I just ordered Polly a Gentle Leader, and we can't wait for it to get here! However, I was talking to a friend last night, and he said that he had had very little success with the Gentle Leader, and warned me to not get my hopes up. Does anyone have any tips on how to use the collar most effectively? Thanks!
I suggest you return it unused and get the "Gentle Leader Easy Walk" instead.
We used a Gentle Leader head collar for awhile (and still have it).
Most dogs detest the strap over the muzzle and a few have severe changes of personality with it on (depression, etc.) or struggle so much to get that strap off that they can do nothing else.
While my Puff hated it, she'd tolerate it. We very quickly reached a bargain -- I'd leave the strap over the muzzle so loose that I could pluck it off her muzzle with one crooked finger. If she obeyed, it'd stay off but if not, it went back on the same way and stay until she settled down.
While that worked moderately well, what soured me on using it any more was that her fur under the muzzle strap began looking white or grayish -- as if it had turned prematurely old. And it's stayed that way,
The GL Easy Walk gives just as good or better control with a MUCH greater acceptance. It's only disadvantage is that it took me (& others) a number of trial and error adjustments before getting the correct fit.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Well, that is just your friends experience. Different tools and training methods work for different dogs. What works for one will not always work for another. As for the effectiveness of the Gentle Leader, as you have seen, that will depend on who you talk to. Some dogs do really well on them but many others positively hate them. The nose/snout is a very sensitive area and many dogs will not take kindly to that area being manipulated physically via the GL and will put up a struggle. But as you have already ordered it, it won't hurt to give it a try. Just follow the instructions in the leaflet provided with the GL and don't be tempted to pull or tug her back into place when she pulls.I just ordered Polly a Gentle Leader, and we can't wait for it to get here! However, I was talking to a friend last night, and he said that he had had very little success with the Gentle Leader, and warned me to not get my hopes up. Does anyone have any tips on how to use the collar most effectively? Thanks!
If your dog is pulling on the leash, have you attempted to train a formal 'HEEL!' command rather than just use a training aid? I think training aids most definitely have a place, but if possible actual training is the preferred and indeed a more reliable method of teaching them to walk nicely.
I second Bob PR's suggestion to get the Easy Walk by Gentle Leader. I think it does an equal job in controlling and eliminating pulling. Casey also has that line in her fur on her snout under her eyes from the Gentle Leader. Yes complete "heel" training is probably best as Trickster commented but I noticed that Casey does not pull on the Gentle Leader or Easy Walk but will pull like crazy if the leash is just attached to her collar. So yes she is not trained well with "heel". :no:
As far as learning how to put the Easy Walk on your dog, the people at Pet Smart were very helpful to me in demonstrating its fit. It is a little bit of trial and error but it gets easier!
My dog has had GL since he was few months old and getting too strong. He wouldn't even move the first few times I put it on him, but I bribed him with treats and would take a few steps and then take it off him. Just at the begining. Eventually he got used to it and is doing very well. Now everytime we go out, he puts his nose up so that I can put it on him.
I third the recommendation for the Easy Walk Harness. I tried a GL with Piper and she rubbed her nose raw trying to get it off her and simply would not walk with it on because she was so busy trying to get it off. She does wonderfully with the Easy Walk and is very well behaved on it. Training is always the ideal solution, but if the dog is already trying to pull your arm out of the socket the Easy Walk provides a much-needed respite.
Check with the return policy of where you bought the GL. Some places will let you return the product even if it's open and been used, especially for store credit. I have heard others say they've had better luch with the GL head collar, so it's worth trying. If the store will let you return, then try it out for a week and see if your dod will accept it. If not, return it and try the Easy Walk.
I used one for alfie and he still pulled so the collar ended up rubbing his eye i know use a easy walk harness but im still training heel
As others have said, it depends on the dog. My Lucy walks like a dream on her GL, but Lucky needs frequent reminders not to pull. Lucy will approach within arms length and present her nose when she sees me with the GL, but Lucky won't approach within three feet, and will duck his head when I put it on him. I'm glad to hear so many others have had success with the Easy Walk. I may just have to try it with Lucky. While he is trained to heel, and will walk on a loose leash with frequent reminders, I don't want every walk to be a training session. I like to relax and enjoy my walks!
Jackson absolutely hated it the first time we tried it. He literally walked with his face on the ground trying to rub it off. But after a couple of times he seemed okay. The cool thing was I now have to use it only once and awhile. It helped him understand that pulling was the issue. I keep it in my pocket with me but usually all I have to say is "no pull" and we're okay
Thanks for all of the advice! Polly and I just took our first spin around the block with the GL, and I think it just might work. She wasn't too happy about it, and pawed at her face a bit when she was being corrected, but once we got going, she responded really well. THere are very detailed instructions included with the GL, so I'm trying my best to follow them exactly. Wish us luck!