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Buy a Gentle Leader

A Gentle Leader is a collar that will stop many dogs from pulling. It works like a horse halter, by fitting over the dog’s muzzle and snapping behind her ears. It’s made of nylon and should fit comfortably, still allowing her to pant, bark, eat, drink and bite. It is not a muzzle. It is simply meant to give you better control of your dog. If you don’t like to use choke or pinch collars, or if they just don’t work for your dog, try the Gentle Leader.

Gentle Leaders are the next best thing after pinch collars but far better than a choke collar. I own all three of these collars and use them in different situations. My mutt, Ace, wears a Gentle Leader when we go to places like Petco or to visit friends or relatives, because he acts calmer while wearing it. Sometimes he still pulls, but it is a lot less noticeable.

It’s interesting that pinch and choke collars have a reputation as being cruel. Most dogs do not like wearing the Gentle Leader, but could care less if they are wearing a choke collar. Ace actually cowers from me when I hold his Gentle Leader, but he comes running to me when I hold his pinch or choke collar. The reason for this is he feels restrained by the Gentle Leader, and it shows because he acts more submissive with it on.

I recommend the Gentle Leader to anyone who has a dog with pulling issues. They only cost about $20 and are well worth it. The only bad thing is your dog might not pull while wearing the Gentle Leader but will pull again as soon as she is on a normal collar. So I don’t recommend using it all the time, just when necessary. Each dog is different.

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Saturday 8th of March 2008

I may have to try this out. Our silky has a pulling problem even with a choke collar. He's not as bad with the choker, but still does it.

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Liza S.

Saturday 8th of March 2008

My dog used to have a pulling problem and I tried the choke collar, but that seemed to only make it worse! My mom then insisted that we buy a non-pull harness, which kind of lifted Keeda up into the air uncomfortably every time she pulled. It did nothing, my dog only got worse when she -didn't- have the harness on.

I read about different training methods and about how some dogs require a firmer hand than others. I tried smacking Keeda gently on the side with the tip of the leash whenever she got out of the heel position on our walks and it worked wonders! I don't know why, I'm sure that I never slapped her hard enough to actually hurt, I think it's the sound and/or the action itself that had an effect on her. Now I can even just smack my own arm with the end of the leash when she starts getting out of the heel when walking and she'll immediately fall back in.

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Jeff Millman

Friday 7th of March 2008

I used to use the Gentle Leader, but now I almost exclusively recommend the Sensible Harness. I find dogs get acclimated to it almost instantly and it works as effectively as the Gentle Leader.