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User Topic: Gentle leader for dogs...opinions, pointers?
authenticnow
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Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 3:11 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

My gentle and loving greyhound becomes a vicious lunatic on the leash when he sees another dog. I've tried many different things that people have suggested, to no avail.

Today I bought a Gentle Leader because I've heard good things about them. I want to nip this in the bud because I'm getting very, very frustrated and the walks have become a nightmare. I've even started walking the dogs separately because I can barely handle him, let alone the two of them together when he gets like that.

Greyhounds use martingale collars because their necks are so long and their heads are small, a regular collar can slip off. I plan to use the Gentle Leader and the martingale collar together.

In the package it says to make positive associations with the collar for the dog, so I've been putting it on his nose while giving him a treat.

Anything...anything to make this work that you can share with me before I actually put it on him and attempt to walk him with it?


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 7:03 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

Well I might not be the best one to ask. CB ate his.

I will tell you this. He HATED it. It worked somewhat, but he would rub his face on the ground to try to get it off, and that would push it up and squish up near his eye. As I was walking him with it one day a woman came out of her house with her dog and told me she didn't mean to pry but she wanted to show me what the gentle leader had done to her dog. The dog only had one eye. Apparently he had tried to get it off like CB did, it had squished his eye up and he pulled with such force that it damaged his eye and it had to be removed. I can see how it could happen, because sometimes I would look at Charlie and see his eye all bunched up and wonder how long it had been like that because I didn't notice. Anyway.. I put it on the table after our walk that day and he got it and ate it.

My sister is having great success with her dog and this leash (recommended by her trainer)http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/canny-collar-no-pull-dog-head-harness.html

I ordered one, but it was too big and we got outside and Charlie slipped right out of it . I don't know it would cause the same bunching issue because I can't use it until he grows into it. Although it gives my sister complete control of her Sheep Dog (who we also suspect is part Irish Wolf Hound.. he is HUGE). No pulling.

I wish I could be more help. Our walks are still very difficult and only managed with cheese.
I plan to get a trainer to come out and walk with us in the Spring, as well as doing the next round of obedience classes.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:05 PM, March 9th (Sunday)]



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 43905 | Registered: Sep 2006
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 7:14 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

Forgot to mention, he would also rub his face on the side of my leg to try to get it off, which also caused the bunching up into his eyes. If you google a bit you will see this can be a common problem. I would try it but just pay very close attention. I am really excited about the Canny. I had to order it from the UK but people rave about them, and these are people with really difficult dogs too.

I feel your pain AN. Our walks have become something I dread and we have tried so hard for so long.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 43905 | Registered: Sep 2006
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

My dd has a rescue mutt that was AWFUL on walks and would just have her lurching as he chased every leaf, squirrel, butterfly... Her vet suggested a gentle leader and he is the most mild mannered pleasure to walk with that on!

I don't know that she did any real training with him, though. He is a strong mutt that lived on the streets in SC before being rescued and adopted by her, so he def was a handful. He now walks like a champ. Good Luck!


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 5972 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Runningaway
Member
Member # 30707
Default  Posted: 8:05 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

I have used a dog halter for many years (I think the brand is Haltee) and it is the only way I can control my dog out on a walk. He does not like it, but willingly puts his nose into it so I can buckle him in b/c it means he gets a walk. I never walk him without it so it's not a big deal anymore.
I've never noticed it bunching up around his eyes but mine has a lot of structure to it. Maybe experiment with different styles.


What doesn't kill us makes us smaller. - Mario

Posts: 256 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Canada
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

Well I might not be the best one to ask. CB ate his.

8 more years and he will be out of his puppy phase!


end t/j


Merris does this too. She goes insane at other dogs. Not vicious, just crazy. Crazz wants to get a "STFU" collar. I'll have to ask DS how Teddy handles it. Both pugs are on pug specific harnesses and it does NOTHING to help her attitude.

I hope your new program works!


