How Does Gentle Leader Work – And Is It for Your Dog?

how does gentle leader work

Tired of your dog’s aggressive behavior while walking. You have probably heard of gentle leader. You might be thinking how does gentle leader work? When walking a dog on a leash, three key elements need to be considered. The first is the owner’s ability and patience; they must ensure compliance from their pet while also being able to withstand any aggressive behavior during obedience training sessions with little interruption or reinforcement necessary for success!

A second essential part of teaching your four-legged friend how to do this properly involves using the correct technique when guiding them through commands like “follow,” and “stay.”

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Finally, make sure you’re always paying attention if something seems off because these cues might not work as expected-

If your dog pulls on the leash? Then, a gentle lead may be the perfect solution for you. Gentle Leader is a type of harness that helps train dogs not to pull on the leash. It works by applying pressure to the back of the dog’s head, which makes them less likely to pull. In this blog post, we will discuss how Gentle Leader works and whether or not it is right for your dog!


What Is A Gentle Leader?

A gentle leader is a fantastic training tool for reducing excessive leash pulling, barking, lunging, and/or jumping. It works by applying gentle pressure to the back of the dog’s throat, which makes dog pulls less likely to occur. The gentle leader is a popular choice for dog owners who want to train their dogs not to pull, but it is important to note that it is not a cure-all. There are some pros and cons to using a gentle leader that we will discuss below.

easy walk harness

Parts Of A Gentle Leader Head collar:

Nose Loop

This is the part of the gentle leader that goes over your dog’s nose and attaches to the leash.

Chin Strap

The chin strap goes under your dog’s chin and attaches to the nose loop.

Throat Strap

The throat strap goes around your dog’s neck and attaches to the chin strap.

Benefits of Using of Gentle Leader Headcollar

gentle leader harness

Let’s talk about how this training collar can help us. The gentle leader fits over your dog’s nose and helps you redirect and refocus your dog. It also helps you keep your dog safe. A big problem with loose leash walking is that the dog has a lot of momentum and wants to go forward at the same time.

A gentle leader works with this by giving you more control. If your dog starts to pull, the gentle leader will tighten and turn their head back to you. This is a cue for them to stop pulling and refocus on you. The best way to stop pulling a dog too hard is to make them look back at you when they start to pull.

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In addition, the gentle leader harness doesn’t put too much pressure on the throat of training dogs unlike the flat normal collar, or the chest just like the harness. Your dog won’t be because the collar is not placed on top of their neck and nose. It also lets your dog breathe, pant, bark, drink, and get treats without having to wear a muzzle.

The Disadvantages Of Using Gentle Leaders

properly fitted

There are some cons to using a gentle leader that you should be aware of before you decide if it is right for your dog. One of the biggest disadvantages is that it can take some time for your dog to get used to it. It is important to introduce the gentle leader slowly and let your dog get used to wearing it.

Another disadvantage is that some dogs may find the pressure on their neck uncomfortable. If this is the case, then the gentle leader is not likely to be effective and may cause more stress for your dog. Finally, the gentle leader does not stop all pulling behavior. If your dog continues to pull, then you will need to use other training methods in addition to the gentle leader.

The side effects of using a Gentle Leader include chafing, hair loss, and skin irritation. If you notice any of these side effects, you should remove the Gentle Leader and consult your veterinarian.

When Should You Use A Gentle Leader?

prong collars

A gentle leader is a great tool for dogs that are strong pullers or that have a lot of energy. We can use the help of a gentle leader if our pet dog is showing the following behavior:

What To Look For When Purchasing A Gentle Leader?

one strap

Fit and Comfort:ย ย 

The gentle leader should fit snugly but not too tight. It should be comfortable for your dog to wear for long periods.


You want to make sure that it is made of high-quality materials that will not break easily. When purchasing it choose something that is made of durable nylon or leather.

Ease of Use:ย 

You want to choose something that is easy to put on and take off. It should also be adjustable so that you can find the perfect fit for your dog.

reduce pulling

Style:ย ย 

There are many different styles of gentle leaders available. You can choose from a headcollar, martingale collar, or harness.

