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We have a gorgeous black working cocker spaniel called Eddie, just like The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but ours is one and a half now. He is a fabulous family dog but he is definitely full of life and bounce and play fullness. He is also very strong and could literally run for hours and hours without tiring himself out.
When we first got him we had never been dog owners so it was all a big learning curve for us. We initially just had a regular lead for him but on his walks as he grew bigger and bigger he would really pull and with his strength he could literally pull me over. So, after asking for some advice in Pets at Home my husband brought home this gentle leader collar which we have been using ever since for about the last year.
The gentle leader is basically a control collar that goes over a dogs snout and head and neck and works by guiding his whole head region and keeping that up as it directs his head and not just his neck. The great thing about it is that it does not choke the dog like some other control collars do. I think choking is a cruel way to control your dog so I'm glad this lead doesn't do that. The other nice thing is that it's not a completely snout cover like a muzzle, it just slips over the snout so Eddie can still open his mouth and pant and yawn. However, with this on Eddie can't completely open his mouth so when we go out with a ball you have to take this off before he can play catch.
When we first put this on Eddie it was like a revelation, no pulling whatsoever, the change was like night and day, amazing. He walked like a really good, obeying dog. As he's got bigger over this last year and got used to the leader he does try and pull a little bit but it's still such an improvement than with just a regular lead.
The leader is really easy to slip on and attaches with a plastic clip at the top of the head. It comes in a number Of different sizes, from small to big dogs. Eddie is classified as a medium breed but unfortunately he is sort of in the middle when it comes to sizes, too big for the small leader, too small for the medium leader. It's not a big problem though. We bought him the medium one and have tied a little knot in the nylon which holds well and has not come undone so far.
The leader costs in the £10 region and is definitely a dog product I recommend.
Oh my goodness! What a simple and fantastic item!
I have a 1 year old border collie who is over enthusiastic about everything especially walkies!! I usually come back form walkies with my shoulder dislocated!
I watched a programme on TV about a similar dog always pulling and trying to run off when being walked, and they suggested to get a head collar, I was dubious at first but after a few goes out with it, it is a pleasure to walk my dog and not a painful chore!
The collar is fully adjustable and fits over doggys snout and around his head with a little clip to fit in place.
Doggy did take a bit of getting used to it and kept trying to pull it off but was more than happy to wear it when bribed with some chicken! I kept telling him he was a good boy when he was walking well and he now walks at heel quite well for a 1 year old dog, I still use the head collar on some walks as its easier to control him when he tries to go and talk to other dogs!
I found it useful to use this head collar at the same time as his normal collar at first, so I had 2 leads on him, as I was a bit worried it would come off and he would run away! I was wrong, it worked a treat and I wpuld definatley recommend it to anyone with a troublesome dog.
It comes in different sizes to fit differnt sized dogs and a medium fitted my border collie with only a slight adjustment
I got one one these collars for my dog who had little lead training and, as she is a large dog, I thought I would try one of these for exersizing her until her lead training was more reliable! It definetly helps with the pulling, in my case, it didn't stop it completly but the dog definetly can't pull as much as they don't have the same strength in their face as they do in their neck.
I also consider it safe enough to use when walking along the road, as even if the dog manages to pull the nose part off (which is quite difficult to do anyway when it's fitted tight enough) it stays on the neck as an ordinary collar, which is also an advantage, when your dog is behaving on the lead and you decide to remove the nose part, you can still use it for walking, although it is not really suitable for leaving on the dog all the time as the hooped part could get caught up, and your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times, so will probably need another collar anyway, but still!
I do recommend it as a good collar for training, and possibly better than the well-known halti as it is less likely to come off over the dogs head which is much safer especially for walking on roads and also if your dog doesn't have a good recall.
It also isn't too expensive and comes in various sizes and two different colours (black or red) I reccomend getting a size that suits your dog as a dog with a slim face e.g. dalmatian may only need a medium size collar even though they are technically a large dog, whereas dogs with a chunky head such as a rottweiler will probably need the large size.
The Gentle Leader is a sort of collar come muzzle which stops dogs pulling whilst on the lead.
If my Labrador puppy is anything to go by she can pull like a train and this leads to not only a bad back but a bad experience for the person and the dog.
The Gentle Leader come in small medium and large and I advise you to measure your dogs neck carefully before purchasing as a bad fit may give the dog discomfort.
You put part of the leader around the dogs muzzle resting it just below the eyes and the other part goes round the neck. Your lead clips to the underside of the leader. Don't worry it come with a nice booklet and explains the fitting comprehensively.
Does it work? Well a resounding YES.
To be fair my puppy didn't like it much at first, but you increase the length of time your dog wears it each time and treat them liberally whilst it's on and they soon get used to it.
I'm very happy we can now walk calmy without any pulling but as her training progresses we will hopefully be able to stop using it.
If you have an adult dog who loves to pull this may just be the answer.
It's a small price to pay for enjoying your dog walks!