We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle

Posts: 16310 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 9:14 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

I know our dog will hate it on his face. When we took him home the first time we had a bucket muzzle on his face like the rescue recommended for the introduction to the other dog and the cats and he was knocking his face into things to try to get the muzzle off. I will try it, though. I'm desperate. I will be aware of the problems mentioned, thank you.

Jrazz, it's the fact that he's 70 lbs and strong that makes it so hard. When he sees another dog he starts pulling so hard I cannot get him going in the other direction. He's skinny but apparently he's all muscle .

I wonder if a harness is a better idea.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 9:49 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

I tried one of those with my "bad" dog (I have two rescues and one was abused as a young puppy and then not socialized at all while she waited four months to be adopted in the pound) and it was a disaster. I tried to use praise and even treats, which I generally don't use for reinforcement, and she still fought against the thing so hard that she cut her nose pretty badly trying to get it off.

[This message edited by h0peless at 9:50 PM, March 9th (Sunday)]


Posts: 1556 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Arizona
million pieces
Member
Member # 27539
Default  Posted: 11:00 PM, March 9th (Sunday)

I used it with my aussie mix and it was a lifesaver when she was young and then again great when I had her, her furry sister, and pushing a double jogger. I introduced it to her when she was young with the help of a trainer and while I can't say she was thrilled with it, she would stand still for it because it meant walks. Her sister had more of the Aussie trainability and never needed it. I honestly rec it to anyone to try.


Me - 42
2 kids, 9 and 11
D-Day 2/5/10, separated 3 wks later
Divorced 11/15/11!!!!

Posts: 1230 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: MD
refuz2bavictim
Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 4:15 AM, March 10th (Monday)

HI AN,
Our horse, I mean dog (yellow lab of massive proportions) would do this. When she would see other dogs on the street she would go insanely vicious, and make her own horror film soundtrack. It was awful. I also had to start walking her separately from chocolate girl.

Our vet recommended the gentle lead and told me that since she was the size of a small horse, she needed to be led like one.

She hated at first, and she rubbed it all over her face, bunched it up into her eyes, and her snout. She looked ridiculous and pathetic. I felt like I was torturing her. I'd readjust it, and start again.

In the beginning I used her harness with it. Just in case that frail looking lead thingy failed. I could not fathom any possible way this thing could work.
The harness was designed to keep her from pulling, but she is so big and so strong that it didn't work when she saw another dog. She found a way to drag me down the street, and tangle my legs in a ball of leash.

At first using both was effective, and made me feel safer. I noticed that the minute she pulled and the lead tightened she would settle down. So I tried without the harness after a few days. Every time she pulled I would simply change direction. All she could do was buck like a horse. But she couldn't pull me. She had to follow. I was walking in circles at times, and It was embarrassing for the first week, but it paid off.

I stuck with it, and she began associating it with her walks. Eventually she would stick her face into it on her own, to get out the door faster.

No more pulling. No more harness. No more bucking bronco.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
itainteasy
Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, March 10th (Monday)

Yeah, I think ALL dogs will rub their faces on the ground, you, the wall, ANYTHING they can get close to in order to try to get it off. It activates pressure points on the face/snout that are uncomfortable if they pull. Which is why they learn to NOT pull, LOL.

We have one for our puppy, and he hates it. Our Vet said that we have to be consistent in using it and he will get used to it, and will start to associate it with walk time.

My fiance's family has a lab that was a notorious, drag your ass down the street puller--the gentle leader turned her into a lovely walking companion. She also used to push her face into it, because she associated it with her favorite activity, going for a W A L K. LOL


Posts: 3286 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, March 10th (Monday)

My fiance's family has a lab that was a notorious, drag your ass down the street puller

You are singing the song of my pup

I just love walking him and he loves it too. The lady with the one eyed dog scared me, and then he ate it so that was that. He was walking better, but it was like a walk and a snuggle because he was right at my side rubbing his face on my leg to get it off .

