A Gentle Leader Headcollar Review

May 26, 2023
David Sunnyside

A gentle leader headcollar is a training tool designed to help you train your dog to walk nicely on leash. It loops around your dog’s nose, rather than the neck or shoulders like other collars, and when your dog pulls or lunges, it shifts his focus to you so he can refocus away from temptations such as squirrels or sniffing other dogs. It’s easy to use, and it can also prevent barking, jumping, and chewing. However, if you don’t use it properly, it can cause your dog discomfort and pain, and even physical damage.

Despite its name, the gentle leader is not actually very gentle on your dog’s neck, spine, throat, or trachea. It is also not very gentle on your dog’s face, and it may even damage the trigeminal nerve. This is because the nose loop hits directly over your dog’s two main facial nerves, and it puts pressure on these areas a lot of the time.

This is why it is so important to have a qualified trainer show you how to put on and use your gentle leader. If you don’t know how to use it correctly, you will end up putting too much pressure on your dog’s neck and throat, and he may choke or vomit.

A gentle leader works well for most dogs, but it isn’t ideal for brachycephalic breeds (dogs with very short snouts). If your dog is a brachycephalic and doesn’t tolerate a gentle leader, you can try using a halti instead.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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