gentle leaders...do they work?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by artstudent, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. artstudent

    artstudent New Member

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    Hey folks,

    During a recent discussion with my friend the topic of using different "training collars" came up. My friend has just started training to become a trainer at petsmart and the trainer she was working with today reccomend using the "gentle leader" head collars verses the traditional choke collar or prong collar. I disagreed with this, due to having read from various online sources that gentle leaders didn't work very well with large or willful dogs. But since I've never actually attempted to use one with my dog max (90lb boxer/lab/chow mix), I was wondering what actual experiences all of you have had using them. Did the gentle leader work for you? better than a standard, choke, or training collar?

    Thanks for your advice!
    Artstudent
     
  2. julia197

    julia197 New Member

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    I've trained my belgian shepherd as a police dog, so she is very strong. I now always use a LEATHER choke collar.
     
  3. milo

    milo Labrador lover!!!!!

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    I have a balck lab and he always pull's on the lead but when i got the easy lead what goes around the nose and at the back of the head it works wonders and now i can walk him everywhere without my arm being pulled out!!!Lol Anyway when my Pup grows up i will but him on the easy lead to so then it will teach him not to pull!!! :D
    Hope that helped!!!! :D
     
  4. Husky626

    Husky626 New Member

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    Hello

    Currently I'm also training my pup at Petsmart and the trainer is asking us to buy all sorts of items. At first she told us to buy the training collar because we were using the harness(dont know how to spell it), and then later she recommends us to buy the gentle leader which cost like $25 dollars. When she told us that how well it worked, we decided to buy in, since all other trainees were getting them. Well i say it does work great, but when i put it on my pup, he was crying because he didnt like it. But as we do more walking and training with it, it seems that it does work and he is more calm now with it. Hope this info. helps
     
  5. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    I have one for my Border Collie puppy, not so much to stop pulling but to be able to have complete control over his head when he and my Papillon are in the same room together. (The pup gets too rambunctious and could kill the Papillon with one pounce)
    For the most part, it works well, but he wants to fight it constantly. He will rub his face against me, the chairs, the floor, Buster (Our labrador) and anything else he can find, to try to get that darned thing off.
    I have stopped using it for training, because he is more focused on fighting the halter than he is on learning.

    In my opinion, it's not as safe as a pinch collar or even a standard flat collar, because if the dog were to run forward and hit the end of the leash, their neck would be wrenched and possibly broken. A flat collar would probably temporarily squash the trachea and give them quite a yank, which could easily break a smaller dog's neck and harm a larger dog. Whereas with a pinch collar, if they hit the end of the leash at full speed, they would have some bruising on their skin.
     
  6. Apollonaro

    Apollonaro New Member

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    Was the harness you are talking about called a "Puli" becuase we bought one for apollo, he's got a nasty pulling habit and i guess it's got a little metal bit at the front and when he pulls against you, the little metal bit pushes against his breast bone. They said that it reduces the center of gravity or something? I noticed that when apollo pulls now, it dramatically reduces his force. It's alot easier to walk him. I also find that if he tries to jupm at something, say a squirrel the Puli holds him back without choking him. I find it rather usefull!
     
  7. artstudent

    artstudent New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone,
    I had never thought about the possible damage to the dog's neck with a gentle leader, since they're sold mainly as a "safe" alternative to choke and prong collars so that is a very good point to consider.

    Do you guys think theres a huge difference in "safeness" of correctly used choke and prong collars, and gentle leaders? I had always heard that people tended to use chokes incorrectly thus causing damage, but that prongs caused less damage (via pressure) and were typically more effective.

    Thanks again for your help!
    Art
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I just use a harness with mine when they're pups learning to walk on the leash, then when they're grown just slip a choker over their heads. I don't have to worry about hurting these Monsters because they've learned to walk on the harness when they're young. Truthfully, if they wanted to go, the only thing that could stop them is the fact that they're used to minding me, particularly when we're out in public. There's no way a person could hold them, no matter what kind of restraining collar you used, and I seriously think the collar would break before these critters hurt themselves. My "dainty" little Shiva has passed 140 pounds I know, and any baby fat is long gone, leaving solid muscle. :eek:

    Bimmer never has pulled, so it really doesn't matter what he wears when we go out either.

