Gentle Leader Dog Collars

Dog collars are more than ornamentation. Many collars are designed to help dogs who are strong pullers. These adjustable head collars are not muzzles but harnesses that can be instrumental in training dogs that have strong opposition reflexes, and they can be used on dogs of all sizes and breeds.

How do Gentle Leader head collars work?

Gentle Leader collars are designed to nullify a dog's oppositional reflexes. Instead of placing pressure on the front of the throat, which can cause dogs to choke, these devices place the pressure on the back of a dog's neck. Because of this shift in pressure, dogs lean back when their leash is pulled or their collar is tugged, rather than pulling forward.

Which dog training techniques are used with Gentle Leader collars?

The Gentle Leader collar is meant to be used in conjunction with a system of positive motivation and rewards. In such a system, dog parents are encouraged to bring treats on their walks so that dogs are given immediate rewards for good behavior. Other rewards include giving verbal praise and the instant release of collar tension after the dog obeys a command. Veterinarians suggest that releasing tension is a positive reward because it mimics a natural canine form of communication. By reinforcing positive habits, it is thought that dogs quickly learn when to stop pulling on their leash.

In addition, animal specialists have noted that owners who maintain control of their dog's head can redirect their companion's attention from potential distractions.

How are these head collars constructed?

Each collar has two nylon straps. One fits at the top of the neck, and the other acts as a nose loop. Some versions also come with a padded nose loop. The nose loop is not meant to constrict the dog's movements. Dogs are free to fetch, bark, eat, and drink while wearing the collar.

What sort of leashes should owners use with these products?

The manufacturer advises that collars are used with a leash that is 6 feet long or shorter. Dog walkers have found that shorter leashes allow them to redirect their dog's unwanted behavior. Longer leashes have been found to provide less control.

What sizes are available?

Gentle Leader head collars are traditionally available in four sizes:

  • Small - Designed for a dog or puppy who weighs between 5 and 25 pounds
  • Medium - Meant for dogs who weigh between 25 and 60 pounds
  • Large - Made for dogs between 60 and 130 pounds
  • Extra Large - Recommended for dogs who weigh more than 130 pounds
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