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I bought a gentle leader a few days ago. The first time I put it on Bailey she freaked. I left it on a few minutes and took it off when I noticed she stopped pawing at it or rubbing her nose on the carpet. The next day for a bit longer and gave her a treat everytime she was leaving the collar alone. Each day I left it a little longer and walked her around the house with it out and used treats for her good behavior. I just put it on her now and she pawed at it once and then walked around for a bit, then walked around the living room looking all depressed, and now is chewing on her nylabone with the gentle leader on. I guess she is finally getting used to it! I haven't actually taken her outside on a walk with it yet, I am still using the regular collar while she was getting used to the new one.

Am I going about the use of this correctly? Any advice from those who use a gentle leader? Is it possible for her to bite the leash while walking as the leash is right in front of her mouth? This is a problem currently, she is constantly trying to bite her leash.
 

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It sounds like you've done a really good job of desensitizing Bailey to the Gentle Leader collar.

I can't answer your question about the leash chewing because I'm not using a Gentle Leader, but I can tell you what I've done with my leash-chewing puppy. I bought a one foot length of chain (similar to choke chain) from the hardware store and added a swivel snap to one end. I clip the leash to one end of the chain and the chain is clipped to the collar. Now, if my puppy wants to chew, he'll be chewing on the chain instead of the nylon leash. The chain isn't nearly as much fun to chew on, so I've noticed that he's already less interested in doing it. Might work for you too.
 

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Why did you get the gentle leader and what are you going to use it for? It sounds like you are willing to train your lab so you do not really need a gentle leader. Gentle leaders work by giving you added mechanical advantage applied to the dogs neck to redirect his head. I always worry about neck injury (muscle, tendon, ligament) when using a tool that gives one added leverage on the neck. If you have trained your dog to heel and not pull on a leash then this should be fine to use.

Kelly
 

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We have a gentle leader for Sam. We only use it when company comes over or she goes somewhere like the vet's office. (She loves people and gets super hyper and stupid at the vet's office). She's never chewed the gentle leader. Sam does however hate it. Her tail and ears go down and she gets the most hang dog expression on her face, but she calms down and stops jumping or trying to jump on people.
 

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A problem with the head collar is that many dogs resent the strap over the muzzle. About 10-15% NEVER adapt to it and continually paw at it, trying to get it off. Maybe 30% tolerate it -- since it means going to worthwhile places. And the rest have no problem with it.

The Gentle Leader "Easy Walk" and the "Sens-Sation" body harnesses work on similar principles as the head collars in that they turn the dog. The point of attachment of the leash is in the center of the dog's chest (rather than a pull under the dog's chin). So a pull turns the dog to one side or another.

Several years ago, I bought a GL "Easy Walk" and much prefer it to the GL head collar. Heeling isn't usually a really big deal for me with Puff. If she stays within, say, a yard of my legs, usually that's fine.

Puff hates the over-the-muzzle strap of the oriiginal "Gentle Leader" Head Halter.

We did come to an understanding that, if she'd briefly tolerate it, I'd leave it on no longer than absolutely necessary. I loosened up that over-the-muzzle strap to the point she could easily paw it off but that point also lets ME easily do that before she does. With it this loose, I can reach down with a finger and convert it almost instantly from a collar leash to a head halter leash within a few seconds -- and just as quickly convert it back again.

The GL "Easy Walk" lacks that instant conversion capability but the acceptance is FAR better.

And you CAN train with it if you so desire.

A major reason I no longer use the Gentle Leader Head Halter (in addition to Puff's major dislike of it) is because even despite seldom using the strap over her muzzle, her fur beneath that strap lost pigment, turned gray. That's quite noticeable in my siggy pix.

We now use only the Gentle Leader "Easy Walk"

 

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We got on for Dio, and after 2 days of putting it on, giving a treat, taking it off and making wearing fun, we went for a walk. He has no problem with it until we get back to the house. Then, he'll start pawing at it. Other than that, it's an amazing tool for us. The only thing that worries me about it is that he seems to be losing fur were the strap goes. It's not even tight! We have it as loose as it goes. We're keeping an eye on it though, so we'll see.
 

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i used a gentle leader on Harvey, but he chewed through the lead.... I now use a Canny Collar (when required i.e. vets, the city etc), the advantages being that you get all the control of a 'halti' style collar but the lead is position at the back of the neck away from thier mouths.
 

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I used a Gentle Leader very successfuly with my last dog - a reactive Dutch Shepherd. The head collar was a great tool for her and made her a more confident dog.
 
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