    If I were working with smaller dogs, especially if they were leash lungers, I'd use a harness, though. You get better control and they seem to impart a feeling of security to a dog, and you don't have to worry about injuries. They're also easier to grab hold of in an emergency.
     
  9. RedHotDobe

    RedHotDobe aka RedHotBabe

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    Gentle leaders can lead to serious neck injuries, especially for breeds prone to them (i.e. the Doberman and CVI). I was at the shelter once and I asked the trainer there what to do to get Duke to stop pulling. She suggested a gentle leader. I then politely told her that it shouldn't be used on Dobermans because they are prone to CVI. Then, in a wave of arrogant ignorance, she told me that she'd never heard of anything like that, and continued to show me how to use it. Needless to say, I never asked her any more training questions.

    Choke collars can cause a lot more damage than a prong, so I use a Herm Sprenger prong on Duke. (Well, actually it's currently lost) If a dog pulls too hard, the choke collar can damage the trachea. With prong collars though, they have a limited amount that they can tighten. I do have a Herm Sprenger choke chain for him, but I use it in combination with a black martingale. He has slipped out of his other martingale and the black one is just a cheapo one from Petsmart, so I use the chain with it. I don't want to take the chance of the black martingale breaking or him slipping out of it again, so I picked up the chain on sale at the groomer's for $5. :)

    Just some points on the choke and prong collars.
    Choke collars should be put on in the shape of a P if they are healing to your left. Reverse if they are healing to your right. (I can take a picture if that doesn't make sense.)
    When using a prong collar, attach the leash to both rings. (Again, picture if needed.)

    Here's a website on how to fit a prong. http://www.leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Thanks for the info on the use of prongs. I've been wondering about them (worrying in advance - lol) since one of these days I may end up with a Monster puppy that DOESN'T walk with manners. I'm not placing any bets on which mother that puppy will be out of: Shiva's more impulsive, but Kharma's infinitely more stubborn . . .
     
  11. kjblah

    kjblah New Member

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    Gentle Leader . . . Schmentle Leader

    Calvin, my 60+ lb. Rhodesian Ridgeback/Chow mix made minced meat out of the Gentle Leader after a couple of days. If I could have gotten the thing to stay on him, it would have worked, but the minute he saw another dog/cat/human, he yanked out of it so fast I got whiplash. Thirty bucks down the drain, if you ask me.
     
  12. tl_ashmore

    tl_ashmore Spoiled Rotten Dog

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    Leather collars don't work for me, because Beulah will pull and pull until that leather stretches, and her head pulls out of it. I use the prong collar also. No problems here.
     
  13. artstudent

    artstudent New Member

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    Thanks again for the great input!
    RedHotDobe- I've actually been to the leerburg site before and used it to help me decide on what size/how to fit a prong for my family's dog max...before I found that site (and did some other research) I thought that prongs were *inhumane*, I'm glad that I put some effort into learning otherwise :)

    I've never heard of CVI before, so I'll have to do some reading on that as well. Did you read that the gentle leaders weren't good for dogs with CVI on a website? If so, I'd love to have that link.

    Thanks again,
    Artstudent
     
  14. RedHotDobe

    RedHotDobe aka RedHotBabe

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    That's exactly what I thought! I thought they were some sort of evil torture device used to force dogs to obey commmands, and boy was I wrong! As soon as I learned more about them and was taught how to size them correctly, I went out and purchased one for Duke. And for the Dobe that aspires to be a future sled puller, it's a real help. I really want to get a metal martingale though to try and wean him off it. He'll pull like heck when he only has his regular collar on.

    And I just asked for good websites explaining the risks of gentle leaders and Dobes, so I'll post them as soon as I get a reply. :)
     
  15. RedHotDobe

    RedHotDobe aka RedHotBabe

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