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I sometimes use a Gentle Leader on Fred if I suspect he is going to pull me.I take it off(except when I forget as you can see on my photos)when we get to the fields and he walks home afterwards without it and he doesn't pull.Ellie never pulls and will,if I let her,happily walk behind me anywhere,off lead, but I always have her on lead on the streets,as you never know with dogs.
With Arthur,my puppy, I am trying to teach him not to pull by stopping every time he does pull or turning round and walking the opposite direction but it takes forever to get where I am going and the other dogs dislike it.So ,as he is not responding at all and leans into his collar like he is pulling a sledge,it is going to be a Gentle Leader for him too.A lazy way I suppose but it works!
I use a Gentle Leader on my little Cocker Spaniel 'Zara' and she walks beautifully on it. I have used them quite a bit during training sessions with other people's dogs as well and the owners are usually delighted with the results. I highly recommend them.
Don't pull the lead backwards to correct your dog on a Gentle Leader, a quick jerk towards your leg is a far more efficient method.
I would NOT recommend the halti head collar. Most dogs paw and scratch at their faces to get the annoying thing off!
I'm also a fan of metal choke collars, as soon as the dog is not pulling. When they pull i think it's a bit harsh, but then again, if they pull, all collars are harsh :)
I agree that the name makes it look a lot worse than it actually is, specially because you can strap your leash in a way that it won't choke your dog no matter what!
All my dogs were leashed trained like you say until Romã, she got very stressed with the stopping and it was making it worse, that's why I tried the gentle leader on her, and i must say it was a wonderful solution. I also use a "gentle leader" (actually it's a pony headpiece..lol, I haven't found a gentle leader or anything like it big enough!) on my gigantic dog, since he makes to of me and he doesn't realize when he is pulling me with a collar... LOL
I do have a training collar (is what trainer years ago told me to call what you call a choke collar) but hoping to have her walking properly on a regular collar like my last Irish did. Gentle leader just looked softer and kinder to use to me and after using the halti on the inherited Brittany and seeing how quickly he learned and easily I decided it was easier for me. I have been debating just what to use and have been interested to hear what others have had success with.
When Ellie was a young dog we had a harness for her.We bought it so she would be secure when we went on a train.She was like Houdini,within a second,one wriggle and she could get free of it.I think she was double jointed because it was fitted properly.I even took her and the harness to the shop where I bought it and they couldn't believe she could escape with such ease.
My local dog training club will not allow 'choke' collars to be used but I know, if they are used properly, they are acceptable.Personally I wouldn't use one.
I too get fed up with "is your dog dangerous,he is wearing a muzzle" comments when he has his Gentle leader on.I demonstrate how his mouth can still open and bite if he wanted to!