The best way to find the perfect gentle leader for your dog is to try out a few different types and see what works best for you and your dog.


Gentle leaders range in price from $15 to $30.

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How To Put A Gentle Leader On Your Dog?

Step 1: Check The Product

  1. Before you buy a gentle leader, put it on your dog to make sure it fits and that you know where each part goes.
  2. To connect your leash to the control ring, put it through the ring. Must have both a leash and gentle leader. At the end of the strap, there is a metal ring that goes out from the neck strap and nose loop. This is the control ring. Your leash should be clipped in so that when you get your dog into the gentle leader, he won’t run away.
  3. Open the neck strap with your two hands at once. Make sure your leash and the nose loop hang down in the middle when you do this. This makes the gentle leader look like a “T.” dachshund-puppy-petThe neck strap should be around your dog’s neck. For the center bar ring to connect the neck strap and leash, it should be under your dog’s chin, above Adam’s apple. The back of his neck strap should rest at his skull’s base, behind his ears.
  1. Remove the neck strap when it fits your dog well. Putting it on before unclipping it makes sure that it fits right. Once you have the neck strap set up the way you want it, you can remove it. There are a lot less steps after you put the nose loop on your dog. It is easier to put the neck strap back in place.
  2. The nose loop should be open. This will help you hold the gentle leader on the dog for the first time. Make sure the dog is between your legs or on your side so that you can hold him in place while you do this. Under your dog’s head, slip the nose loop on its muzzle. Then, give your dog a treat to show him how well he’s doing, and to keep him from getting too excited.
  3. Snap the neck strap back into place in the same place that it was before. You should check to see that your dog is a gentle leader when it’s done.


Step 2: Check If It Is The Right Size For Your Dog

If you want the gentle leader’s neck strap to stay on your dog’s neck as high as possible, it must be long enough. Because your dog has an Adam’s apple, the front of the neck strap should be above your dog’s. The back should reach around and touch the base of the skull behind your child’s hair.

Make sure the leader fits snugly at the top of the neck, and don’t let it fall out. It should be so tight that you can barely fit one finger under the strap. You can use this to help you guide your dog. It fits around your dog’s neck and helps you.

Make sure the neck strap doesn’t move. You need to make sure that the neck strap is tight enough so that it doesn’t move around. The point of the neck strap is to make your dog go in a certain direction. Your dog should not be able to turn around in his neck strap. If the strap is too big, it won’t work.

friends dog pet

Step 3: Adjust The Collar

Make sure the nose loop isn’t tight. Because the neck strap is tighter, the nose loop should be loose enough that your dog can open his mouth wide enough to get a tennis ball. Check to see if it isn’t so loose that it can be pulled over and off the nose.

Make sure that the nose loop can move. If the nose loop comes off, you don’t want it to be able to move from above where the wet (or fleshy) part of your dog’s nose starts to right in front of his eyes. You and your dog will be happier if you move in this way.

Make sure that the nose loop can move. If the nose loop comes off, you don’t want it to be able to move from above where the wet (or fleshy) part of your dog’s nose starts to right in front of his eyes. You and your dog will be happier if you move in this way.

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Step 4: Coaching Tantrums

You are now ready to put the gentle leader on your dog and take off without much trouble. The next part is all about coaching them through the inevitable tantrums that come when using a device which restricts their freedom of movement, but you must be patient if you want this method working for both parties!ย 

Your pup might not like wearing it at first because unlike humanized leads they cannot pull or sniff as much โ€“ however with some encouragement from you, they will learn where “no” really means โ€œyes.”

Most dogs we teach to use the gentle leader go through this process of learning, but there is a big difference between being able to help them and giving up. In our experience if you give in during these times then their behavior will not improve because when they throw tantrums or get what they want – which happens often since that’s how most animals react at first- nobody listens anymore!

dog view cute

Step 5: Preparing To Walk

Putting the gentle leader on is easy for you now. When they have a tantrum, just remind them “Leave it.”

There are three steps to using this Leadership harness: Putting it on your dog’s head and taking off should be simple because of how lightweight its design makes things; when we first put our dogs in these outfits that seemed like they would never fit right.