I am going to give the one I bought another try. Dh just has to add another rivet to it because it's a titch too big. He'll grow into it though. Do you know I walk every morning with a neighbour and her lab for an hour but then have to come back to get CB and walk him because he would be too much to handle with another dog and the neighbour. At least I am getting my exercise.

I think proper fit is essential so we'll try again.

A police dog trainer came out of his house one day to talk to us. He had seen me the day previous in the road, wrestling my dog for a pickle. Yes, CB found a pickle in the road and it was a roll around on the ground fight for that pickle. The trainer recommended a prong collar and said he would fit it for us. I really really considered it (not the pointy prongs but the bent ones) but I am iffy about it as I don't know much and don't want to hurt him.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 43905 | Registered: Sep 2006
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 9:52 AM, March 10th (Monday)

I gotta say I am a huge fan of the pinch collars. I had a Dane that was very strong, and like the Greyhound had that long neck so could slip out of a regular collar. I also had a vet who had Irish Wolfhounds and he recommended the pinch collar for leash/walking training. As they mature, and learn how to behave they don't need them. Now my Dane was such a sissy she had to be held by two people to get her shots, and would seriously yelp and whimper when she got them. Most dogs don't notice, so she was a big baby.
She tolerated the pinch collar without flinching. She got excited when she saw it because she knew she was getting to go out somewhere, as we lived in the woods, she didn't need a leash on a daily basis, so leash and pinch collar meant going bye-bye.

Anyway. She was easy to train with it, and knew it for what it was, and once on she would not pull or strain. I used it for one of my Goldens, and my current Lab.

I also find that if you can exercise the dog with some fetch prior to going for a walk that it burns off a bit of energy, and makes them easier to handle.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 7790 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
truthsetmefree
Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, March 10th (Monday)

We initially had the Gentle Leader. Walks were a nightmare between the pulling ahead to the lagging behind while he was desperately clawing to get the thing off. We tried numerous times but it reached a point where none of us - not even the dog - wanted to walk.

Then we found the Easy Walk Harness. Same company but totally different concept. Instead of the pull pressure across the nose, it is across the front legs. It doesn't stop all pulling but it does make it very hard for the dog to walk when there is essentially a tight strap across the front legs. He still leads but I don't have all the arm fatigue like I once did and he exhausts himself much sooner in the walk.

[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 10:34 AM, March 10th (Monday)]


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
truthsetmefree
Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 10:29 AM, March 10th (Monday)

I've also had some results with clicker training. Nothing extreme (and I'm probably not doing the concept correctly) but I just trained him to associate the clicker sound with a treat. (Talk about easy!). Now when I need to redirect his attention I can easily do that. I just carry the clicker and a few treats on our walk for those more extreme stimuli (other dogs, man on fast bike, etc).

Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, March 10th (Monday)

Who has all these extra hands for clickers, treats, and stuff?

I walked him with it just now and it was pathetic. He was wriggling so much I kept checking the latch because I was afraid he was going to detach from the leash. I had it hooked to the Gentle Leader and his regular (martingale) collar.

He was walking shaking his head around and every step or two he'd lift his front paws and try to swipe it off with them. He looked ridiculous. We didn't see another dog this time. I really am afraid that when we do with all his shenanigans he's going to detach and run.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 2:44 PM, March 13th (Thursday)

Update---

I've been using the GL pretty consistently for the past few days. The first day was a nightmare. Then I had DS walk with me (he used to use it for his dog and swears by them. He actually said, "Gentle leaders change people's lives, mom." )

DS walked him, then he let me take over, and I felt really good about it. Then I watched the DVD that it came with about proper use and fit. I wish I would have done that first! I really think that proper fit makes the difference. He's doing pretty well with it! We haven't come across any other dogs yet but I think that when we do, with the GL giving him a nudge in the opposite direction will do the trick. We shall see but so far so good. Fingers crossed .


