The head halter is a great training tool. It is very helpful in redirecting attention and preventing pulling. It’s usefulness does require proper fitting, appropriate use and a training period so your dog learns to love putting his Gentle Leader on before he walks around the neighborhood. Here are some ways to train your dog to happily accept the Gentle Leader:
- Get out some treats and put one through the Gentle Leader so he has to reach for it. Wait for a moment so he makes the choice, when he does say “get dressed”, “yes” and give him the treat. The first few times, do not attempt to put the gentle leader on, you are simply getting him to move his head forward into the gentle leader. This is something you want him very comfortable with putting on and wearing so you need to take this process slow.
- Do this five or six times and then take a break. Later, try again but still do not try to put it on.
- The next day, if he is doing well with simply moving towards it, try to allow it to have contact with his face. Do this five or six times, treating and saying “get dressed” only if he is comfortable. If he’s not comfortable, back up to the previous day’s exercise. Continue daily getting closer but it should take a couple days before you put it on him. When you get to that point, let him wear it for a minute, then five, then 15 minutes. Always supervised.
- We want him to happily put on his Gentle Leader so it does not add to you or your dog’s frustration on leash walks.
- The Gentle Leader should never be used to correct or “pop” a dog.
For more tips and assistance with using the Gentle Leader the right way so your dog behaves, we can help you in your home with this and other behaviors