Gentle Leader: Helping Your Dog Adjust to a Head Collar
In our last post, we talked about proper fit and use for a Gentle Leader Head Halter. People often ask how to help the dog become accustomed to this tool. There are many things you can do as part of your regular routine to help your dogs.
Feed the dog while they're wearing the Gentle Leader
One common tactic that works for most dogs is to feed them while they are wearing the Gentle Leader. Because the Gentle Leader is not a muzzle, dogs can still eat without trouble. Feeding them their meals with the Gentle Leader on will help them develop a positive association with the head halter.
Play with the dog while they're wearing the Gentle Leader
Another method for dogs who are toy motivated is to put the Gentle Leader on and play games with your dog. Whatever games your dog loves can help transfer value to the head halter. Short and intense games can help build even more of a positive association.
Your dog's success or failure on the Gentle Leader can be a direct result of the time you take to acclimatize them to it. A few good training sessions can really make a difference. We do not recommend leaving the Gentle Leader on while your dog is lounging or unsupervised. Most dogs will fuss with it and some will often become obsessed with trying to push the nose piece off. If they are successful, it will not be long before they chew through the nose loop and render it useless. Always supervise your dog heavily when the Gentle Leader is on so that you can immediately stop any inappropriate behaviours.
Here are some video tips to help you!