in
preventing pulling, as your dog can use their full body weight
to pull on the lead.

Head Collar (also known as a head halter)

Head collars are designed to help manage your dog by guiding
the head, just as halters are used with horses. A head collar
is not recommended as the first option for walking, as many dogs
find them uncomfortable and dogs need to be given time to adapt
to wearing one. Ideally, head collars should only be used under
the advice of a force-free trainer or a qualified veterinary



Section 21 says:

21. All dogs must be led by a leash no longer than 1.85 m.
In addition, all dogs weighing 20 kg or more must wear a head halter
or a harness to which the leash is attached.

And for the fines


Section 49 says:

49. Any person who contravenes any provision of this by-law
or any ordinance adopted pursuant to this by-law is guilty of an
offence and is liable:

(1) in the case of an individual:

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of $300 to $600;

(b) for a second offence, to a fine of $600 to $1,200;

(c) for any subsequent offence, to a fine of $1,200 to $2,000;

(2) in the case of a legal person:

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of $500 to $1,000;

(b) for a second offence, to a fine of $1,000 to $2,500;

(c) for any subsequent offence, to a fine of $2,500 to $4,000.


Why this by-law?

According to Mayor Coderre, by-laws 16-060 has been voted by
the City council in response to the request, from Montreal
citizens, to feel secure and protected from dangerous dogs!
So in all logic, we are to understand that this by-law has
been created for this unique purpose .

On the other hand, according to the cities of Ste-Julie and
Sherbrooke, who have already adopted a similar type of by-law ,
alti and harness serves to control the animal better,
than the ordinary leash.


Are the Alti and the Harness fulfill this mandate? 

Right away, I acknowledge that I am profoundly against this
Section of by-law, as I am against the whole by-laws itself ,
for other motives. On the other hand, I am as profoundly for
making educating people about how to take care of animals and
make animal guardians more responsible. As a matter of fact,
certain type of people are absolutely unable to handle
powerful breeds! 

Clanimal has been pushing , for the last 5 years,
that it is imperative that mandatory courses on how to
handle animals (obedience, caring about, etc.) are
required from all present and future animal guardians,
to begin making them more responsible about being with
and taking care of animals. More specific courses would
be given in the case of powerful breeds.

A marvellous Deutsche dogge of 70 kg share my life
for 8 years (Virus that a lot of you know), and,
with the approach I take with him, I remain at all
times responsible for his actions. As well, I follow
the same principles when I am in public, and I call
these principles the dog etiquette.

You will find at the end of this editorial, a series of articles written on this subject, and I invite all of you to read them!


So concerning this requirement from the City of Montreal,
I had the curiosity to find out what has been written
about the benefits and disadvantages of using an alti
and a harness, since I don’t see myself
(nor Virus either) using an alti or a harness.
I found many opinions written by dog trainers and
mostly veterinarians , and no scientific studies about it!

As a matter of fact, Dr. Annie Ross in
Le Journal de Montréal article on July 1, 2016,
(translated): ”
Well now! The alti is not a muzzle! The dog can therefore
open its mouth. So it can breath easily, without any obstacle,
but it could also…bite! Why didn’t they regulate by obliging
the use of the “basket” muzzle? Because it would be too
restrictive. Do not forget that this measure aims all dogs
of more than 20 kg

So, you see that a dog can bite even though it wears an alti
(and even more with a harness) and, a muzzle is too restrictive
(nb: according to the SPCA, it can even render a dog
more aggressive!).

Now, it appears that the City of Montreal wants to use
tools like these to help better control dogs,
while pretending that this measure would secure and
protect the population from dangerous dogs. WOW!


Personally, I believe that in certain circumstances
an alti can be useful (combined with appropriate
training and a good education for the dog, with
professionals!). As for the harness, my opinion
(non-professional) is that the dog will pull
even more, than if it wouldn’t wear one!

Ask the actual guardians of dogs who are wearing
it at the moment, and, I’ll bet you a good “Tooney”
that the majority would love better to go into a
sleight ride than to walk with their dogs wearing one!

Between you and I, I succeed to control Virus without
an harness or alti, and according to the approach
I follow, it will continue the same way!

I am convinced that I am not the only one to think
that neither the alti nor the harness is the best
solution to keep dogs from bitting, and even less,
constitute the solution to keep dogs from bitting
and even less the method to better control dogs.
If you agree with me, please write to me
at “”

So why is the City of Montreal impose this to
guardian of dogs of more than 20kg? Who has
determined that? This measure has all the looks
of having been imposed to fill up the city coffers,
and only for that! Otherwise, there absolutely
no logic to do this.

This is another time where the majority pays up
for the minority of irresponsible that don’t give
a “rats as…”


The Leash

In addition, in the same by-law, the City of Montreal
increase the “distance” the dog is allowed to be
from its guardian. Now the animal could not be at
more than 1,85 metres (before it used to be at 1,5 metres!).

So here his another paradox after the alti/harness illusion
to control dangerous dogs, now the City of Montreal is
pushing the dog further away, instead of bringing it
closer to its guardians!

To that effect, did you know that these training leashes
a lot of guardians use are illegal since the animals
are found to be further than 1,5/1,8 metres as set
in this by-law). So now “visualize” your dog wearing
its harness, being at a distance further than 1,85 metres,
and will each of you get a fine of between 300$ to 600$?


So then hat to do?

So the City of Montreal could encourage the use of
the harness and the alti instead to impose it!
This only confirms to me that this by-law is only
an illusion in the eyes of the taxpayers, and
is only as we say in English a “Money Graber”!

As a matter of fact, how many dogs of more than
20 kg are present in Montreal? Multiply the
amount of the fine, the re-multiply it according
to the first or second offence fine, and you make
as much money than parking fines!

To educate and make animal guardians more responsible,
appears to me as a much better solution to follow,
as much for the short term than the long-term
(again this is what Clanimal has been proposing
in ” To understand animal issues in Quebec“.

So why not require that each animal guardian follow
a training course, renewable every 3 years,
on the principal elements of having an animal
in his life!


For my part, I am totally (and Clanimal as well)
for a structure around and a responsibilisation
of animal guardians in Montreal, and in Quebec
(and everywhere as well!).

However, I (and Clanimal) am against political opportunism
and  public stunts with the objective to “line-up”
the city coffers with more money, under the pretext of
wanting to protect and secure the population!

Do you share this opinion? Let me know at “”
and why not sending the hyperlink to the present article,
letting him/her know how much you agree with it!

“The Guy” (“”)

Editorials on the Dog Etiquette:

1.       Etiquette of the Responsible Owner

2.       The Approach  (2nd part)

3.       Clarification on the Approach (3rd part)


The Guy

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