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 3:34 PM, March 13th (Thursday)

Then I watched the DVD that it came with about proper use and fit. I wish I would have done that first! I really think that proper fit makes the difference

If all else fails read the directions......?????


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 7790 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, March 13th (Thursday)

For an intelligent person I'm not that bright.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
undertherug
Member
Member # 41580
Default  Posted: 4:46 PM, March 13th (Thursday)

We have 2 very large German Shepherds. Both have pinch collars (used only when we take walks). All I have to do is put the pinch collar on and tell them to "walk pretty" and they are perfect. Without the pinch collar, not so much. Also the younger GSD was developing food aggression with the older dog. The trainer at obedience school suggested keeping a bottle of water and squirting her in the face when she started acting up. Worked like a charm. Only took one squirt. I just have to reach for the bottle and she immediately calms down. Don't know if that would work while taking a walk though.

Posts: 58 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: United States
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, March 13th (Thursday)

underthug, I got all excited there for a second because the spray bottle sounded like it might work to keep my Lab off the counters and the table. He is RELENTLESS about jumping up. Then I remembered that the only thing he loves more than food is water. All water. He begs for showers, swims in his water dish, splashes in puddles. Back to the drawing board for me.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 43905 | Registered: Sep 2006
ISPIFFD
Member
Member # 26367
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, March 14th (Friday)

meta, have you tried the canned air sensor devices that are usually sold for keeping cats off counters? My dog's just as scared of a blast of air as my cats, so it works with him, too, and the pets don't come to associate it with me like if I had a squirt bottle in my hand. And it's just air.

http://www.amazon.com/Ssscat-PDT00-13914-SSSCAT-Cat-Training/dp/B000RIA95G/ref=pd_bxgy_petsupplies_text_y

Edited to add: I am another owner of an on-leash-horror dog. I keep trying the positive approach of giving treats before he goes ballistic, but really all it takes is for my dog to get the slightest hint there's another dog or person in any visible direction, and he's already over the threshold and in full Tazmanian Devil mode. I have surgery coming up and the thing that has me most concerned is trying to walk him in the weeks post-op when I'm not supposed to do anything like vacuum or mop -- in other words, no arm pulling by the dog on the leash either.

Okay, just ordered a GL - it's about $11 on amazon w/prime, hard to argue with that even if it's a total bust.

[This message edited by ISPIFFD at 11:46 AM, March 14th (Friday)]


Me: BW (54)
Him: WH (61)
7/14/11 - Divorced

Posts: 1800 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: another world
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, March 14th (Friday)

Good luck ISPIFFD. Make sure you watch the instructional DVD (or read the directions) before you try it .


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
justdoit
Member
Member # 25898
Default  Posted: 3:50 PM, March 14th (Friday)

The easy walk harness was recommended to me by a friend that raises and shows mastiffs - said it was better than gentle leader because it doesn't strain the head and the dogs don't fight it.
This harness is wonderful! Got 2 rescue dogs at the same time; one is afraid of everything and everyone, so tries to get away and hide. The other is lease aggressive toward other dogs and loves people so goes toward everyone. So trying to walk them was like being in a tug of war! With these harnesses I can control both at the same time and everyone enjoys the walk!


Me - 60
WH - 67
Married 35 years
DDay - 5/14/09
He's reconciled, I'm in limbo.
"Stuck in the middle with you"

Posts: 154 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Rocky Mountains
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 4:38 PM, March 14th (Friday)

DS tried the harness on his rescue pitbull mix who had leash aggression towards other dogs (and was a complete sweetheart in the house) and it did nothing to help the problem. Then he tried the Gentle Leader collar and it made a huge difference.

I guess it depends on the dog.

ETA My dog fought it the first few times I used it. Now that I'm using it consistently he's getting used to it. The thing is, when he starts to pull he stops because of the way it controls his head.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:39 PM, March 14th (Friday)]


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36526 | Registered: Sep 2007
Topic Posts: 25