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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We took our 6mo lab to the pet store today (his second trip to the store) and we thought he did pretty well- he didn't go after any other dogs, people, etc. (He has an extremely gentle temperment) But he did pull at the leash a lot because he wanted to smell everything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
The salesperson tried to get us to buy some "gentle lead" thing that looked like a modified muzzle. One strap went around the top of the dog's head, and the other went around his muzzle. The leash attached to the strap around the muzzle, because, as the salesperson put it, "where the nose goes, the dog goes."<br>
When they demonstrated it, I felt really offput by the whole thing, and said no way. It just didn't look right.<br>
I've never had a dog before. Am I wrong? Is this the kind of thing I need to teach my dog to follow the leash, or are there gentler methods? Should I expect better from a 6mo? Or is that pretty much typical puppy behavior?
 

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I am a big time dog lover and a rescue volunteer. We use the gentle leader harnesses with our boxers (due to their short muzzle we don't have much luck with the muzzle style gentle leader). It seriously makes a world of difference walking both my resident boys and also every foster that has come through my door. With these I can walk my two at the same time and push my daughter in a stroller. Without it I'd be lucky to walk one dog and nobody else!<br><br>
Though I have heard of people having much success with the nose style gentle leader and I see more and more people using them. Though I do have a friend who has a 1 year old lab and that dog just does not do well with it at all. So perhaps you could try the harness style first and if that doesn't improve things go with the nose style. From what I understand there is a bit of a learning period for the dogs as most do not like it initially.
 

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My brother used it on his weimie...and his boxer mix. Both are different dogs...much calmer and easier to be around when they have the gentle leader on...they are great dogs, never aggressive ~ just too excited to see absolutely everyone!<br><br>
I would use it...not on my dogs because they are way too small but if I had a larger dog I would not hesitate.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Irishmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8236101"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I believe they can cause neck problems though from pulling and being yanked.</div>
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If used properly you do not have to pull and/or yank. The idea of being led by the muzzle is the calming factor...not the pulling and/or yanking. For my brother -- it happened upon putting the contraption on them -- not by pulling or yanking them into submission.
 

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Gentle Leaders and Haltis are great. They're not muzzles. The dog can still breathe AND bite. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Sure it looks weird the first time you see it but they don't hurt the dog.
 

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Well, we had to stop using the Gentle Leader, but for reasons I did not foresee.<br><br>
Our old dog had food/environmental allergies, and subsequently suffered from frequent ear infections. We did our best to keep his ears clear, but he'd still shake his head rather vigorously, <i>especially</i> when we were out on walks and he got overly excited <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> And I kid you not, that dog <b>split</b> the tips of his big, floppy Dalmatian ears on the buckle of the Gentle Leader <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Total nightmare to deal with, and we eventually ditched the halter altogether.
 

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I agree with other posters, it is supposed to be very humane. We used it for a while on our Swissy but ran into 2 problems: he didn't mind it at first (and it worked wonders) but after a few weeks he would take 3 steps and then try to paw it off as he continued walking (very funny but not walkable!). Also, many people who saw it thought it was a muzzle and that he was a dangerous dog. We hated giving that impression since he was the most lovable, friendly dog ever. We eventually switched to another method.<br><br>
It IS typical dog behavior but not desirable behavior and definitely should be corrected now. Otherwise you'll have a dog that always takes YOU for walks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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We also love our Gentle Leader. Our 6 month old golden is a handful, and since I am typically walking him with my 4 year old and 1 year old, I need him to behave. The Gentle Leader has made a world of difference in his behavior and it's not just me that's noticing. All my neighbors that see me walk by every morning and night keep saying how much better behaved he is all of a sudden. I like the fact that it is a gentle correction as opposed to me having to constantly tell him to heel and him pulling against me. Now we calmly walk down the street with no arguments except from the kids of course.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lokidoki</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8236328"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If used properly you do not have to pull and/or yank. The idea of being led by the muzzle is the calming factor...not the pulling and/or yanking. For my brother -- it happened upon putting the contraption on them -- not by pulling or yanking them into submission.</div>
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And how many people use them properly? I used to take my dog to a chiro (don't ask!!), and she said they cause a lot of back/neck problems in dogs, so I got a harness instead.
 

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Also, pulling and yanking are not always the fault of the handler. Some dogs are still so strong and rowdy that they will yank all on their own. A dog that hits the end of the lead while wearing a head halter can easily hurt themselves without any 'improper use' by their handler.
 

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I am not a huge fan of the haltis. I prefer the regular halters or the pronged collars (with Danes the pronged collars are miracle workers). I have seen dogs get flipped around at the dog park when they are on haltis. They get so excited that they try to take off before it is off and they get pulled back around way too quickly for my taste. And at no fault of the owners.
 

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We use it and like it. It does get her leash tangled in her leg quite a bit but that's the only problem. She pulls too much for a walk to be even remotely enjoyable but with it I can go with her and the baby. She only gets annoyed with it if we sit around to too long. I have never tugged on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone!<br>
At this point, on a normal walk, he doesn't pull that much- he's generally so happy to be out that he will usually go where I lead- until he runs across a particularly interesting smell. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Then he just stops, and no amount of pulling will get him going again.<br>
But he can be redirected- I kneel down next to him, take his face in my hands and gently pull him to look at me, pet him, and say, "Okay, let's go!" and he does.<br>
Is that the wrong response? I'm kind of going with what I do with my kids here, so if that's wrong for dogs, please let me know. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br>
I really think that the store was just too stimulating for him- it definitlely is for my kids! Maybe that's why the salesperson suggested it- because his behavior in the store is not even close to the behavior during a normal walk.
 

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I don't care for gentle leaders that much. Not just because a dog can me injured, but to be honest I have used them on my Rotts. well they learned to overpower the thing and hold their neck steady to be able to still pull.<br><br>
I use a prong collar now and find it best if you are actually going to want to work with the dog. They pull, I pinch and then I tell them Easy. So they are learning what I mean by easy. So now when I say easy they usually slow down before I have to pinch them.<br><br>
In your case you will want to teach a leave it command. Start easy with a piece of food right between you and everytime he goes for it cover it and say leave it. When he backs off say good boy and give him a different treat. Once you have gotten better with leave it ou can be walking, see them getting interested in something and say Leave it with a quick tug of the leash and they will leave it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>livinzoo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8264663"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In your case you will want to teach a leave it command. Start easy with a piece of food right between you and everytime he goes for it cover it and say leave it. When he backs off say good boy and give him a different treat. Once you have gotten better with leave it ou can be walking, see them getting interested in something and say Leave it with a quick tug of the leash and they will leave it.</div>
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Thank you! That sounds like a really good way to do this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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