March of last year our dog, Rogue, had a litter of pups. This was just 2 weeks before that awful pet food recall. Sadly a small portion of tainted wet food sent Rogue into labor a day early and we lost half her beautiful litter. Of the four remaining, one male, Cisco, went to live with his father. One female, Chica, went to live with a young girl desperately in need of a friend and protector; her very first dog and much loved. The last two, Louis (short for Lucifur) and Mortisha have remained with Rogue.
Now, Rogue's heritage is explained by her name. Her mother was a German Shepherd and her father was a mysterious visitor during a dark and stormy night. She's on the small side for Shepherd, but looks like a rather shaggy black Shepherd. Tish and Lou are what we like to call Mostly Shepherd, as their father is also a pure German Shepherd. They are larger than their mother though, if not quite as large as their father, and greatly resemble slightly less shaggy black Belgian Shepherds. Life circumstances made it challenging for them to receive enough proper leash time while still young pups, and as a result we had two large, nervous, highly sensitive and excitable Large pups attempting to drag us down the streets at high speeds!
The Sporn Anti-pull harness that worked so well with their mother, simply didn't do the job when it came to restraining them properly while we began working this extra energy off of them. While perusing our options we came across the Gentle Leader Deluxe set. Weighing over 60 pounds, we selected two Large sizes and forked out about $45 (currently the equivalent of 22.76 pounds. Was it worth it?
These sets come in three sizes to accommodate small, medium and large dogs. In the set you will find: 1 nylon head halter, 1 matching leash and 1 DVD. Before using ours, we watched the section of the DVD covering how to adjust this properly to fit our dogs, which made it much easier. It's important to understand what a "proper fit" is with the halter, as most of us pet owners would probably consider a fit that is actually far too loose to be useful... a successful fit. The DVD covers several topics and is well presented.
The halter works on the same basic principle as a horse's halter, "where the nose goes, so does the head". This really brought back a lot of memories of learning to handle horses when I was a young girl, and I found these memories equally useful in training our pups! In essence, you are using the dog's own motions and weight against them. This requires greater attention from the leash owner, at least while training, but I don't consider that to be a problem or drawback!
My only complaints about the halter really are: the flat nylon makes it a little more challenging when training your dog because, like a horse, they can lean against the flat nylon with greater comfort than if the halter were made out of a round or braided nylon rope. My second dissatisfaction lies in the need to continue adjusting the fit of the halter. As they can lean and pull with greater comfort and/or success, this not only requires you to keep adjusting the fit but also impedes the progress of the training dog.
Now, knowing this gives you the ability to play to your advantages. I actually don't use the flat leash that came with the set for Louis, who is still un-neutered and a high energy dog. He behaves much better on walks with just my husband, for example, than if I or any of our girls walk him, or if he is walked with his mother or sister. The girls, like good mares, have responded well and can be walked with the flat leash quite comfortably.
Typically, your dog is motivated to please you though, and Louis is responding to the training. He's just more challenging. He will still have "fits" in fact, where he will throw himself to the ground and begin trying to rub the halter off, or he will try to use his paws which he is convinced should work like our hands. This is usually when he sees another dog who has been allowed off the leash, especially if it's a potential girlfriend! I'm not sure if I'm more annoyed at his stubbornness or admiring his clever persistence, but he's coming to the conclusion that it's not going to get him what he wants.
I've found that using the heavier braided nylon leash we own has made things easier. Using the leash against his neck much like reins or a lunge line, and being an alert, calm and assertive "rider" at the other end of the leash makes the Gentle Leader halter a much more reasonable purchase at $13 for just the halter. Rubbing along the bridge of the nose has been a minor issue with this product Because of the continuous need for adjustment.
In writing this review, I've begun to wonder if it might not be in our interest to contact crafters like those at the link included here
http://www.naturalhorsesupply.com/tiehalter.shtml , or the leather worker at our local Renaissance Festival, to inquire into the cost of a halter of a permanent and more tailored nature. If rubbing along the face continues to be an issue, I'm sure some strategically placed felt, moleskin or sherpa would be just the ticket. In the end, the relative cost might be equal to or even less than the cost of the this product, and quite possibly worth a few dollars more in my opinion. Not only would the tailored pieces be more efficient, but I love to support individual crafter's, small and local businesses.
The Gentle Leader halter is well designed though, relatively durable and a very helpful device for most pet owners. I've heard from Rottweiler owners that this product did not help them, and I could certainly see where the more powerful, head-strong, and thick-necked breeds might not find this product particular successful as a training device. I think your success depends a upon the nature of your dog, your own understanding and general dedication to your pet.
A potentially very helpful product, the DVD is quite educational for pet owners, orderly, and well presented. The leash and matching halter are very attractive and relatively durable, even for larger breeds, but aren't quite as effective as they could be for training purposes, especially considering the cost for multiple dogs. It does work and is certainly useful, but I've come to feel that the same idea with a more personal and permanent fitting would be more effective.
