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Gentle Leader Head Collar Review


gentle leader head collarIf you have or have had a dog, you have probably been through the dreaded pulling stage (or maybe you are one of those unlucky ones whose dog never actually left the pulling stage). You know what I’m talking about- dog is super-duper excitable, can’t control said excitement, and practically pulls your arm out of its socket when on the leash. You may have tried every type of collar from chain/choker style to pronged collars, harnesses and everything in between with no luck. Or you may THINK you have tried every type of collar- have you heard of the Gentle Leader? No? Then if you want your pups pulling to end, read on!

The Gentle Leader is an adjustable head collar that works similarly to horse reigns- while a regular neck collar or body harness is used on the most powerful parts of the dog’s body (the neck and the chest), the head collar is used, well, on the head, which is not nearly as strong as the neck and chest. It works by applying pressure around the snout and around the back of the head, so when your dog attempts to pull he or she winds up turning their head downward or toward the side, which is a submissive position for dogs. Your dog will realize that you are in control of its head, and unless your dog is extremely stubborn or considers them to be the alpha, your dog should submit pretty quickly and realize you are in control. The collar also comes equipped with an instructional DVD along with paper instructions. I highly encourage you to sit down and watch the DVD before you attempt to put the collar on your dog, as the DVD offers tips and tricks on how to fit the collar and use it properly.

The Gentle Leader comes in a variety of colors to appease every owner, whether you want the collar to stand out or blend in with your dog’s fur. It also ranges in size from extra small to extra-large, so virtually any sized breed can use it. The price point is about average when compared to stereotypical neck collars (ranging in price from $10-$26), however when you take into consideration that this product has a lifetime guarantee, you have nothing to lose- if it is damaged or wears out you will never have to purchase another one again!

buy gentle leader head collar

Although this is an amazing product, there are a few down sides, the main one being ease of use in the beginning. If you start using the Gentle Leader from puppyhood, you most likely will not have an issue. However if you have an adult dog and have just heard of the Gentle Leader it is going to take some time getting your dog used to the head collar. In the description for the Gentle Leader on amazon.com, it says that, “Most dogs acclimate within minutes and respond very quickly.” While this may be the case for many dogs, it was not the case for me. I have used this on three dogs and with two out of the three it has taken at least a week of consistent use for my dogs to become acclimated enough to the collar to not put up a fight during the first few minutes of wear. Now my third dog, a Pekinese mix, was never able to acclimate to the Gentle Leader. However I believe that this was primarily an anatomy issue. Due to brachycephalic breeds (such as English/French Bulldogs, Pekinese, and Pugs) having such short, pushed in snouts, it is extremely easy for these breeds to pull the Gentle Leader off their faces seconds after putting it on. Try as I might, the Gentle Leader just would not work on my short nosed mutt.

Once you and your dog become accustomed to working with the Gentle Leader you will wonder how on earth you were ever able to control your dog by using a stereotypical neck collar or body harness. It will take patience, and your dog may not like it at first but trust me- by the end of the first week your dog will be walking calmly at your side and you will be thrilled that you took the plunge and got you and your dog a Gentle Leader.

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