The “Gentle Leader”

November 9, 2006

Ok, I’ve never done this before, but its deserving so I will. I’m actually writing this post just ot mention how amazed I am at the “Gentle Leader.” Its a product designed to help walk a dog without them tugging and yankin’ on the damn thing, but it doesnt choke, pinch, or stab them i nthe throat.  Which is nice.

Dog 1 (Bacchus, seen on the left) was easy enough to train.  I’m not sure if he was just that good of a dog, if we had more time, or if we got him young enough that it was easy… but it was.  Dog 2 (Igasa, on the right, who has increased to about 65lbs) is getting ALOT better at the normal commands, but walking on a  leash is still more work than I care to perform.  I nearly have to break her neck to keep her from lunging ahead.  The entire time Im walking I feel like Im walking downhill, having to slow myself, because she yanks the ENTIRE TIME. Dang dog.

So today Kelli and I took the dogheads for a walk and decided to go to the pet store and put an end to the yanking.  I was considering getting a  more brutal chain of some kind, but didnt really like the idea.  Then there was the gentle leader thingy.  It essentially goes over their muzzle and around the back of their neck.  They still have full use of their mouth and can turn their heads, eat, bark, or whatever… but if there is any tension on the leash it makes them turn their head like a horse. This leads to them not wanting to keep it up and figuring it out FAST that tugging gets them nowhere.

She hated the thing when I first put it on.  I dont think its uncomfortable, just odd.  Like putting sun glasses or a hat on a baby , they just dont like it.  But she got used to it within 4 or 5 blocks and didnt seem to mind that much.  She still pawed at her face every now and then when she lunged and got turned sideways, but otherwise she was fine.  By the way, the pawing at the face while walking is damn funny, I wish I had video of that.

So props to the gentle leader people.  It cost $20 or so and I think it could have been simplified (ie. a piece of rope that attached to the existing colar), but it was still well worth the 25 to stop the yanking without killing my dog. Plus, with 2 dog when one starts acting up the other has to try real hard to not join in.  So we kinda got a two-for.

As always, I’m working on the pictures.  I’m also considering doing some brief write-ups on movies and books I read.  They wont be the latest greatest since I rarely get a book when it first comes out and even less often go to the theatre.  I have the ‘what should I rent/read’ moments and maybe I could help you out with that.  Or not.  Bah.

- Jesse

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2 Responses

  1. When we first got the huskies (who have some serious pulling tendencies that took a lot of walks to -mostly- overcome!!), Simba had a Halti lead, which is pretty much the same thing. It was great; the only bummer is that a lot of people see these things and think it’s a muzzle and that you have a mean dog :0( It took awhile with people crossing the street and giving us a really wide girth (when most usually are attracted to our dogs because they look friendly) before we figured it out and started explaining what the thing was so neighbors weren’t freaked out!

    Just a tip so Igasa doesn’t get an undeserved bad rap…

  2. jesse.fettketherNovember 10, 2006 @ 7:56 pm

    Good call, she certainly isnt a mean dog.

    I tried to get her used to it more by putting it on her in the house, but she didnt really have anything better to do than to try and get it off, so not so much. I think it may restrict her mouth from opening fully, but not much. She still grabbed her toys and fought with Bacchus (who was getting mad at her freaking out).



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