Ditching the Gentle Leader, on to a FurSaver & CC
I've had Lita since the 1st of February, when we adopted her from the shelter. She looks a purebred, but I don't know. We thought she was a year, but I'm guessing younger since her head and neck have gained 1" in the past three months.
I started obedience training with a Holt collar. Absolutely crummy response from the dog, and she can't pant to cool herself in the Arizona spring. So I moved to a Gentle Leader. Panting and cooling is better, but she was still making funny sounds and not figuring out what a correction was via the GL.
I had a martingale at the house today, so I thought I'd try it. Panting was fully engaged, that tongue was hanging all the way out in the Az. morning (yey!)! Her weakness is rabbits and birds - loves to hunt them ( talk about a prey drive!). With the martingale, she was able to respond quicker and more intuitively to a stop/sit/heel. I was able to check her out of the lunge to the birds and rabbits also. But ... when she saw our neighbor, who she loves, Lita climbed up her and licked her face. It's a good thing Tammy likes dog slobber from a GSD!
Anyhow, because the martingale obviously won't check her enough to discourage this, I bit the bullet and decided to get a hold of a HS Fur Saver and a choke collar. "Humane" becomes a judgement call - IMHO it's more humane to provide a full cooling capability to the dog during an Az. summer while walking and training, than using a contraption that doesn't cinch around the neck. A choke collar for training doesn't seem so bad when compared to unnecessarily inducing heat exhaustion or heatstroke. So, I know that Petsmart (i.e. training class) doesn't endorse these, but then Petsmart isn't caring for my dog in my house. I'll put the GL on for class. All other training sessions - Lita will have the ability to cool herself fully the way God intended.
Now, if I would only remember to hydrate before we go out for the morning. Welcome to an Az. summer!