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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I am a new 1st time puppy owner. Molly is nearly 12 weeks old now. I was just wondering what experienced dog owners think of the gentle leader for walks. I was considering getting one because even with treats in my pocket molly is more interested in going her own way. We are taking her to obedience classes in a few weeks but i'm interested in how useful/or not it is considered to be. Thanks in advance for any replies.
 

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I wouldn't even consider a GL until the dog was an adult. And by that time, she should be trained to walk on a loose leash. Obedience classes are GREAT at teaching loose leash walking. Until the class starts, practice walking her in areas that she's used to, like your yard. Talk to her in a happy, high voice and treat and praise often. Get better treats like Natural Balance food roll. Once she's good in your yard, then you can branch out, but she really shouldn't be walking in the neighborhood until he has all her shots at 16 weeks.

If I were to advise any training apparatus, it would be a "no-pull" harness. There are several kinds.
 

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Agree. Loose leash walking just takes some practice in low stimulis areas before going out into the exciting world with all the distractions. The big part of that training is teaching our dogs where we want them to walk....nicely by our side?...slightly out front?...but, we have to show them where they should be. It's much harder to do them if they get too much leash freedom.

The treats and praise are only given when the dog is walking where we want them.
 

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I am not a big fan of the head halters, as they need to be used properly..and us humans dont' always do well with that sort of thing...lol.

I find the Premier EasyWalk harness very easy to use and also easy for the dog to get used to wearing it. Depending on the breed, you may have to replace it a couple of times over the first year (for sizing purposes) but I find it invaluable to reduce pulling and not causing physical strain on the dogs neck and muzzle area (like a head halter) or throat (like a collar).
 

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At home for training i just usually use a regular collar and leash to walk the perimeter of my yard.Now,in public i use a simple halti that i buy at the vet's office. Some collars are not strong enough for labs (i found out the hard way i.e, he bolted and broke his collar) Just be sure you put the halti on right or you will discomfort your dog which no one wants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all that advice.
I think I will try one of the simple harnesses reccomended because I do worry about her neck when she strains so hard against it. This forum is so great for advice! What would we do without it.:)
 

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Whatever harness you get, make sure the leash attaches to the FRONT by your dog's chest and not on top of the back. :) The latter will just encourage a puller to pull harder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Will do. I've been looking at the premier easy walk harness as reccomended by cracker.That attaches at the front and looks like it will be a good help.
I suppose the obedience classes will be the biggest help though, can't wait.
Thanks.:)
 

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I tried the Gentle leader and i was not a fan of it, sure it kept my dog focused on something other than all the great smells when walking but she ended up getting to excited when we ran into the neighbors dog and got herself all tangled up in it, i was afraid she would end up choking herself so i returned the Gentle leader and went back to the basics.
 

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At 12 weeks I wouldn't use the gentle leader. It does not train them in the future not to pull. She needs to learn on her own how to walk well. Try starting in your house where it is a familiar place. Take a step and have her sit and keep doing this until she is awesome at it. Only ask her to sit once and then guide her with the treat. In your house there will be less distractions. Then move to your backyard, repeat. Then infront of your place, and repeat. Slowly adding more and more distractions. It might not happen over night, or it might.

I have used a GL before, but only on my rescues so that I could walk them to get their energy out because they were full grown labs . It's hard to train the dogs if they are never able to go out for walks etc. because they haven't made it that far in their training.
 

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I find it invaluable in highly distracting situations. However, there is a problem in that if I now do not use it in highly distracting situations she will run through a martingale as if I had no collar on her at all.

A highly distracting situation is one where the dog is so interested in her environment that she is uninterested in treats or toys. I put the GL on and it is like a different dog. Now I need to get that same result w/o the GL and on a standard collar.. and from that to no leash at all.

The rest of the time this dog works off leash. My goal is always to have a dog work off leash.

At 12 weeks I would be working on other basics so that a GL or GL harness would not be necessary.
 
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