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I use a gentle leader on our girl piper when I walk her on our am and pm block walks. Shortly after having my second daughter and getting piper I slipped and fell on our back porch stairs leaving me in a lot of pain and having much difficulty in getting around. Piper was already a puller, and when we would walk her she would pull so badly she would choke and gag. I often picked her up half way through before I fell, and had my husband do the heavy lifting after the fall.

The gentle leader we ended up getting has left an odd hair crease across her nose bridge I am forever trying to pet out, and no amount of adjusting seems to take it away. I have watched Victoria Stillwells technique of walking the other direction when they begin to pull, and decided we would give it a shot. On top of her walks we make a stop for ten to fifteen minutes at an american legion hall where I was welcomed to let her run and play. They have a few acres blocked in by large ditches n brush lines backing up to a deactivated train track, plus a nice back garage that runs about twenty feet long. We attempted this training technique along this wall for a few days, but she seems to feel 'let's go' when I turn around means to start running & I end up pretty much spinning in a circle trying to get her to calmly walk. :\

I need to be able to safely walk my girl without being dragged down the cement and the only way we have found to safely do this is with the 'gentle leader'. I haven't found a lot of solid information for or against the use of them, so I decided I would rather just seek guidance in training her to loose leash walk as that would be preferable in the long run. I would like to once again be able to walk around the block at a spur of the moment with my hubby and kids again with out a neon pink gentle leader strapped around pipers face.

So any questions I can answer to give more detail, suggestions, advice, would be greatly appreciated and I will be stalking the thread for replies. ;) :lol:
 

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You can't kill the metal
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I bring treats or food with me on walks, when I stop she typically feels the leash tighten and she will stop and look at me, which I reward her for with a treat and praise. I have yet to train her on walking nicely at my side.

What I'm doing to train my puppy is for her to learn that when I stop, she also stops...this should have your dog watching you more. Or when she starts to pull, we both stop until she's calmed down. This seems to be working for me, although it's still a hit and miss situation. This takes a lot of patience! A typical 15 minute walk could turn into 30 minutes or more, but, don't give up and never reinforce the pulling!
Hopefully in time your dog realizes that walking nicely is better than being chocked, or, they will get to the destination faster by not pulling!

Before I take her through doorways, I make sure she sits and stays instead of bolting through the door. Again, when she does it successfully she gets a treat.

Here's a couple links you can watch. This source was shared with me when I joined the site and her methods really do seem to work.
This is clicker training, but, I'm sure you can incorporate something to replace the clicker if you don't have one...like simple treats & praise.

How to train your dog not to pull- Loose Leash Walking - YouTube
Stop pulling and "Yo-yoing"- clicker dog training - YouTube
 

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I was going to post the same videos as Dave - Kikopup is awesome!

Personally, I have not seen any compelling scientific evidence that the Gentle Leader is dangerous. I would prefer loose leash walking on a flat collar, but if you need to use a GL and are careful with it (i.e. you don't try to "correct" the dog and she walks nicely on it) I don't have a problem with it. I know a lot of people disagree on this one, but that's how I feel.
 
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Duchess also doesn't seem to be able to make the transition to the collar. The gentle leader left a mark on her face too. We found one at PetSmart that's made by Holt. It's designed slightly differently and seems to calm her more and she walks fine with it. The piece on the bridge of her nose is padded and doesn't leave a mark. It seems to fit better too and has a safety strap to hook on her regular collar.
 

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One Lucky Mama!
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You may want to practice the loose leash walking training inside your house without any distractions first. Allow your dog to understand what it is you want her to do. Once she is able to walk calmly at your side while paying you attention consistently inside, then try to walk around your yard. Again, once she has that down, walk up and down the street. The key is to start with very low criteria and few to no distractions when she is learning, and then increase the criteria and distractions from there. Another thing to realize is that dogs typically do not generalize well. This means you will need to cover the same lesson in many different locations before she will consistently perform in each.

As far as equipment goes, I have found the Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers No Pull Harness a great solution for Zeus. We are just now beginning the transition from this harness to walking on a flat collar. However, we are keeping the harness on for safety sake (he is dog reactive). Some people use two leashes with this harness - one attached to the front clip and the other attached to the clip on the back. This would allow you to "steer" the dog in the same way the reins on a bridle steer a horse. I found that these leashes were too short and would cause Zeus to explode in any situation more arousing then our living room since he felt "trapped". If we are in our yard, I clip the leash to the back clip. If we are walking in the neighborhood, "dog watching" at the dog park, or going anywhere else, I clip the the leash to the front clip and have very good control over him.

Best of luck and keep us posted!
 

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sandy2233
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Maturity helps. Em was a strong puller for a long time. She's had a lot of obedience work but I really think she just had to grow up some. Good Luck!
 

