Dog Training Gentle Leader Vs Training Collar
Dog training using a gentle leader is very different than that of using any other type of training collar. First of all it must be understood by the consumer that one must always use extreme caution and care when using the gentle leader on a dog. While the product can be very effective for the purposes of training your dog, those inexperienced users undoubtedly will use it incorrectly, underestimating its potential to cause serious harm to the animal. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough that any person wishing to use the gentle leader should absolutely do some thorough research on the subject, and receive instruction on how to properly use this training tool prior to strapping it onto the dog.
The gentle leader is almost like a harness, whereas the neck strap wraps around the head of the animal and sits high up behind the ears on the back of the animals head; underneath it should sit just above the Adam’s apple. This piece should fit snuggly; basically you want to be able squeeze one finger underneath the strap and no more than that. The second piece loops around the dog’s nose, sits at the corners of the mouth and just below the eyes. It should be loose enough so that the animal can fully open his mouth but not so much that it can slip off the end of his nose.
The leash is then attached to the ring and the product works by leading the dog by his muzzle, just as a pack leader would direct a pack member in a dog’s natural environment. There are however, two issues that must be observed and dealt with in reference to dog training with a gentle leader. The first is that it often takes a great deal of time for an animal to become accustomed to the feel of this type of item. It is not recommended that you attempt to do any training or walking with the animal the first time the gentle leader is put on him. When your dog is in a relaxed and calm state take the opportunity to place the gentle leader on him, leaving it on for a period of time so that he can acclimate to it. If the animal becomes upset and attempts to remove it, calm him down again completely before taking it off of him. (If you remove it when he is acting up you will only be sending him the message that when he acts up, he gets what he wants.) Begin the training process once your dog has become comfortable with the product and has stopped fighting it.
The second issue with the gentle leader, is that the trainer must understand that when the dog starts walking in the wrong direction and a correction or tug on the leash is required to redirect the dog, that very little force is needed to bring the animal back to where he should be. A very quick or strong snap of the leash could possibly hurt the dog and do serious damage to his neck or spine. Where more force may be required to correct a dog when using an alternate type of training collar, it is the opposite when it comes to the gentle leader. Hence the name of the product being “gentle leader”; be gentle when handling the animal and enjoy a successful and fun dog training experience.
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