Is your dog an excitable type who drags you merrily down the street, lurching and lunging after squirrels, cats, and anything else that catches her fancy? Do your neighbors laugh and ask if you are walking the dog or if the dog is walking you?
Walking a dog that pulls can be annoying, painful, and even dangerous. A large powerful dog can injure your back, neck, shoulder, wrist, or even knock you down to the ground. You need to put yourself in charge, take control of your charging beast, and make dog walking a pleasure again. Fortunately, there is a fast, gentle and stress free way to accomplish this.
The Toughest Contender of My Petsitting Career
I had a thriving pet sitting business and was fairly accustomed to pulling dogs of all sizes. Then I met a long, lanky black Lab that pulled with such thrusting intensity that I believed he might have been capable of escaping the earth's atmosphere. Although the owner warned me that his dog was "quite a handful" on the leash, I was physically unprepared for what turned out to be the strongest, wildest, most unpredictable retriever in the Tampa Bay area.
Walking that dog was like a Nantucket sleigh ride over gritty sand, sharp sand spurs, and the bumpy roots of pine trees. Unfortunately, my furry whale wanna-be never seemed to run out of energy but I sure did. After a few walks my leash holding arm, hand, shoulder and neck were out of whack and aching. Every lurch resisting muscle felt like a quivering, useless mass of liquified goo. Because the dog lived in an apartment, not walking him was not an option. I had to find a fast solution to his wild walking ways.
Dog Trainer Introduces Me to the Gentle Leader, an Arm-Saving Solution
I described my problem to Angelica from Courteous Canine Dog Training. She's an outstanding dog trainer who specializes in positive methods and I trusted her to provide an effective solution to the pulling dog dilemma. Angelica told me about a special collar called the Gentle Leader.
The Gentle Leader works on the principle that where the head goes the body will follow. There is a snap on collar that goes high up on the dog's neck, close to where the skull meets the neck. Then there is a loop that fits around the dog's muzzle and this is the part that takes the power away from the dog and puts into the proper hands, yours. Each Gentle Leader comes with easy instructions that describe how to put it on your dog and adjust it properly.
The Gentle Leader is NOT a muzzle. Your dog can still pant, drink, eat, bark, chase a Frisbee, or catch a ball. The Gentle Leader is not a harsh or physically painful method of correction like a choke or pinch collar. The Gentle Leader wraps around the dog's muzzle and applies light pressure similar to how a mother dog or higher ranking pack mate communicates. This very naturally puts you in the proper place at the top of the dog hierarchy and your dog will recognize that immediately. When the dog pulls, all you have to do is pull back very gently on the leash and this will apply the corrective pressure and turn the head around, immediately neutralizing the pulling.
It all made sense to me and I bought a Gentle Leader immediately.
Amazon Price: $19.99 $11.59 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 12, 2014)
The Gentle Leader Was Immediately Effective
I put the Gentle Leader on my crazy friend and he had a few moments of trying to paw the thing off. This was a perfectly normal and expected reaction to the dog having something new and unfamiliar near his face. He quickly figured out that the Gentle Leader was staying put and accepted it. It was time to open the apartment door and put the collar to the test.
The Gentle Leader worked just like Angelica said that it would. When the dog took off, I slowly and gently pulled back on the leash. This slightly rotated the dogs's head toward me while applying the momma dog-grade pressure to his muzzle. The dangerous lunging, lurching, run for the wilderness was immediately neutralized. It required no physical effort from me and it didn't cause any physical pain to the dog. It was win/win and I was astonished.
My friend and I were walking together as a team. Before the Gentle Leader I feared that he would knock me down the stairs and drag my unconscious body face down into the retention pond where it would make a great chew toy for a gator or cottonmouth water moccasin. But now we were just a girl and a great dog enjoying the sunshine and the trail. Together.
I bought a Gentle Leader in every size and kept them in my car. I was never going to be overpowered by another overly enthusiastic dog again.
Gentle Leader Benefits
With the Gentle Leader, there will be no question that you are the alpha leader of the pack. I love how this change happens so immediately and so effortlessly. I used the Gentle Leader to turn many dangerous leash devils into enjoyable angels. I saved my shoulders, neck, wrists, ankles and back.
Here is a summary of the Gentle Leader's many attributes:
- A completely pain-free way to eliminate pulling on the leash
- Comes in several sizes and is suitable for all types of dogs, even those with short muzzles
- Stops dogs from jumping up in people's faces
- Provides a natural style of correction that quickly puts you in control
- Allows the dog to pant, drink, bark, eat, and do anything with his mouth that he would normally do
- Easy to put on and adjust
- Can control even very large and powerful breeds
- Especially helpful when the dog walker is small or frail
- Available in several colors to match your dog's look and personality
- Immediately effective
- Excellent to pair with positive reinforcement techniques
The Gentle Leader is an incredibly helpful dog training tool that will make you fall in love with walking your dog all over again. You will wish you had tried it sooner.