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Got the Gentle Leader...

5156 Views 17 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  valleydog
I was up at the local famiy owned pet supply store today to pick up a new crate (since Chevy has outgrown his) and started looking at different collars. I asked the saleswoman about a couple different harnesses and she showed me the Gentle Leader as well. She highly reccomends the GL, that's what she uses, the only thing that worked for her and her dogs, etc. I caved and bought it (only $12.99). Came home and watched the DVD and then started fitting it on Chevy. He hates it, kept pawing at it, rolling around, etc. BUT! I took him outside with it leashed and wow...I can totally see a difference! No pulling whatsoever--my 8 year old daughter was even able to walk him which was so great. He has a thing for chasing cars and even that was reduced somewhat while wearing the GL (he wasn't able to lunge at them like he does 95% of the time). We ran back up to the pet supply store with Chevy this time to get something we forgot and he was sooo good in the store--a HUGE difference! He would normally pull and get into everything and bark at certain people but today he was calmer, no pulling, no jumping, and was great with meeting strangers
I hope I just didn't jinx myself now
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I know when I started using the Gentle leader, I was wowed as well. Of course I paid $45 for mine

Like Valium for dogs...

Some dogs will get used to it and start to pull, so take this opportunity to work on his heeling, just in case.
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I'm glad that GL worked out for you!! I would still keep training your pup to walk nicely on the leash so eventually he will be back to a flat collar again.
Its funny how much the price differs, I paid 19.99 for mine at pet supplies plus ~Walmart had their version, and it is only 6.99 w/out dvd, of course. I did buy it and it seems well made. I still worry about that plastic clip breaking or coming apart...
Onyx is the one I use the GL on, and she rears up when excited. Her nose hair has an indentation, and I don't like that one bit. I am going to try (again) the sensation harness, but it seems to chafe her as it buckles right under her armpit. I am taking the dogs on a Humane Society walkathon tomorrow, and am bringing the different collars.
We tried the gentle leader and I had the same experience with the indentation on the hair. It got so bad that it was actually rubbing the hair off. In my case, it was easier on me than on the dog. She couldn't pull but it wasn't because she didn't want to. It's hard to get weight and power behind her nose like she could on a regular flat collar or harness. I thought it was much easier on my arms but she hated it and would take it off whenever she could. I also didn't like it because I didn't feel like she was learning anything. She had to stay with me, but I could go back to a regular collar because she'd just be pulling again. Very stubborn girl. And of course there's the stupid people who think it's a muzzle. I've seen people who have had success but I was never able to get her to stop moving into it, so we were forever walking with it pulling on her nose. She reminded of a horse when you've got the reins tight, nose to chest.

On the advice of a dog trainer we were seeing who also worked with Police Dogs and other high drive breeds, we went to the prong and were able to actually teach loose leash walking and switch back to the flat collar within 4 months.
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My trainer (as well as a classmate with 3 GSD's) both recommended the prong after I told them I purchased the GL. So I think we may get Chevy fitted for a prong and see how that works. Using a regular flat buckle collar is not working, he pulls so much he choaks himself, same with the martingale and regular choak. I've tried all different approaches too and he still pulls. We've had success with the GL as I stated in my first post but it still makes me nervous because it seems so thin and it's only around his head, etc. I don't like the way it looks and the way it leaves a mark on his muzzle (even though it's not tight at all). The GL works(!) but as soon as I use his regular collar, it's take off like a jet time and I so want to get him to walk "nice" on a regular flat collar. Sigh...I've spent more on collars and such than I ever dreamed I would! lol
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I went and bought a GL today (walmart...$7) and I am amazed... after about 3 minutes, Blitz was walking at my side, relaxed leash, no pulling at all. We have had a prong for about 3 years and he will still pull at it if I don't give him a snap correction every minute or so... which ruins a "calm" walk. I just moved in with my mom for a few months while our house sells... and I will be walking Blitz more and this thing gave us the longest most enjoyable walk ever. He was the calm laid back dog I want to walk with, LOL.
I picked up the gentle leader last Friday and used it over the weekend. It didn't work out so well.

I had intended to buy a prong collar, but backed out of it once I saw it and became quite confused about how it would work. I then saw the gentle leader and figured, "what the heck, might as well try it." Now I wish I didn't

Her biggest problem while on our walks is her dog aggression (and motorcycles and joggers). I had heard that prongs would be bad for aggression, and the gentle leader perfect for handling aggression. Ugh. Not with Taedyn. Instead when she'd lose it, she'd start flopping around like a fish out of water. It was horrible, I had even less control over her than I did using the easy walk harness.

She *still* pulled. She figured out how to hold her head just right so she could still forge ahead, closing the nose loop shut in the process. Additionally, when she'd get stressed (like seeing dogs, joggers or motorcycles) she would start heavily panting with her tongue hanging out. But, then when she'd pull, it'd shut her mouth and she'd bite her tongue!

I watched the DVD and read further information online from various sources, and fitted it just as it was recommended. However, Taedyn's reaction was certainly not one someone mentioned! Pulling was touted as impossible, yet Taedyn pulled anyway.

