Is a gentle lead good for dog training?

Discussion in 'Products and supplies for puppies' started by Rachel McCall, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Rachel McCall

    Rachel McCall Registered Users

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    Is a gentle lead good for training puppy while on a walk? I’ve never had a dog before and a friend told me to buy one, but I want to make sure I’m doing this right for the puppy.
     
  2. sarah@forumHQ

    sarah@forumHQ Moderator

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    Hi Rachel, welcome to the forum :)

    I'll start by being honest that I have no experience with a gentle leader myself.

    The main advantage of them as advertised by the manufacturer is that they don't put pressure on dog's throats. However, they do put pressure around the muzzle and jaw instead, which their detractors argue is no more comfortable.

    They're also designed to work as a correction for pulling on the leash.

    Here at HQ we think there's no substitute for teaching puppies good leash manners in the first place. There's an article about how to do that on our main site.

    For puppies and dogs who have already developed a pulling habit, we recommend using a harness with a front attachment point, since harnesses are altogether more comfortable for them to wear.

    All that said, I'd also be interested to hear if any of our members have experience with a gentle leader, and what they think of it!

    I hope that helps :)
     
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  3. Rachel McCall

    Rachel McCall Registered Users

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    Super helpful! Thank you for the links!
     
  4. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    I certainly wouldn't use a Gentle Leader, or any other headcollar, on a puppy. They worked by applying pressure whenever a dog pulls, so the dog stops pulling in order to relieve the discomfort / pain. Many dogs hate wearing them and rub to try to get them off.

    I have worked with someone who owned a four-year old Retriever which had pulled and jumped up at people all its life. His owner was a petite lady so sometimes she used a headcollar to cross a main road as otherwise there was a danger the dog would pull her over. After months of work (because other people walking him were still allowing him to pull) the dog now walks on a loose lead with no headcollar.
    So I would only condone using a headcollar as an emergency safety measure.
    Another dog I walk was wearing a headcollar when I first met him but I asked the owner to let me walk him in a harness and he (a Lab) has been able to learn to walk properly on a loose lead.

    With a puppy, use a harness, treats and lots of patience. Don't expect too many steps at first and they don't need to be at heel - as long as the lead is loose then reward.
     

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