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Gentle Leader

August 24th, 2006, 06:42 PM
I just wanted to know what people thought of the gentle leader? I just got one for logan b/c he was pulling so hard he was chocking himself. I just wanted people's opinion on it... i feel like im more forcing him to behave rather than teaching him to with it. although it has made a world of difference

August 24th, 2006, 07:11 PM
I've used a Gentle Leader for my husky but much prefer the Newtrix Easyway Headcollar but they also sell them here at the store. The leash attaches at the back of the neck whereas with the Gentle Leader it attaches under the neck. If you have to pull you're not pulling the head to the side which can damage the neck if you pull too hard.

August 24th, 2006, 08:10 PM
I had one.. Used it for about 4 months.. My dog was pulling so hard she was pulling me over if she decided she wanted to go in another direction.. While the GL made walks finally tolerable rather than torture, she continued to pull on it.. So she was in 'correction mode' all the time..

I finally had to work extensively on loose leash walking with no tools, since I couldn't wean her off anything I tried, it was like going back to scratch again..

While it works, it's supposed to be a training tool, not a permanent solution, but I've found most people find something that's working and never go further than that.

August 24th, 2006, 09:28 PM
I have one and it works great. I mostly use it when I know my dog will be around strangers as I can gently pull up to reduce barking (and be sure that he won't be biting people). He gets the idea really fast that I don't want him barking and growling at people...then he just stops altogether.

For walks I generally use a body type harness. I bought one off ebay that doubles as a seatbelt. Works great and allows him to sniff around when he wants to but not pull. I will use this until he is fully trained since it seems to work well. He is medium sized though...I'm not sure how it would work for a big dog.

August 25th, 2006, 08:54 AM
The question is....are you actually teaching him not to pull? or are you just controlling him. If your GL broke would your dog still know not to pull?

Better to teach good manners in the first place. Every step you take in the direction your dog is pulling teaches him to pull. He has learned this so well that he is willing to drag you where he wants to go and sacrifice his own comfort to do so.

One of the first drills we do is the 2-step dance. Start inside on a short, LOOSE leash - you take 2 steps in the opposite direction he wants to go and stop suddenly (stomp your foot). If he stops beside you or behind you - softly praise. Wait 10 seconds and then go again. If he blows past you then instantly turn and go in the opposite direction and take 2 steps and stop. This is the beginning of teaching him not to get in front of your toes, and not to pull away from you. At first he will be all about what he wants to do, then after a few direction changes he will look up and ask "where are you going? You keep changing your mind and taking me with you!" Now its about you, the leader, and he is becoming a follower.

Start this drill inside and then go just outside your door. Let me know when you are ready for the heeling portion of loose leash walking - should be in an hour to a day.

August 25th, 2006, 08:26 PM
I've used Gentle leaders on my previous dog, Max and now on Petey as well. I know there can be some disagreement with using them because of potential damage to the neck if used improperly, so I would recommend learning to use it under a guidance of a trainer. I LOVE the gentle leader myself. But it is meant to be a training tool. I got my first one from a dog behavorist for Max when we started having issues with fearful agression. He needed to relearn that I was the one in control of all situations and he didn't have to think he had to be. I ended up using it for the rest of his life because I needed quick control over him while on walks due to his unreliable behavior and couldn't stomach a muzzle. I actually traveled quite a bit to several different behavorists and specialists with Max and was even told by some to put him down because he could never be trusted. For me and for Max, the gentle leader literally was a life-saver.

For Petey, I had the usual tugging problems as he had never been trained to walk properly on a leash. I started out with the gentle leader and with the guidance of a trainer, learned the proper way to use it. After Petey learned to walk beside me with it, we then worked with the same trainer on loose-leash walking. It ended up being a fairly easy transition. He tried going back to his old tugging ways at first, but because he had learned the commands while working with the gentle leader, would fall back into line. It was still a slow progress to get a reliable loose leash, but we took it a few steps at a time. Petey had to prove loose leash for his Good Citizen test, but for me, the gentle leader was an excellent training tool. I still use his gentle leader on certain occasions as it gives me more security with Petey as he also has fear issues. Luckily he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, but does spook very easily by loud noises and will slip his collar and run away, no matter how tight the thing is! I use the leader on outings to crowded, uncontrolled places, like the fair, and use his Sporn halter for longer trips, like camping, since it's more comfortable long term.
So overall, I'm a big fan of the gentle leader. :) But as I'm sure others will caution, it should be used in only the right manner.


August 26th, 2006, 07:38 AM
thank you for your tips guys, I'll be sure to use them:) the boys will be getting a trainer soon (sometime in sept, I had to wait and see what my schedual was going to be like) so hopefully we can make some progress

August 26th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Good luck and keep us posted with future updates. :dog: :pawprint:

August 26th, 2006, 08:06 PM
That's great you'll be able to work with a trainer! It's such an eye-opening experience. At least it was for me! I learned and am still learning, so much invaluable information. :)

I wish you the best of luck!!! :dog: