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Old 11-05-2009, 04:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Gentle Leader - useful or useless gizmo

So, it was recommend by a few people that I try a gentle leader or a halti on Gunny b/c the vet didn't like the prong collar. While I understand the principle of why, i'm not getting how to use the gentl leader with success.

I had a halti on him and he worked the halti off in less than 2 minutes. The halti was borrowed from my mom, so it was not a huge deal. (i don't think he needed a smaller or larger size - the adjustment point was snug, but he actually worked at it until it started to pull off the muzzle, and then there wasn't any tension anymore, and it could just slip off and he had a new chew toy.) Her springer uses the halti just fine, but i think the nose shape is the big difference.

Anyway, so I went to the store and bought a gentle leader. I'm still not sure how this LITTLE TINY strap is going to be better and more useful to me than a well fitted prong or even a choker chain.

Has anyone had any success with either a halti or gentle leader? or am i better off just sticking with the prong?
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I wouldn't listen to your vet and I would use the prong as long as you have read how to properly use it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Those Gentle Leaders are horrible, I've never liked them because the moment that you start walking without it, typically, the dog will revert back.

Get a pinch/prong collar. I read not to go over medium in size because the larges will stab rather than pinch. If you have a thick necked dog just add inserts.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I have used gentle leaders on all 7 of my dogs with great success. The fit is very important. You literally have to fit it so snugly you almost think it is too tight at the base of the skull. Most dogs will resist it at first so you have to put it on and walk right away. You get them moving so they have something else to focus on other than the weird contraption! LOL It does take some getting used to both for you and the dog because it operates very differently than a tradional collar/leash however, IMO and experience, it has worked more quickly than any other tool I have tried over the years. It is also not a tool you will always need. Once your dog has become accustomed to what is permitted/acceptable, you can go to just a regular collar/leash if you want.

Prongs can be a very effective training tool but in the wrong hands they can also be very damaging. I am also leary of placing anything on my dogs that would contribute to any negative stero typing. I know that is also a consideration for many others. The gentle leaders can also be a great conversation starter to help educate others about our breed. For example, traditional harnesses are viewed as a challenge by most working breeds. My dogs think a regular harness is an invitation to pull! LOL A gentle leader or an anti-pull harness uses physics to re-direct their energy with minimal effort by me.
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hirihat View Post
I have used gentle leaders on all 7 of my dogs with great success. The fit is very important. You literally have to fit it so snugly you almost think it is too tight at the base of the skull. Most dogs will resist it at first so you have to put it on and walk right away. You get them moving so they have something else to focus on other than the weird contraption! LOL It does take some getting used to both for you and the dog because it operates very differently than a tradional collar/leash however, IMO and experience, it has worked more quickly than any other tool I have tried over the years. It is also not a tool you will always need. Once your dog has become accustomed to what is permitted/acceptable, you can go to just a regular collar/leash if you want.

Prongs can be a very effective training tool but in the wrong hands they can also be very damaging. I am also leary of placing anything on my dogs that would contribute to any negative stero typing. I know that is also a consideration for many others. The gentle leaders can also be a great conversation starter to help educate others about our breed. For example, traditional harnesses are viewed as a challenge by most working breeds. My dogs think a regular harness is an invitation to pull! LOL A gentle leader or an anti-pull harness uses physics to re-direct their energy with minimal effort by me.


I think any new collar you use, you'll have to get your dog used to. It's all about repetition, and using things properly, and ensuring a good fit.

I think training with verbal commands is the best tool. It requires the most effort but has the biggest pay off.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFlowersLA View Post
Those Gentle Leaders are horrible, I've never liked them because the moment that you start walking without it, typically, the dog will revert back.

Get a pinch/prong collar. I read not to go over medium in size because the larges will stab rather than pinch. If you have a thick necked dog just add inserts.
No, with a larger collar, there are less links, and less points of contact, rendering it less effective. Well made collars don't stab.

Julie K

Last edited by Julie K; 11-05-2009 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Prongs are great and I do not know why a vet would say not to use it. They are much safer than a choke collar. That is a personal preference of the vets not medical advice.
Halti's do not work for most dogs especially APBT's and I do not allow them in my classes I teach. They do not teach the dog not to walk they just make it uncomfortable to pull. Most pits will not care if something is on their face they will pull anyway.

As a dog trainer I use only flat collars, slip chains, or prongs depending on the dog and level of correction they need. I always start with a flat collar and teach them not to pull and go from there.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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