Posts tagged ‘Gentle Leader’

The Gentle leader Head Collar

Bear, a colossal size pup

There are so many training collars and harnesses for dogs these days, and being a pet sitter I have come across most all types.

Recently I was pet sitting a young, very large, rambunctious lab mix who I wasn’t able to walk because of his unruliness.  The owners were doing their best to train him but with his size and strength it had been a real challenge.

The next time I came to pet sit I found that they had decided to try the Gentle Leader Head Collar.  They instructed me on how to put it on Bear and properly use it.  It is so important to make sure the Gentle Leader is properly adjusted and fitted to your dog.  When on, it should look like a V and lay just behind the corners of the mouth.  The neck strap needs to be very snug and the nose strap loose enough so the dog can freely open the mouth but not loose enough to pull off.  If you decide to try this amazing product, be sure to consult with a trainer or specialist, and there are several videos and instructions manuals on the web to help you learn the proper way to use it.

Bear wearing the Gentle Leader

I have to say I was very skeptical, but when I took Bear out for a walk I was amazed!  I was totally in control!  He doesn’t LOVE this collar, but is very respectful of it.  A gentle tug and he’s right by my side.  It’s the most amazing transformation I have seen in training a dog to heal.  There’s no pulling, tugging or jerking the dog, which I love, just a gentle reminder of how he needs to act while walking with his human.  You can see that I had two collars on Bear.  I was instructed to have both on just in case I needed it, but I didn’t.

He has a ways to go as far as socializing with other dogs, but that will come with more training and maturing.  But for now, I am so happy that I’m able to walk this very large, highly spirited pup.

I would recommend the Gentle Leader Head Collar to anyone training their dog to heal.  It’s such a small, simple collar but the effects are huge.

January 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

Using the Correct Collar for your Dog

This article is written by Dr. Landorff – Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital

collars 5Daily walks for your dog sounds like a simple thing, but to some dog owners it’s not a pleasant experience.  There are many dogs that pull whenever they see other people, dogs, or the dreaded squirrels that seem to antagonize my Goldendoodle.  For this reason I should like to talk a little bit about the different types of collars, harnesses, and halters that can make this daily routine a “walk in the park”.

dog in obedience classA basic obedience course is always recommended for a new puppy or dog to the family.  It is my opinion to choose an instructor that believes in a positive training protocol using rewards rather than negative reinforcement training

collars 4I never recommend the use of a “choke collar”.  I have seen several dogs over the years that continue to pull with these collars on to the point where there is damage to the windpipe.  I also am not a fan of the prong or “pinch” collars except on rare occasions where a pet has already been trained on one and does not have to be corrected often.

Harpo in his harness

Harpo in his harness

For small dogs under about 30 pounds or cats harnesses work very well.  They are very secure, thus very unlikely for the pet to “slip” out of, if fitted properly and do not press on the throat of those smaller dogs who have a sensitive windpipe syndrome called tracheal collapse.  It is also an extra added safety measure when the stray dog suddenly shows up ready to fight.  I have lifted my little Shih Tzu by the leash in these cases preventing a big dog little dog bite wound.

collars 3For larger dogs that pull badly to the point where your arms and shoulders hurt after walking I am a big fan of halters like the Gentle Leader or Easy Walk products.  These fit around the nose and behind the ears.  The halter gives the best control without causing any discomfort.  The old adage “where the head goes the body goes” is true.  Instead of having to pull the entire dog to change direction, you simply turn the head the direction you are walking.  Some dogs will fight these at first by pawing at their face or rubbing on the ground, but the dog that fights it the most generally needs it the most.  I have seen some dogs that were very hard to control on walks respond very well to the Gentle Leader allowing mothers with small children or babies in strollers able to enjoy walking with the children and pet at the same time.

Bailey with Gentle Leader harness

Bailey with Gentle Leader harness

For short nosed dogs or those that just will not tolerate the halter circling the nose, there is a Gentle Leader harness.  The advantage of this harness is that it attaches and pulls tight in the front of the dog’s chest.  Once again you are able to turn the pet rather than having to control the entire body.  It is important that all collars, harnesses, or halters be fitted properly so seek help from an animal behaviorist, trainer, or veterinary hospital staff when deciding which of these products to use.  It is very rewarding to hear how much more enjoyable something as simple as a daily walk can be for dog and owner when it goes smoothly.

Article from Pet Sitters Associates, LLC Quarterly Newsletter 2012 Vol. 4

January 13, 2013 at 10:45 am Leave a comment