The addition of felt along the nose band is great for comfort, but will not eliminate all rubbing when the dog pulls. It is certainly comfortable, despite their protests, and I've even seen dogs use a "but it's choking me" kind of noise to alarm their owners, clever little controlling imps that they can be. When properly fitted, it does not interfere at all with breathing, panting, ability to drink, eat, fetch toys or sticks, and does not act like a muzzle.
Like spoiled children, they don't like the control that this halter gives to the one holding the leash, which is obvious, but with love and patience they get over it. It's not really about control anyway, it's about both of us having a good time while we walk. Even though Louis continues to protest, for example, he will eagerly help you to put it on him as he knows we will go for a walk.
The halter should be gently washed after so many wearings to keep it pliable, in good working order, comfortable and free of felt-stiffening doggie drool. The Gentle Leader halter without the leash or DVD is a better purchase for the average pet owner than the "Deluxe" set, but more cautious owners may want to review the DVD.
If a dog pulls when on a lead there is only one way to train the dog not to, and that's to prove to the dog that if it pulls, it will get nowhere. It means stopping every time the dog gets in front of you, and standing still until the dog moves back to the heel position. Doesn't it sound easy? Well, it isn't. Real life gets in the way. Rosie is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and she's two and a half years old. She weighs 45kg and it's all muscle. She's faster than a greyhound, stronger than a Doberman and she's cunning. Apart from that she's pure pleasure to take out for a walk. Luce is twelve, and a German Shepherd cross. She's half Rosie's weight, but if Rosie is out in front, Luce is going to be in front of her. It's no fun being towed down the road like flotsam by those two. Particularly when one goes each side of a lamppost It doesn't leave you with anywhere to go. The Gentle Leader shouldn't be confused with the Halti. The principle is similar, but the Gentle Leader is more adjustable, and is more acceptable to the dog in the long run. Neither is going to be acceptable to the dog in the short term. The first time you put the Gentle Leader on, reward the dog as soon as you have it in place and the dog is calm. To work effectively it needs to be a firm fit - not tight, but the dog should be able to feel that it's in place. If the dog pulls when wearing it, it should feel pressure on the back of its neck. I've found it easiest to slip the loop over the nose, fasten the collar, and adjust that to fit, and then adjust the nose loop so that it fits firmly. Once the collar is adjusted you may wish to trim it so that you don't have a long trailing end. If you do, run some adhesive along the trimmed end to stop it fraying. You can use the collar in place of a normal collar, and release the nose loop from the dog when you want to allow it to run free. If you want to do this i
t's helpful to mark the nose loop (I used liquid paper) so that you're not fiddling to get a good fit when you want the dog back on the lead. When you've rewarded the dog for being calm with the Gentle Leader on for the first time, remove it. Repeat this process several times, being lavish with treats and praise. Gradually build up the time that it's in place. Put it on without a lead and play with the dog, and eventually feed the dog with the Gentle Leader in place. Done this way the dog will come to accept the feel of it round its neck and face. I know this sounds as though it's going to take forever, but it should only take a few days, and if it's done right it will mean that when you take the dog out on the lead, with the Gentle Leader (which you shouldn't attempt until you've done the groundwork) the dog will walk happily at your side. The principle is very simple. As the lead is attached to a ring under the dog's chin any attempt to pull forward means that the dog's head is brought round to face you, and a dog finds it difficult to go other than the way its head is facing. The dog then eases back into position at your side - where it can point its head the way it wants to go. This may sound like the solution to your problem, and it will be, provided that you always use the Gentle Leader. Although this is sold as a training aid, it does not, in fact, train the dog. It merely prevents the dog from pulling - the dog will still want to pull. My dogs will walk to heal, but I know that any dog can be spooked, and you can never be completely certain as to what will spook them - and I'd much rather be safe than cuddling a lamppost.
Our Irish Wolfhound, Hattie, came into our household in 1990. A beautiful, huge, gentle dog, with a wonderful nature. But because she was so big, she was also very strong....and nervous. Whenever we took her for a walk, she would pull very hard on the lead and drag us along. It became very difficult to try and walk in a straight line with her, and she was so strong that she could drag us across the road if she so desired! We didn't want to use a check (or choke) chain on her as I don't really agree with these. After speaking to her breeder, we were recommended the Gentle Leader Head Collar, or the haltie, as it is more commonly known. What a marvel. The haltie strap fits around Hattie's head in such a way that we can now lead her from the chin, instead of the collar around her neck. Over the years she has become far more confident anyway and not so nervous, but if we were to take her out on an ordinary lead, there is still the risk that she would pull like mad, simply because she can! What I like about the haltie is that it is kind to the dog, it doesn't in any way restrict it, and it isn't cruel as I think the check chain can be. The only problem we found, when we first used it, was that some people thought it was a muzzle because the straps are fed around the dog's mouth. Our Hattie wouldn't need a muzzle in a million years, Irish Wolfhounds are known as the Gentle Giants of the dog world, and they are.