Yeah, a similar one did wonders for my dog as well.
When adopted my dog, a high-prey-drive Belgian sheepdog, I bought and used a “Gentle Leader” nose collar. It really worked wonders, and it was cute how Kira poked her nose through the loop because it meant Walkies!
Now that I’m looking for Dog Number Two I’m wondering if a harness is the way to go. I’m getting a shepherd mix of some sort, and high prey drive is pretty much a standard option. Leash reactivity is also common.
That sounds great. Better than a nose harness since a lot of people mistake those for muzzles and think it’s to stop an aggressive dog from biting.
Heh-heh. Whenever people asked me about my dog’s Gentle Leader, I’d say “It’s not a muzzle. She could bite you if she wanted.”
I’ve noticed some dog owners using NON-active harnesses with their dogs.
In some cases this is actually necessary. Some very little dogs can actually develop mashed windpipes if they wear a collar.
But putting a muscular pit bull or mastiff or whatever in a harness? You’re basically giving the dog a tool to exert more force on its leash, without the alarming consequence of a choke collar or nose collar.
Now I’m going to go look at Petfinder again because seeing that picture of Kira I just posed makes me miss having a dog.
We first used this, but switched to the more comfortable, Easy Walk http://store.petsafe.net/easy-walk-harness-reflective
And it’s reflective!
Probably on the lawn again.
We got an Easy Walk harness for our Lab. (Same concept). Immediate difference. The only problem is if we don’t have the harness he immediately reverts back. I would like to take some time and do some slack leash training.
If you ask me, choke collars are horribly inhumane, and prong collars are just a little better.
I personally have used prong collars (they look like a medieval torture device, but don’t stab, but rather pinch) very successfully. The idea is to always leave the leash slack, and only ever give a small tug to get the dog’s attention if they’ve stopped paying attention to you. Nothing painful enough to elicit a yipe of course. Just a little pinch to let them know they’re on your time, not theirs.
My next dog will probably be getting some kind of harness instead of the prong collar though. It looks awfully draconian, and doesn’t really give me corrective leverage in a way that I like. It’s an awful lot like a shock collar in principle, and I’m vehemently opposed to those.
ETA I’ve thought it over a little, and have come to the realization that personally, my use of the prong collar, while very effective, and rarely used anymore, was a crutch to support my laziness. I probably could have fully voice trained my guy, so he’d pay attention to me, even when focused on another dog or a cat or something. But the prong collar gives instant results, and I had a lot of trouble even getting him to sit on command, to the point where he needs both the vocal command and a handsignal to do anything. On the plus side, hand signals are much easier to read for a dog, than speech, so nowadays, as he’s old and gray, I can give him the signal palm-up, index and middle finger extended together, and he knows to sit. If I rotate my hand a little with that signal, he knows to form up and heel, and if I give him the palm-down, parallel to the ground all fingers extended he knows to lie down, and if I point at him with a finger gun, and go “bang” he knows to ragdoll adorably.
Never taught him to shake though. He hates having his paws touched at all, and trimming his nails is an ordeal involving a lot of treats, and massaging his pressure points.
Thanks, Jason for making your readers aware there are humane alternatives to choke and prong collars, not to mention the pressure against a dog’s windpipe when a leash is attached to its collar. As others have already commented the Gentle Leader does what its name implies. With a leash attached to it the dog is led the same way a horse is led with a halter so the head goes in the direction of the leader. We and our dogs a re lucky to be living in a time when progressive and highly educated and experienced animal behaviorists and trainers are constantly looking for painless and unintimidating ways to communicate to our dogs what we expect of them as well as learning dogs’ language and what they are trying to tell us. This is an exciting time as the human/canine connection is reaching levels and raising the potential for further understanding people would never have dreamed of 50 years ago.
Hand signals are good. I’ve taught my dog to read her commands, the word written on a card, do lots of tricks, and ignore distractions (even squirrels) with treats and patience, in other words, basic positive reinforcement techniques.
My old Golden Retriever was used to so much attention from people on our daily walks that suddenly stopped when she began wearing it. You could see she couldn’t understand where all those good vibes went and what happened to all the love. That was when they first came into use and now most people know what they are (at least dog people). That said, there were times when I appreciated that some people thought it was a muzzle and didn’t want anything to do with us.
If you have a humane society in your neck of the woods check out their training classes and look for something appropriate to your needs, like “companion dog training” or “loose leash training”.
Yes, this kind of collar (as others have mentioned there are several brands that work on the same principal) is definitely an effective method to get your dog not to pull, but walk sedately with you like a model doggie.
The down side to this harness, and the reason that we essentially stopped using it, is that when our darling dog walks sedately a bit behind us it gives her the opportunity to scavenge all kinds of horrible things without our seeing it (or at least before we can stop her). So that’s the down side… otherwise, it’s a great harness!
…no new pics of Nemo?
I always look forward to pics of Nemo.
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