Gentle Leader Dog Walking Aid

Vet Tech Tips All Animal Tips Advise Gentle Leader

Dogs That Pull While Walking

Have you ever walked your dog and dealt with them consistently pulling on the leash? Most of us have experienced this at some point with our dogs, whether during training or reactivity. Well, a device called a “gentle leader” is designed to be like what is used on horses. It goes around the brim of the dog’s nose, buckles behind the ears, and then is attached to the collar. I always recommend (especially when starting with it) attaching the gentle leader and the leash to the dog’s collar because they will not like it and will try to get it off. You do not want it to come off and then have a loose dog. If you attach it to the collar and the gentle leader comes off, the leash is still attached to your dog by the collar.

Vet Tech Tips All Animal Tips Advise Harness
Vet Tech Tips Harness


If you have a dog that does not have much of a nose bridge then the gentle leader will not work as well and you should use a harness that goes over the body instead of a gentle leader-type collar.  Small dogs normally do not need gentle leaders either but if your small dog does pull a lot it might be a good idea to try a gentle leader.

Gentle Leader

The one downside is the dog will try for the first few times you put it on to take it off right away by pawing at its nose. The best thing to do when the dog is trying to get it off is to start walking. Walking distracts the dog and will stop them from scratching at its face. It can take a while for them to get used to it – each dog is different, so be patient. Once the dog understands what is going on, the pawing at the face will decrease and the pulling will eventually stop. Also, some dogs do so well that they never pull again even without the gentle leader on.

Once you have used a gentle leader for a while you can try to not use it and see how your dog responds to not having it on. You might get lucky and they do not pull anymore on your walks.  This one also comes with a video to help understand how it works.

Vet Tech Tips All Animal Tips Advise Gentle Leader Lab
Vet Tech Tips Gentle Leader

The gentle leader works by applying pressure to the base of the dog’s nose when they pull. This is not a good feeling for them, and they do not like it, so they stop pulling.  The gentle leader is easier on the dog than some other collars as it does not harm the throat at all.

There are many different types of harnesses, collars, and leashes to use on your dog but if you are having a hard time with your dog pulling while on walks, I have found that gentle leaders are the way to go to get your dog to stop pulling.

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