The Gentle Leader
One of the top reasons clients call Tails Up Paws Down is
because they are simply unable to take their beloved pup on a
walk! We have all been there at one time or another or seen
someone that is being pulled down the street by Fido. Some dogs
canʼt wait to see the person coming towards them, some dogs go
bonkers if they see another dog and some dogs just want to RUN!
This takes the fun out of the walk not to mention wearing your back
out! This generally leads to going on walks being abandoned and
eliminates the dogs chance for exercise, potentially leading to much
bigger behavior problems.
This entire scenario can be eliminated by one product- the Gentle
Leader! I know, I hear many of you saying… “been there, tried that”!
Itʼs true many a pet owner have tried this product and have seen their dog
paw, pull at the despised device around their
nose. Well, can you blame them?
Here are some simple steps designed to make wearing the Gentle
Leader fun for the dog and get you and Fido back on those ever so
1. Begin by getting the dog to accept the Gentle Leader around
their nose. This is done by holding the “loop” part that goes over
the dogs nose open and letting the buckles and the rest of the
Gentle leader hang. Open it far enough that your dog can stick
itʼs nose through the loop and have something really yummy like
canned cheese or peanut butter on a spatula on the other side so
that the dog puts itʼs nose through the loop! Itʼs important that the
dog puts itʼs own nose through the Gentle Leader as dogs
become more comfortable with things that THEY choose to do.
Once the dog will readily put their nose through just let the gentle
leader hang on their nose while you continue feeding. It is
important in the early stages that while the Gentle Leader is on
that the goodies keep coming! Once you take off the Gentle
Leader also remove the goodies.
2. Once the dog will readily put their nose through for the cheese go
ahead and buckle while continuing to feed the goodies! When
you get to this step only leave the Gentle Leader on for a few
moments and GRADUALLY increase the duration they wear it.
Keep the dog busy once it is readily accepting wearing it but
donʼt walk them just yet. If your dog likes to play ball take them
outside immediately and throw away! If they like belly rubs then
keep them coming! If your dog paws at the Gentle Leader use a
high pitched voice to get their attention, call them and give them
treats. Do whatever you have to do to keep the dog entertained
until they will wear the Gentle Leader for 20 to 30 minutes with
little to no fussing.
3. Now your ready to start on your ﬁrst walk! Make sure to use a
very light leash. A heavy leash will weigh down the Gentle Leader
and make your pup feel as though they are getting a correction.
Also be aware when a dog has a Gentle Leader on you will have
great control over the dog but anything above a light pull on the
leash from your end can be very uncomfortable to the dog so be
very careful to not pull on the leash. That is the point of the
Gentle Leader, to not have to force the dog in the direction you
want to go. Instead remember that wherever the dogs nose goes
their body will follow! So if Fido stops to smell the neighbors
garbage just keep walking, their nose will redirect back to you
before they get there and back on your walk you go!
If you have your dog used to the Gentle Leader and still have
trouble on walks call a positive trainer that has experience with the
Gentle Leader. If you have trouble ﬁnding a trainer please contact
Tails Up Paws Down as we would be happy to point you to a quality
trainer in your area!