Now all walks happen without any fuss or bother thanks largely due 0n building up strong foundations beforehand by training patiently over time so once again – if moving quickly causes too many outbursts- avoid doing anything hasty!

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Next, you need to learn how to walk without getting distracted. The first thing is by going somewhere quiet and keeping your eyes on the ground or obstacles in front of you at all times!

Start with walking around inside this room – no windows for 10 minutes so it’s easier than ever before since he can’t see anything outside either- then take off into an oval shape that has nothing but walls everywhere as far ahead as possible.

Make sure not to look up while doing these exercises; otherwise dogs might notice something interesting happening overhead like another person passing below them on a staircase which would lead to another game of “tug-of-war.

By now, hopefully your dog is more comfortable with the gentle leader and you are successfully keeping him calm while wearing it. If not, that’s okay! Just keep practicing and don’t give up- remember how long it took for you to get used to something new, and how much patience that required from others.

Just like learning any other skill, this takes time for dogs too so be sure to give lots of treats during sessions as well as afterwards so he associates the experience with something positive!

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Phase 6: Practice Walking

By now, you should be able to get the gentle leader on and off your dog, talk to your dog about his tantrums, and lead the walk without any distractions. If any of these steps are bothering you, you can spend a few more days on them.

As we said, setting the groundwork is important for both you and your dog to have a good time. A normal walk is the next step if you and your dog have done well with the first three steps! Almost all of the rules from the calming oval still apply, but now we have to be ready for the distractions that will come up.

Methods In Using Gentle Leader

There are two main methods of using a gentle leader – the stop pulling method and the walk to heel method.

The Stop Pulling Method

putting pressure

To use the stop pulling method, you will need to walk forward while holding tension on the leash. If your dog begins to pull, you will need to loosen the tension on the leash until they stop pulling. Once they stop pulling, you can begin walking again. You will need to be proactive in this method and reward your dog when they stop pulling.

  1. Walk forward
  2. Hold tension
  3. Loosen Tension
  4. Be proactive
  5. Reward

The Walk to Heel Method

normal collar

To use the walk to heel method, you will need to choose a side to walk on. You will then walk forward while luring your dog with a treat if needed. Once they are walking by your side, you can introduce the command “heel.”

  1. Choose A Side
  2. Walk Forward
  3. Lure As Needed
  4. Introduce Command

Gentle Leader FAQ:

Where to purchase a gentle leader?

You can purchase a Gentle Leader at most pet stores or online.

At what age can a puppy begin to use a Gentle Leader?

A puppy can begin to use a Gentle Leader as soon as they are able to wear a collar and leash.

How many hours a day can a dog wear the Gentle Leader?

A dog can wear the Gentle Leader for up to 12-18 hours a day.

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Is it true that Gentle Leaderยฎ can cause neck/spine injuries?

Developers looked into the claims that wearing a Gentle Leader can hurt the dog’s neck or vertebrae. The Gentle Leader could not be proven to be the cause of any injuries to the neck or vertebrae. Dr. Anderson has looked into all of the injury reports that have come to him.

Most of the early research used to make the product came from top veterinary schools. During the last few years, behaviorists, veterinarians, and trainers have come to understand that the Gentle Leader Headcollar is safe when used properly.

They are now more likely to recommend the Gentle Leader as a safe and humane training aid.

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The Nose Loop has rubbed the dog’s nose, hair or skin too much.

Cleaning your collar is important to keep it in good shape. If you notice any skin abrasions or cuts on the gentle leader, then clean them immediately and make sure they are fully healed before putting it back onto their neck!

Before using again make sure that one finger can fit through each side of where there would usually go two hands. The nose loop should also be behind those gorgeous lips but not too tight where we risk pulling hair off due to damage done by applying excessive force when walking/working together as well as making certain this strap isnโ€™t too loose either โ€“ maintaining an appropriate degree.

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Gentle leaders have become a popular training tool for dog owners, trainers, and behaviorists. They are often seen as the humane way to train dogs and can be very successful in modifying unwanted behaviors. If you’re looking for a gentle leader for your pup, check out our comprehensive guide on how to choose the best one for your pet dog.

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