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Ok, I don't intend to start any controversy by this post, just seeking some assistance...I know many don't agree with a gentle leader. I just bought one this weekend for Brady. While Abby (other than her moments of excitement when seeing dogs and kids) has become wonderful on the leash...the leash is always slack and she's very content. Brady, though, he's a bit older and I think he was probably never on a leash before we got him. He PULLS AND PULLS! His's eyes bug out of his head and his eyes are so blood shot within minutes. Training has only been successful while working in the yard. Once we are out on the street, he just pulls and doesn't care to hear us.  If we stop, he's great, he stops and sits and waits beautifully but takes off flying again.

So, this weekend, I put it on him and once he got comfortable chewing on a bone, I attached a leash and we tested it out. WOW!!!!! Amazing change. My shoulder may remain intact now!

My question...I would like to use this merely as a training device...I would love to see him eventually walk nicely on his leash without the gentle leader. Are there things I can do (besides praise, etc) while we are walking to prepare him for coming off of it...and what are the best methods for weaning him off of it? My thought is after a couple weeks, mid-walk, when he starts getting too tired to pull too much, convert back to the regular collar, keeping the gentle leader on...then eventually convert to collar mid-walk and take the gentle leader right off...hopefully until we can leave the house without it being on at all. Praise and treats will be involved big time. He already seems so much more content walking...just not strangling himself the whole time but actually enjoying himself and sniffing around, etc. Maybe the realization alone that life is much better when you are not strangling yourself will be enough to convince him not to pull so hard!
 

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You could try having him wear his regular collar and lead also. You will have to hold two leashes but it might work. Whenever you have to correct him with the GL, give a little tug on his collar too, so he feels that correction also. Also, take a lot of treats on your walks and when he is walking correctly, stop and praise him. Might work.  :wink:
 

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It's simple enough to have your dog wear the Gentle Leader and a regular collar (they don't interfere with one another).

You can move the leash from the gentle leader to the regular collar at will if you want to test your dog.
 

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I trained Ginsy to "heel" and this really worked for us.

use a short leash no longer than from collar to your hand with the dog standing at your side.  then say "Ginsy HEEL" (insert your dogs name of course :lol: )  then start walking.  Whenever she started to pull or get distracted by anything give a quick correction on the leash and say "NO" make a 180  turn say "HEEL" again and start walking in the new direction.  Do this each and every time she starts to pull or get distracted.  Even if it is every other step that you need to make a correction and change directions back and forth, back and forth, back and forth over and over and over.  Boxers are sooooo smart it won't take any time for them to get it.  Give lots of praise and encouragement and never let her walk in front of you.

once the "heel command has been mastered you can add a "lets go" command which is a more informal relaxed walk for wandering and sniffing and potty breaks using a longer leash. (but you are still the leader so don't let them walk ahead of you) I have a two handle leash which I LOVE.  Now whenever the dog starts pulling, pull her back into a "heel"  Then use "heel" on exercise walks, in new areas and whenever meeting new people.
 

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We have been working with Reese for about 2-3 weeks (i think) with the gentle leader. At first i was discouraged, but she is starting to really respond to it. She is walking next to us and not really trying to pull ahead. We worked on her walking behavior and now all i have to do is say her name and she knows to come back to me- i am going to keep using the GL but i am going to switch back and forth between her two collars to see how she responds when using her original collar.  Treats helped alot- it got to the point that she stopped eating the treats cause i praised and treated everytime she was doing good or went potty! :D
 

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I'm using a Gentle Leader for Mia when she gets older. For my training courses I'm taking (to become a certified Trainer) they want me to use the Gentle Leader on her .. I've used it with Toby for his redirected aggression but didn't use it other than that..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was amazed by his instant response to it...he was like a whole new dog. We used the method described by Ginsy for Abby, worked perfectly...but it didn't go over so well with Brady...he did well in the yard but was just SO distracted by everything around him once on the street...I continued using the method even while walking the neighborhood, to no avail. The gentle leader just works like a charm though for him. And I love that it merely utilizes a different pressure point (back of neck rather than front) and turning of the head, rather than prong or choke collars.  Growing up with horses, the head steering makes perfect sense to me. Now, if it didn't just look like a muzzle. We had one girl stop us and ask why his mouth was "tied shut", I explained what it was, why we are using it and that it was his mouth "tied shut" by it.
 

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I would have the flat buckle collar on all the time with the GL, even if you don't have a leash attached, so that he is on some level making the connection between loose leash walking and the buckle collar.  Basically you teach LLW just like you normally would, but you have the GL to help you manage the situation so that he has a much better chance to succeed.  You do not give corrections with a GL.   You also need to keep the leash much shorter - but that's not a bad idea for early LLW training anyway.  

I think once he does very well with walking calmly by your side (or within a foot or so) on the GL, you could switch the leash to the collar but keep the GL on - a 'reminder' of what behavior you want from him.  If that goes well, then after a few times try in the middle of the walk converting the GL from a halter to a collar (again without the leash attached), and then after a few times just go with the flat collar.  (Of course, you'll be re-training LLW a bit when you switch the leash, because it's a different 'cue', but it shouldn't take as long as the original work on the GL did.)  You could try the dual-leash system in the transition stage, as well, if you're having random issues with control.  (If you're having more than random issues, he's not ready to transition yet; keep working on LLW with the GL.)
 
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