I only used it for two days, and Taedyn now has a raised welt across her muzzle. Even though it's been two days since I last tried it, it appears the welt is growing. Hopefully it will go away shortly, if not it'll be cause for a trip to the vet.

I then decided to really get the prong collar this time. I read up on how it is fitted and how to use it, and discovered much better results. When passing a dog/motorcycle/jogger she simply let out a low groaning growl without any lunging or barking. I was also able to walk her most of the time using just one finger on the leash!

I think that the gentle leader will still have it's place as a training tool. I may use it as backup when walking in the city, and when working on her rock obsession. Essentially instances where I need more fine tune control of her head. However, it's not a good tool for training Taedyn where there is a risk of coming across one of her triggers.
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I've only tried on once a few years ago and had the same 'rearing.' I worried about injury to dog.

I know some seem to like it but I agree with the Suzanne Clothier on this.
I just recently started using the GL on Yukon the pass 2 weeks.

He suddenly has this idea that my mum is his favorite toy and must not leave his sight or side while on walks. If she does, all **** breaks loose and he is out of control on lead. Since I started using the GL while he is near her, he doesn't panic as much.

My obedience trainer has Yukon and I trying out a new type of Gentle Leader, the nose band has a soft cushion to prevent the indentation on the dogs nose, plus the leash clip is behind the neck, not under the jaw, so when the dog does an unannounced lunge his head is pulled downwards, not to the side.
As an update to my previous post, I switched from the GL to a prong and she's doing a lot better.

We went out to dinner last night sitting outside with her, and she didn't even react to the motorcycles! Not even a twitch of the ear. And now all I have to do is tell her no, and point at her when passing a dog. Not even a pull or yank on the collar.

I'm pretty pleased, I'm hoping that once she learns to relax around these things reliably I'll be able to move to a flat collar.
I've been using the GL for about 2 weeks now. Lola still hates it but does not give me a difficult time when I put it on her. Right after putting it on her, she tries to rub it off and paws at her nose or rolls her head on the ground. It is leaving a "indentation" across her nose but I keep telling her if you don't pull Mommy it won't bother you. She's dense. I do have to say that I no longer have any pain in my shoulders and MY end of the walk is much more enjoyable and as far as control over her when she sees another dog and/or squirrel is much much better. I don't worry now when I see another dog walking down the street as I know I can say leave it and she can't and won't pull me or dislocate my shoulder.
Oh and I paid $19.99 at Pet Smart. I too had gone in there to buy the prong only to be swaded by the girl who worked there. She told me this is what she used and she had a large male GSD and that it worked wonderfully for her. It does work, but Lola still isn't a happy camper with it.
I used a prong with my Dobie and I was wondering what to use while I am working on Mandalays heeling (which she hates to do). I know she is too young (at least in my eyes) for a prong since she is only now 15 weeks, but maybe i will try this gentle leader thing and she if she does any better.
Originally Posted By: MandalayI used a prong with my Dobie and I was wondering what to use while I am working on Mandalays heeling (which she hates to do). I know she is too young (at least in my eyes) for a prong since she is only now 15 weeks, but maybe i will try this gentle leader thing and she if she does any better.
I saw a video on YouTube of a young girl teaching her dog how to heel using the gentle leader. Seemed like a decent technique.

At 15 weeks, clicker training might be highly effective. Also, attention and focus training could really help out with learning to heel - there's another thread around here talking about that type of training.
I got the gentle leader last night. After watching most of the video (I skipped the short nosed dog sections and the ones that did not apply to us) we attempted to fit it. Since Mandalay is still so wiggly, it took my husband and I a bit of time to get it on her and get it fitted right. The all heck broke loose. She did the rubbing on the floor and the pawing at her head and the whining and the running and the laying there looking like she was about to cry.

After I thought all the drama was over, I took her outside where she did the whole scene again, only in the grass this time. I got her attention with treats and she kinda sorta in a round about sort of way almost walked near me without too much of a hassle.

I brought her back inside, took the leash off and left the halter on. When she realized I was not going to take it off she calmed down. I took her back outside, this time out front on the sidewalk and I noticed a difference in how she handled the leash. It is going to take some self-training as I am used to having to pull harder at the leash to correct her and this requires no actual tugging so a couple times I ended up turning her toward her and there we were looking at eachother with "well, now what" expressions.

I walked her up and down the sidewalk a few times and there was enough of a difference that I feel that this is going to work out well. I am going to go home today and put the halter back on her and just let her wear it around the house again to give her time to get used to it. Since I will be home all weekend, I am going to leave it on her as much as possible over the weekend, too.

Thank you all for recommending this...I really do think it is going to work out well for her heel training.
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I'm still using a gentle leader two YEARS later, if I think we're going to run into other dogs close up. It's nuts. In the early morning I walk her for an hour on flat collar with treats, in case we see other dogs, but she's pulling hard the whole time.

But get this-- if I take the leash off she walks right beside me in a perfect heel.
I decided it was time to make progress. My trainer friend pointed out that I wasn't using the gentle leader for correction but just for protection. She showed me how 3 quick corrects got Molly to walk very nicely beside me. We call the gentle leader the snout piece.
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