Are you plagued by a pulling pooch?
Tugging on the lead and refusing to walk to heel are common problems that most pet parents are familiar with. The dog that lunges forward turns a pleasant stroll into a battle of wills and can ruin an otherwise relaxing walk. But worse than this, a strong dog can pull an owner over or become dangerously out of control.
What's to be done?
There is no shortage of training aids that are said to cure pulling. However, most of these rely on inflicting pain or discomfort on the dog, such as prong collars, choke chains, or electric collars. For those wanting a healthy, happy relationship with their pet pal then ruling through fear is not an acceptable option.
The Gentle Leader is a headcollar that fit snugly around the neck and muzzle. It is equally suitable for pups and adults, although the dog does require to have a snout, so is not suitable for flat-faced breeds such as pugs.
When leash walking while wearing a Gentle Leader, the dog pulls and his head is turned up and backwards, discouraging him from surging further ahead.
As with any new collar, some dogs may take a while to get used to wearing the leader. It's not usual to paw or rub at the halter in an attempt to remove it. Simply distract the dog, perhaps even walking briskly forward and encouraging the dog to follow, then give him treats for obeying.
Key to successful training with a Gentle Leader (™) is to use positive, reward-based training methods and only to use gentle pressure on the lead. Never tug, snatch, or pull hard on the lead as this will frighten and confuse the dog and possibly even injure him.
Roxie is very strong and several training methods have not been successful in stopping her from pulling on her leash. We recently hired a trainer who uses a gentle leader. We are trying to walk her twice a day but even with the leader it's a challenge. Pulling back does not turn her head and she continues to pull ahead. What are we doing wrong?
Hello Pamela, Without seeing how the Gentle Leader has been put on and how you are using it, I cannot answer your question accurately. I suggest looking up some how-to YouTube videos on how to fit and properly use a Gentle Leader. It sounds like the strap below the chin could be fitted wrong or the entire Halter put on backwards -- so that the chin strap is at the back of her head. Also, make sure that when you pull back on the gentle leader you are pulling the leash toward you, to the side, not straight back. When a rider steers a horse, she often will let go of one side of the reigns so that the reigns pull on just one side of the horse -- turning the head toward that side of the reigns. If the riding pulls both reigns straight back at the same time, the horse will stop. If the leader is put on correctly and you are using it as shown in how-to-videos, then the issue is probably training in combination with the gentle leader. A gentle leader is a tool. It is designed to level the playing field so that your dog CANNOT over-power you while walking him. It will not train her by itself. Ultimately, if you took the gentle leader off she would probably be down the street, not-looking back. Her focus would not be on you. Her brain needs to be engaged as well as her body. She needs to learn through practicing turns and changes of speed OFTEN how to cooperate with the gentle leader and pay attention to you. I am an advocate of using tools because sometimes they are needed, even for safety, but training that engages your dog's brain also needs to be practiced while your dog is using the device. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Turns" method while she is wearing the gentle leader. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Jack is a very strong dog having a hard time walking and restraining him when he want to go after something how long would this take to train as i work out of town and only have one day off during the week
Hello Doug, Used correctly you should see a small amount of difference in the pulling during the first four walks. After the first four walks, the Gentle Leader should improve the pulling a little bit more every time that you use it as long as you are following a training method also, to teach him how to avoid the corrections and where to walk. Teaching Jack to pull without having to use the Gentle Leader will take much longer however. Typically that would take around four months to train, with walks happening at least three times per week. If you are only taking him once per week, then it might take as long as one year to not need the Gentle Leader anymore. To speed up the training you might want to look into hiring a trainer who will teach your pup to "Heel" while you are at work. Some trainers will do Day Training, where they will come to your home and train the dog while you are away. Hiring a trainer to come at least two times per week, in addition to your one session with your pup, would significantly speed up the training process. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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