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If your dog is walking well on the GL and you would like to transition to a flat collar then here is what you should do -
First, go on a walk and get her walking well and get her tired.
Second, loosen the black nose clip and slide it to the bottom where the ring is.
Then slip it off of her nose like nothing is different. She will still have the collar part around her neck. If she realizes that she is off of the GL and starts walking poorly then just slide the nose piece back on and don't take it off again until the next walk.
What she will learn is that the GL is there if she acts up but if she is good then it could stay off.

If she is not walking well on the GL then I agree with everyone else and you need to work on walking properly with the GL before getting rid of it. I am a huge believer in the GL and I would suspect that if you are getting the nose crease then you are pulling on her too much.
 

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I taught Elka to walk nicely (more or less...it's an ongoing process!) on a flat buckle collar. I used a clicker and treats. We did clicker work in the house first, with various tricks and things (and that was after I established that click = you're doing it right = treat) and then we took that act on the road.

So, loose leash, calm walking? Click + treat. At first, even just being ahead of me, but the leash loose? Click + treat. It's a little "sneaky" as well, because I will not give the treat if she doesn't come back to me (i.e., I never tossed it). So, it does take time and patience, and rather than the clicker, you can use a marker word ("Yes!). I can't watch the videos Dave L linked as I'm at work (shh), but I'm sure if they're about using a clicker for walking, it's along these lines.

Personally, I never wanted to use the gentle leader because 1. some Dobermans may have CVI and 2. it might be mistaken for a muzzle and "OMG that's a dangerous Doberman vicious killer!" 3. Some dogs are truly miserable on it, and it might irritate the under eye area (depending on style of halter and fit).
 

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As far as equipment goes, I have found the Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers No Pull Harness a great solution for Zeus. We are just now beginning the transition from this harness to walking on a flat collar. However, we are keeping the harness on for safety sake (he is dog reactive). Some people use two leashes with this harness - one attached to the front clip and the other attached to the clip on the back. This would allow you to "steer" the dog in the same way the reins on a bridle steer a horse. I found that these leashes were too short and would cause Zeus to explode in any situation more arousing then our living room since he felt "trapped". If we are in our yard, I clip the leash to the back clip. If we are walking in the neighborhood, "dog watching" at the dog park, or going anywhere else, I clip the the leash to the front clip and have very good control over him.

Best of luck and keep us posted!
Just wanted to say I love that harness - I have one for each dog. They're fantastic. Best no-pull harness we've tried.
 

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My wife used the leader, and I used the prong. Both worked. But seeing we were dealing with a doberman, he knew the difference between wearing those and wearing a flat collar.

Heres how I transitioned: I put on the prong and flat collar at the same time and attached a leash to both, using the flat collar and keeping the prong loose. When he tighten the flat collar leash I would correct him with a no and prong. It didnt take him long at all to realize that pulling was an unwanted behavior. When we would come across a high intensity situation, I would bring him back to a heel with the prong until I saw his mind relax and the slowly switch back to flat collar use again.

good luck
 

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I too had a puller, and the minute...not an exaggeration, I put him in his harness he was a different dog. We use am Easy Walk Harness, and he does wonderful, it's actually nice to walk him on his leash now. I would give it a shot, they run about $25 at least here in OR. Good luck:)
 

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Our trainer taught us a method that worked very well for Raven, we actually trained her the first 6 weeks in the house on a leash and flat collar, she was with us 100% of the time. Now granted it was PITA at times but it seemed to work well for potty training and leash manners. Also, if she does give a light tug and stretch the leash we'll give her light but firm tug on the leash with a stern "NO" and she'd straighten right up.

As far as getting her to walk on my right side constantly and loose leashed.... what worked for us is the moment she tried crossing sides in front of us we'd repeat the tug/NO and immediately switch directions. It took alot of work but it has paid off greatly. IDK if any of that will even work for other dogs but it has for us so I thought I'd share just in case it could help someone lol.
 

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Hello! My girl also was a puller and sometime she is still one. At the beginning I tried the flat collar, the regular choker. Those were useless. Then I tried the dominant dog collar. This worked well but it only works well when it remains at its ideal position, right at the base of the skull. Since Dobes have short hairs and long neck, there is not much there to keep the collar from sliding down the neck.

Then I happened to see the Leerburg.com website. Great source of info by the way. M. Frawley talk about the prong collar. He called this sort of collar; a power steering for dogs.

So I got that for my girl, and after a couple of training sessions with the collar, she does not pull at all, even if she sees another dog near by or a squirrel crossing the street. Like M. Frawley says, a good correction is worth a thousand nagging ones.

My girl wear a flat collar most of the time and she is not shy to pull. But when I hookup the prong collar, she is not the same dog at all.

I am not a big admirer of Halti and other gentle collars. They work by forcing the dog's head to one side or the other. I am certain this is not good for the cervical vertebra as this could lead your dog to suffer from Wobblers later on in life. I lost 2 Dobes to Wobblers and it is absolutely heart breaking.
 
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