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I went to the informational meeting for HABIT therapy dogs and really think Poppy would do wonderfully with the program. I am completing her paperwork and sending it in after her spay on 6/17. She is wonderfully calm and attentive with her prong collar on and I was hoping and wishing that it would be allowed, but as I expected they stated prongs were not allowed on the therapy dogs. They did recommend the gentle leader for those dogs that pull. So, I went out and purchased one yesterday and Poppy and I went to Petsmart and walking at the shopping complex last night with it on. I think she did well to have it on for the first time. She did toss her head and try to pull it off with her paws a few times, but all in all for the first try she did great.

So, who uses the gentle leader and what are your thoughts. I have heard some things about a few dogs breaking their necks with it, pit bull I think, because they went after something and when the leash reached it's point and turned the head it broke the dogs neck. I don't expect this to be an issue with Poppy as I generally keep her in a heel position, on a short leash and she doesn't really try to chase anything.

thanks for your comments in advance
 

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I never had much luck with the gentle leader. My obedience instructor recommended a product called te gentle walker...it is a chest harness and the ring is in the center of the chest in a martingale design and is designed to turn the dog toward you when it pulls but not by the head.
 

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I LOVE the Gentle Leader! I got it for Desmond to help control him a bit while we're out. He's not wild or anything, but like you said with Poppy, he behaves better and minds himself a bit more when I can give him clear signals through the Gentle Leader.
Desmond doesn't mind his, but he does throw little "fits" every now and again when it itches his face and paws at it. I don't allow it, and simply continue walking. I give him praise when he walks nicely with it on, and every time we put it on. He always perks up when I get it out, since it means he's going out somewhere.

I think it's an excellent tool for dogs like Poppy and Des, who are by no means bad or "out of control", but I feel more comfortable using it because Desmond listens to me better when it's on. I will probably continue to use the Gentle Leader when we go out to places (like pet stores, or a walk in a busy park) so I can work to help him understand how I want him to behave. He focuses on ME when it's on most of the time, but if something really exciting is going on and he doesn't "hear" me, I can use the GL to communicate what I want. I don't think I'll use it forever, but it's perfect for helping us work better together and he will eventually not need it anymore. (in fact, we can go on walks without it now and he behaves wonderfully)

It sounds to me like Poppy would do fine with one. I think almost all dogs do paw at it at first, since it probably feels funny, but if she behaves well with the Prong, the Gentle Leader will probably give similar results. And I've NEVER had the problem of Des lunging and the GL snapping back, I keep him pretty close to my side and both hands on the leash at all times. That way, you can tell if he does begin to lunge, and the dog doesn't run run run THEN get snapped back, but the leash tightens before the dog can really get anywhere.
 

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When we first got Saffy, she was uncontrollable, and we knew nothing about dogs :p
So we used the Gentle Leader that came with her, but I trained her out of it , and it's all good not.

I see the Gentle Leader as a temporary option, not something that should last for ever.
 

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I use the Easy Walk harness for Teddy. I can either attach the leash on top or on his chest, depending on what we're doing.
 

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i use a halti- my Older aussie and Pitti x went in them if we had them on the coupler (two 50+ pound dogs and me pushing a stroller *L* it was a huge help) I like them for the bigger dogs- NOT on smaller dogs.

Kiah the little aussie got an introduction to it this weekend so i could get her going on a light leash with distraction for biking at the camp ground.
 

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I have never used a gentle leader but a woman in our obedience class is using it in her very hyper Dalmatian. OMG...she hates it!! She can barely learn anything in class as she is continually tossing her head and digging at the leader to get it off.

It is probably a good tool with the right dog and right handler but it appears to not be good for all.

I hope your dog gets used to it and it becomes an effective tool for both of you.
 

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I think it would be better to train loose leash walking. You can use the halti/gentle leader as a tool to learn the behaviour, but like Jak said, I see it as a training tool, not a long term/permanent solution.
 
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