Is your dog more than you can handle? Are you having a difficult time to…
However funny it is to see a small owner being dragged down the street by their massive dog, think of how frustrating it is for that person, and how painful it is for their arm! Dogs tend to pull for a couple of reasons. The most common is because they are in pursuit of something (cat, dog, squirrel, bike etc) and their hunting instincts kick in.
It’s also common for some dogs to just be over-excited about the feeling of almost-freedom they get during walks. Or, they could see themselves as the dominant member of the pack and you’re the one being disobediently slow. Despite the reason, the common method for dealing with pulling on the lead is relatively simple. When the dog pulls on the lead, you stop and issue a sharp verbal command – be it “no”, or “heel”. This is followed by a quick tug on the leash, then resume walking. Repeat as often as necessary.
This usually works eventually as long as you become diligent in repeating the above process. Thankfully, the use of choke-chains and -collars has been deemed unnecessary by most professionals. The force and pain, that is associated with choke-training is actually detrimental to your dog’s over-all obedience and nature. Luckily leash and collar technology has advanced enough to now provide head and harness collars which can help solve pulling problems.
One of the most popular head collars on the market is the Premier Pet Gentle Leader Training Dog Collar®. Instead of a traditional collar which goes around the dog’s neck, the Gentle Leader is a harness that has a nylon nose strap and neck strap. The lead is attached to a ring at the end of a short strap that extends under your pet’s chin.
The nose loop’s function is to mimic the practice of asserting pack dominance between two animals by firmly taking the dog’s muzzle in their own. The neck alternatively relaxes the dog by mimicking the practice of a mother grasping her pup by the back of the neck. It also applies pressure to the back of the neck instead of at the throat.
Because dogs tend to respond to a force by exerting an opposite force, the Gentle Leader is designed to stop forward movement when force is applied on the neck, therefore reversing this behavior. In addition to keeping your dog in line while walking or running, the Gentle Leader also effectively facilitates the basic commands like “sit” and “down”. The product information also claims the collar will stop barking with a quick tug on the lead.
One of the greatest benefits of a head collar is the fact that you are constantly training the dog without vocal commands. You’re also establishing yourself as leader and head of the pack. Most owners who have trained their dogs with a head collar go back to using a straight leash after a few months. The dog has often become so well-trained, the need for any leash at all is minimal.
Whether you decide to forgo the head collar choices and stick with the traditional neck collar, or you go out and grab your very own Gentle Leader, the method is quite similar. Both training exercises require diligence and patience from the owner. You’ll soon be rewarded with a calm dog and an arm that no longer aches.